Manhattan College to Award Undergraduate Degrees at 169th Commencement

Manhattan College will award nearly 700 degrees in some 40 major fields of study from its five schools in arts, business, education, engineering and science at its 169th undergraduate Commencement on Sunday, May 22 at 1:00 p.m.

Manhattan College will award nearly 700 degrees in some 40 major fields of study from its five schools in arts, business, education, engineering and science at its 169th undergraduate Commencement on Sunday, May 22 at 1:00 p.m. Students who completed their studies in September 2010, February 2011 and May 2011 will participate in the ceremony in the College’s Draddy Gymnasium.

William Kennedy will deliver the keynote address and receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. A novelist, he is the executive director of the New York State Writers Institute and professor of English at the University at Albany.

His writing centers on life in Albany, N.Y., where he grew up and now resides. Kennedy’s novels include The Ink Truck (1968), Legs (1975), Billy Phelan’s Greatest Game (1978), Ironweed (1983; screenplay for Hector Babenco film of the novel, 1987), Quinn’s Book (1988), Very Old Bones (1992), The Flaming Corsage (1996), and Roscoe (2002). Chango’s Beads and Two-Tone Shoes will be published in October 2011.

Kennedy co-authored with Francis Coppola the screenplay of Cotton Club (1984); is the author of O Albany! (1983), an impressionistic history of his city; and Riding the Yellow Trolley Car (1993), a collection of essays. In 1996, Grand View premiered in Albany, Kennedy’s play debut. In addition, he has written children’s books with son, Brendan: Charlie Malarkey and the Belly Button Machine (1986) and Charlie Malarkey and the Singing Moose (1994).

Kennedy has taught writing at Cornell University, and his novel Ironweed received a great deal of recognition and was chosen by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of the 20th century. The book also won the National Book Critics Circle Award (1983), the Pulitzer Prize (1984), and a PEN-Faulkner Award for Fiction (1984). As a distinguished novelist, Kennedy is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, is a Commander in the Order of Arts and Letters in France, and a MacArthur Fellow.

He graduated from Siena College and was awarded the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1983. Kennedy is also a graduate of Christian Brothers Academy in Albany, N.Y.

Members of the media who would like to cover the event should call Liz Connolly at (718) 862-7232 or e-mail elizabeth.connolly@manhattan.edu.