Saint Martin’s selects Rabbi James Rudin as 2007 commencement speaker

April 2, 2007

Lacey, Wash. – The Saint Martin’s University Class of 2007 commencement address will be delivered by Rabbi James Rudin. Rabbi Rudin has been referred to as the force behind the movement to increase tolerance and understanding between Catholics and Jews. Rabbi Rudin joined the American Jewish Committee (AJC) in 1968, an organization that protects the rights and freedoms of minorities throughout the world. He became the director of AJC in 1983 and retired in 2000. Today, Rabbi Rudin serves as a senior inter-religious advisor to the AJC, and as a member of its Board of Governors.

“For more than thirty years, Rabbi Rudin’s work has focused on fostering understanding between peoples of different faiths, notes Saint Martin’s University President, Douglas Astolfi. “I believe that all those involved in the Catholic-Jewish dialogue in a serious way would agree that Rabbi Rudin is the recognized leader and expert in all things Catholic and Jewish.” Rabbi Rudin will be award an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during the Saint Martin’s ceremony.

During his tenure at AJC, Rabbi Rudin participated in historic meetings with Pope John Paul II, the World Council of Churches in Geneva, and meetings with Eastern Orthodox Christian leaders in Greece. He was awarded the “Person of Reconciliation Award” from the Polish Council of Christians and Jews and received the “Golden Medallion Award” from the International Council of Christians and Jews.

Rabbi Rudin is the author of eight books and has lectured about interfaith relations in the United States, Canada, Israel, Britain, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Poland, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic. He is a member of three honor societies and is listed in Who’s Who in Religion, Who’s Who in the East, Who’s Who in World Jewry, and American Jewish Biographies. Prior to joining the AJC staff in 1968, Rabbi Rudin was a United States Air Force chaplain in Japan and Korea. Today he appears frequently on radio and television as an expert on Inter-religious affairs.

Commencement for the 378-member Saint Martin’s Class of 2007 will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday May 12 at Saint Martin’s Pavilion, 5300 Pacific Ave. SE, Lacey. A reception hosted by the Alumni Association follows in the Norman Worthington Center.

Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 22 majors and six graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education and engineering. A Catholic, Benedictine university, Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,100 students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey, Washington main campus, and 600 more to three extension campuses.

For additional information:

Anne Kirske
Interim communication director
Saint Martin’s University