Saint Joseph's College will hold Commencement on Saturday, May 8; Founding director of Seeds of Peace will speak at ceremony

Bagpiper will lead procession to 10 a.m. commencement ceremony

Robert Gillis, a bagpiper from Old Orchard Beach, will lead 305 graduates at Saint Joseph's College as they march across the campus central quad to enter the Harold Alfond Center, where Commencement will start at 10 a.m., on Saturday, May 8.

Time: Procession leaves Alfond Hall at 9:55 to march across central quad to Alfond Center
Where: Standish campus, Whites Bridge Road
Press Parking: at side of Alfond Hall next to St. George Hall (near standpipes)

Honorary degree recipients

Janet Wallach of New York City - founding Board member of Seeds of Peace and the organization's former vice president, president and, currently, president emeritus; Woodrow Wilson Institute Visiting Fellow, journalist and author of five books about the Middle East.

Cynthia Murray-Beliveau of Hallowell, Maine - active supporter and volunteer for her church, community, and state. Trustee at Saint Joseph's from 1990-2003 and Board chair from 1998-2000; chair of the Celebrate Saint Joseph's Capital Campaign to build the Harold Alfond Center.

Commencement speaker

Janet Wallach is a founding director and president emeritus of Seeds of Peace, an organization formed to empower young leaders from regions of conflict with skills required to advance reconciliation and coexistence. She has held several executive positions for the organization, which was founded by her late husband, John Wallach. (www.seedsofpeace.org). This year-round educational and leadership training program brings outstanding teenagers from countries in conflict to a summer camp in Maine; it continues with follow-up workshops and seminars in the region, and with conferences in the U.S. and elsewhere. More than 4,000 teenagers have graduated from Seeds of Peace. The program focuses on Israelis and Arabs, and also brings together Indians and Pakistanis, and Afghans, as well as American youngsters. In October 2000, Seeds of Peace received a UNESCO peace prize.

Wallach is also the author of eight books and has written extensively about the Middle East, where she lived and worked for many years. Her book, Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell, has been translated into 12 languages and was a New York Times notable book of the year. It chronicles the life of the British official most responsible for the creation of modern-day Iraq. She has also co-authored a biography of Yasser Arafat and another of her books tells the personal stories of ten Israelis and Palestinians during the intifada. (www.janetwallach.com).

May 3, 2010 Contact: Charmaine Daniels at (207) 893-7723 or e-mail cdaniels@sjcme.edu