SPC Alumna Judith Valente, Correspondent for PBS-TV, to Speak at Michaelmas

Jersey City, NJ – On-air correspondent for PBS-TV and acclaimed poet Judith Valente will provide the convocation address for the 2009 Saint Peter’s College Michaelmas Convocation. Taking place on Wednesday, September 23, 2009, at 11:00 a.m. in the Yanitelli Recreational Life Center (RLC) on the College’s Jersey City campus, the Michaelmas Convocation will recognize Saint Peter’s students who have excelled academically throughout the 2008-2009 school year.

Valente, who graduated from Saint Peter’s College in 1976 with a B.A. in English, earned acclaim as a journalist with The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. She was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize twice: the first while employed with The Dallas Times Herald for team reporting on airline safety, and the second for an article in The Wall Street Journal about a religiously conservative father caring for his son with AIDS. After recognizing her passion for poetry, Valente later enrolled in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she earned her M.F.A. in creative writing.

For the past eight years, Valente has been a regular contributor to the national PBS-TV news program, Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, for which she has won eight broadcast awards. She also covers religion, interviews poets and authors, and serves as a guest essayist for National Public Radio and Chicago Public Radio. Valente and her husband, Circuit Court Judge Charles G. Reynard, currently tour the country presenting poetry workshops. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2004 Aldrich Poetry Prize for her collection of poems, Inventing An Alphabet.

The Michaelmas Convocation is an annual ceremony that recognizes Saint Peter’s College students for outstanding academic achievement. Each year, ten senior students are inducted into the oldest scholarship society at Saint Peter’s, The Most Noble Order of the Peacock (MNOP), for attaining the highest scholastic average in all courses throughout their first three years at the College.

The students that will be inducted into this year’s MNOP society include Michael Massey of Jackson, N.J., who has the highest scholastic average, as well as Rezma Shrestha, Anelia Stanimirova, Binod Aryal, Mariya Marinova, Veronica Graveline, Kiril Lazarov, Justin Roberts, Jackie Denise Garcia and Aashish Shrestha. Additionally, students receive achievement awards in all academic areas, including the sciences, arts and business, among many others.

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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 with a branch campus in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, with courses at various corporate sites at the Jersey City waterfront and in South Amboy, NJ.