News

Prominent Lawyer Elected Chairman of Saint Peter’s College Board of Trustees

Kathleen M. McKenna, Esq.Jersey City – Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., the President of Saint Peter’s College announced at today’s Board of Trustees meeting that Kathleen M. McKenna, Esq., of Proskauer Rose LLP, was elected Chairman of the Board, effective July 1, 2008. McKenna, a partner in Proskauer Rose’s Labor & Employment Law Department, is recognized as one of New York’s most prestigious litigators. She was elected to serve as Chairman for a three-year term at the Catholic, Jesuit college where she received her B.A. in 1975. McKenna is the first female to chair the Board of Trustees in over 20 years, and the second in the school’s 136-year history. Also, she is the first alumna to be elected Chairman.

McKenna was named among the “Top 50 Female” lawyers in New York by New York Super Lawyers 2006 and 2007 and is recognized in The Best Lawyers in America 2008, as well as in the two previous years. An elected member of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, she was inducted into the Academy of Women Achievers of the YWCA of the city of New York in 1997. McKenna, who frequently publishes and lectures, has also served as a featured guest commentator on ABC World News This Morning. A member of the New Jersey and New York State Bar Associations, she received her J.D. from Boston College Law School in 1978, and graduated summa cum laude from Saint Peter’s College.

An active Board member since 2003, McKenna is committed to strengthening the school’s Jesuit mission and identity. “The expansion of academic programs and residence life that the college is undergoing is critical to its growth,” she commented in a recent interview. “Another key focus is the articulation of the purpose and value of a Jesuit education.”

McKenna attributes her success as a litigator to the confidence she gained from an education at Saint Peter’s, where she received a debating scholarship and quickly learned how to defend her position. McKenna also credits her strong moral framework to Jesuit messages, and noted, “I hope I’m always asking, ‘What is the right answer?’ not necessarily ‘What is the successful answer?’ I think I look at the greater good, not just at the individual good.”

A native New Yorker, McKenna currently resides in Ridgewood, NJ with her husband, Joseph Vallerini, a 1975 graduate of Saint Peter’s, and their three children.

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Saint Peter’s College is the Jesuit College of New Jersey. Founded in 1872, Saint Peter’s has an enrollment of approximately 3,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. The main campus is located in Jersey City. The College has a branch campus for adults in Englewood Cliffs, NJ and also offers courses at various corporate sites at the Jersey City waterfront and in South Amboy, NJ.