Honored guests

Rabbi James Rudin, commencement speaker
For more than thirty years Rabbi James Rudin was a key staff member of the American Jewish Committee. During his tenure as director of Interreligious Affairs, the organization became the internationally acknowledged leader in Christian-Jewish and Muslim-Jewish relations. In the course of his work, he participated in ten meetings with Pope John Paul II, as well as meetings with the World Council of Churches in Geneva and with Eastern Orthodox Christian leaders in Greece.

He currently serves as a member of the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law, an interdisciplinary group that focuses on bioethical legislation and issues. He was a member of the Camp David/ Presidential Retreat Interfaith Chapel Committee and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission.

In 1997 the Polish Council of Christians and Jews presented Rabbi Rudin with its “Person of Reconciliation Award”. Two years later he received the Golden Medallion Award from the International Council of Christians and Jews.

He is the author of eight books including, Twenty Years of Catholic Jewish Relations and his latest work, The Baptizing of America: The Religious Right’s Plans for the Rest of Us. A prolific writer, his articles have appeared in numerous publications and he has lectured around the world. He has appeared as a frequent guest on television and radio programs, including NBC, CBS, ABC, BBC and NPR.

He was a United States Air Force chaplain in Japan and Korea. In 1964 he participated in an interreligious, interracial voting rights drive in Hattiesburg, MS. He attended Wesleyan University and graduated with academic distinction from George Washington University. He received his master’s degree and rabbinical ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and has done graduate work in American history at the University of Illinois. He has received honorary degrees from HUC-JIR and Saint Leo University in Florida where he is a distinguished visiting professor.

Harold J. Marcus, L.H.D. ’00, University Medal recipient
Harold J. Marcus has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Saint Martin’s University for twenty years. Marcus chaired the Board from 1991-1993. Together with his wife, Inge ’82, he chaired the successful campaign to raise $10.5 million dollars for a new library for the University. The O’Grady Library, designed by world renowned architect Michael Graves, was dedicated in 2001.

Marcus was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters by Saint Martin’s University in 2000. He has been recognized for his philanthropy by his alma mater, Penn State University, and by Israel’s Technion Institute of Technology.

Today he receives the inaugural University Medal of Saint Martin’s University in recognition of his exceptional service to the University on behalf of its students.