Cardinal Turkson Among Saint Mary College Commencement Speakers

Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y., will hold its 49th annual invitational commencement ceremony at noon on Saturday, May 19, 2012.

Fr. Kevin E. Mackin, OFM, Mount president, will recognize more than 600 bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates during the ceremony.

Mount Saint Mary College will also confer an honorary doctorate upon Elizabeth Ailes, publisher of The Putnam County News & Recorder and The Putnam County Courier; His Eminence Peter Cardinal Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; and Joseph A. Reilly, CEO of the Empire Broadcasting Corporation.

Ailes is scheduled to give the commencement address, and Turkson will also speak.

“Our Mount Saint Mary College graduates, of whom we are very proud, will be inspired by these examples of regional, national and international leadership,” Mackin said.

Elizabeth Ailes

Publisher of The Putnam County News & Recorder and The Putnam County Courier

Elizabeth Ailes is a 20-year veteran of NBC News, CNBC, and America’s Talking, the forerunner of MSNBC. She has brought her intensity of journalistic focus to both The Putnam County News & Recorder and The Putnam County Courier as publisher of both papers.

Mrs. Ailes began her career at NBC News Radio and NBC News after graduating with a B.S. Degree in Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. She was the first producer hired at CNBC and part of a 3-person team responsible for launching the network in April 1989. Mrs. Ailes later became Director of Business Programming at CNBC, before becoming Vice President of Programming at America’s Talking, the predecessor to MSNBC.

Mrs. Ailes is the owner of the Hudson Valley Freedom Press. She is the publisher of two weekly newspapers in the Hudson Valley, both the 145-year-old Putnam County News & Recorder which hits newsstands on Wednesdays and the Putnam County Courier, New York State’s oldest, continually published weekly established in 1841 and available every Thursday.

In April of 2009, the Courier was threatened with extinction when its parent company went into bankruptcy. Mrs. Ailes realized what a tragic loss this locally based news source and center of the community for over a century would be to the area and stepped in to preserve it.

Mrs. Ailes is the recipient of the Whipple Foundations’ 2010 Preserve Putnam Award given annually since 1999 for her efforts to save the Courier and community service. She is also the recipient of the Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneurial Spirit Award. Mrs. Ailes recently restored a historic building on Main Street in Cold Spring to its original 1908 grandeur. After lovingly overseeing every detail, the former Old Homestead Club is now home to the PCN&R.

She is married to Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of the Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network. They were married on Valentine’s Day 1998. They have a twelve year old son Zachary who was born on New Year’s Day 2000. The Ailes Family home is in Garrison, New York.

His Eminence Peter Cardinal Turkson

President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace

Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson was appointed President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace by Pope Benedict XVI on October 24, 2009.

His objectives and mandate include to “promote justice and peace in the world, in the light of the Gospel and of the social teaching of the Church” and “foster relations with international Catholic organizations and with other bodies, be they Catholic or not, that are sincerely committed to the promotion of the values of justice and peace in the world.”

Among his many activities, Cardinal Turkson serves on the Board of Directors of Medicus Christi: founded to bring professional and compassionate medical care into poor countries where crucial medical and surgical expertise is lacking.

Born in Nsuta Wassaw, Ghana, he was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Cape Coast in 1975, did doctoral studies in Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome, and taught at St Theresa’s Minor Seminary and St. Peter’s Major Seminary. In 1992 he was appointed Archbishop of Cape Coast, and he was created and proclaimed Cardinal by Pope John Paul II in 2003, of the Title of San Liborio (St. Liborius).

Cardinal Turkson was President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference from 1997-2005, and member of the Pontifical Commission for Methodist-Catholic Dialogue; Chancellor of the Catholic University College of Ghana; member of the National Sustainable Development, Ministry of Environment; member of the Board of Directors of the Central Regional Development Committee and treasurer of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar.

He is also on the Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith, Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and Evangelization of Peoples; Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church; Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses; XII Ordinary Council of the Secretariat General of the Synod of Bishops.

He has attended many general and special assemblies, and served as General Relator of the 2nd Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, “The Church in Africa, at the Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace.’You are the salt of the earth, … you are the light of the world'” in 2009.

Joseph A. Reilly

CEO of the Empire Broadcasting Corporation

Joseph A. Reilly, a native New Yorker, retired as President and CEO of the New York State Broadcasters Association in 2011. He was the first full-time Executive Director of the Association in 1980, and became President in 1986.

Reilly represented the interests of more than 750 radio and television stations, including the major New York City based networks, and advocated for the broadcasting profession before state and federal legislative bodies and represented the Association throughout the nation. Over the past decade, membership in the Association tripled. Before joining the Association, he founded, co-owned and operated a dozen broadcast properties in Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York.

Among Reilly’s many achievements was his leadership to open New York State courts to cameras and microphones; in 1987, Governor Mario Cuomo signed into law a landmark bill permitting electronic media entry in courtrooms throughout the state. The Association also led in the transition from analog to digital television.

Reilly’s name has surfaced for top level national positions including the presidency of the Radio Advertising Bureau, and of the Radio Division of the National Association of Broadcasters.

Reilly has served on the boards of the Broadcasters Foundation of America; Teresian House of Albany; Capital Bank & Trust Company; New York State Partnership; Chase Lincoln First Bank; Governors Telecommunications Exchange; Governor’s Committee for a Healthier New York; and the New York State Youth Advisory Board. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of Straus Digital Media, LLC, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Christian Brothers Academy.

His many awards include the New York State Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame, Empire State Society of Association Executives “Distinguished Member” award, Christian Brothers Academy’s “Distinguished Alumnus” award, and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle Award, New York Chapter. The Joseph A. and Carol M. Reilly Broadcast Centers at Siena College were dedicated in recognition of Reilly’s work as President of the NYSBA and in memory of his wife, Carol.

He is a graduate of Christian Brothers Academy in Albany and Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J.

Reilly resides in Voorheesville, Albany County, N.Y. He has two children, Jeffrey and Donna Patrick, and four grandchildren.

Mount Saint Mary College, ranked a Top-Tier Regional University (North) by U.S. News & World Report, offers strong fields of study for careers in business, education, health professions and liberal arts to 2,700 men and women who live on the campus overlooking the Hudson River or commute from New York’s tri-state area. For more about the college see

For information about the invitational commencement ceremony, contact Elaine O’Grady, ceremonials chair, at 845-569-3508.

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