Ceremony to be Held on May 16 at PNC Arts Center

West Long Branch, NJ - NCAA President, Dr. Mark A. Emmert, will address Monmouth University graduates at the University’s 80th commencement ceremony and receive an honorary degree on Wednesday, May 16, at 1:30 p.m. at PNC Bank Arts Center.  Joan Rechnitz ’84, co-founder of the Two River Theater Company, will also receive an honorary degree during the ceremony.

Dr. Mark A. Emmert became the fifth president of the NCAA in October 2010.  Prior to assuming his  current role, Emmert had been president at his alma mater, University of Washington, since 2004 where he led the university to its standing as second among all public and private institutions in research funding with $1 billion in grants and contracts per year.  Before returning to his alma mater, Emmert was chancellor at Louisiana State University from 1999 to 2004.

Among his administrative appointments in higher education, Emmert was chief operating and academic officer at the University of Connecticut (1995 to 1999), provost and vice-president for academic affairs at Montana State University (1992 to 1995), and associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Colorado (1985 to1992).

Emmert is a member of the Higher Education Working Group on Global Issues as part of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the former chair of the Executive Group of the Worldwide Universities Network, and served on the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board.

He was a National Academy of Public Administration Fellow, an American Council on Education Fellow, and a J. W. Fulbright Administrative Fellow. He has written extensively on higher education and public administration over a career that spans the last thirty years.

A Washington native, Emmert earned his bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of Washington and has both a master’s degree and a Ph.D in public administration from Syracuse University. Emmert and his wife, DeLaine, have two adult children, Jennifer and Stephen.

Joan Rechnitz ’84 co-founded the Two River Theatre Company (TRTC) with her husband, Dr. Robert Rechnitz in 1994.  The Theater’s productions first took place in the Lauren K. Woods Theatre on the Monmouth University campus, before moving to the Algonquin Arts Theatre in Manasquan for several years.  In 2005, the TRTC opened its own spectacular facility in Red Bank.  Joan Rechnitz is an active philanthropist and great supporter of arts and community organizations in Monmouth County. 

She has served as a board member of Monmouth County’s Friends of the Parks, Volunteer Center of Monmouth County, and Women’s Council for the Cancer Center of Monmouth Medical Center.  Also, she has served as a trustee of Red Bank’s Children’s Cultural Center, Red Bank Education and Development Initiative, and volunteered with the Monmouth Conservation Foundation. 

Rechnitz is the recipient of many awards and recognitions including the Red Bank River Center Ambassador Award, the Community Commitment from the Heart Award from the Volunteer Center of Monmouth County, the Silver Gull Award from the Monmouth-Ocean Development Council, and most recently a special commendation from New Jersey State Governor Chris Christie.  She received her bachelor’s degree from Monmouth University in 1984.  She and her husband, Robert live in Red Bank, New Jersey and have three children Emily, Adam, and Joshua.