Commencement 2015

Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary celebrated its 2015 commencement by conferring doctoral, master's, bachelor's, and associate's degrees upon the College's 132nd graduating class on Saturday, May 9 at Westchester County Center.


Four hundred and thirty-three undergraduate degrees were conferred by President Michael G. Scales, who presided over the ceremony along with Dr. David Turk, the school's provost. Joining the undergraduates were 266 recipients of master's degrees from the College's graduate programs and seminary as well as 10 recipients of the Doctor of Ministry degree of Alliance Theological Seminary. Another 16 students at our extension site in Puerto Rico received master's degrees on May 15.


Along with degrees granted to Nyack and ATS students, the College conferred three honorary Doctor of Letters degrees. Receiving this honor were Dr. Frances E. Pratt, Datuk Dr. Edward Ong, and Dr. Juan Hernandez. These honorees join 24 other men and women who have been inducted into the Nyack College President's Hall of Distinction since 2008.


To view photo galleries of Commencement 2015 events, please visit


2015 Honorary Degree Recipients


Dr. Juan Hernández has dedicated himself to the study of U.S. and Mexico relations and established the Center for U.S.-Mexico Studies at the University of Texas, Dallas. In 1996, Hernández introduced then Texas Governor George W. Bush to Mexican State of Guanajuato Governor Vicente Fox, marking a historic new development in Mexico-U.S. relations. This meeting also launched Hernández into the role of political advisor to both President Bush and President Fox. To date, he has advised 22 presidential hopefuls in countries around the world and in many international corporations. Named "Humanitarian Man of the Year" by Latin Trade Magazine, and hailed as one of the "100 Most Influential Hispanics in the U.S." by Hispanic Business Magazine, Hernández is known for his passion for defending the rights of immigrants and for being the first U.S. citizen to serve as cabinet member under the president of Mexico.


Mrs. Frances Pratt, president of the Nyack Branch of the NAACP, is a dedicated advocate for social justice and was the first recipient of Nyack College's Social Justice Award. In addition to her civic role with the local branch of the historic organization, which she has filled for more than three decades, Mrs. Pratt began her career in the medical field at Nyack Hospital as a pediatric nurse's aide. With characteristic determination, she climbed the ranks to become the hospital's first African American registered nurse and head nurse in the Emergency Room. She was recognized at the 2015 Nyack College School of Nursing pinning ceremony.


Datuk Edward Ong, an accomplished builder and property developer, with his OCK group in Singapore, has completed numerous highly acclaimed projects including The Singapore General Hospital, Apollo and Adelphi Hotels, and Regency Park Condominiums as well as developments in Malaysia, Burma, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Island - Saipan and Guam. He is also known for the construction of the $450 million Sutera Harbour Resort project, a world-class resort in the heart of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia on 384 acres of prime seafront reclaimed land. His latest project is the development of a $300 million integrated resort in Dili, Timor-Leste, known as "Asia's newest nation." The new project represents a platform for giving back to society, for providing training to the locals that will lead to a better quality of life for the workers and their families.

Alliance Council 2015


The Nyack College/Alliance Theological Seminary (ATS) community was represented by alumnus Pastor Charles Galbreath at the speaker's podium on Friday, May 29 at The Christian and Missionary Alliance's biannual General Council held in Long Beach, California May 26-31.


Rev. Galbreath, senior pastor of Clarendon Road Church (CRC) in Brooklyn, NY, earned his Nyack College bachelor's degree magna cum laude ('06). He also holds graduate degrees in Divinity and Theology from Alliance Theological Seminary and Princeton Theological Seminary. In 2011, Pastor Charles was awarded the Young Alumnus of the Year Award during Nyack's Homecoming Weekend. Still connected to his alma mater, Pastor Charles serves as the Field Education Director at Alliance Theological Seminary in Manhattan and as an adjunct professor in the Pastoral Ministry Department of Nyack College on the Rockland County campus in Nyack, NY.


Alumni Honored at Alliance Council 2015


At luncheons hosted by Nyack College/ATS for alumni, faculty, staff, and friends, several alumni were honored. Drs. Ron ('84) and Wanda ('84) Walborn received the Nyack College Alumni of the Year Award for Outstanding and Dedicated Service to The Christian and Missionary Alliance at the Nyack luncheon held on Thursday, May 28.


Dr. Ron Walborn is the dean of Alliance Theological Seminary and of the College of Bible and Christian Ministry at Nyack College. Ron has served on the Board of Directors for The Christian and Missionary Alliance since his first term in May 2005. Ron is a prolific speaker, preaching and teaching, not only at Nyack and ATS, but also at camps, conferences, and seminars across North America and around the world.


Dr. Wanda Walborn is director of Spiritual Formation at the Rockland campus of Nyack College. She is also an adjunct professor in the College of Bible and Christian Ministry, teaching courses like Introduction to Women in Ministry, Introduction to Spiritual Formation, and Developing a Woman's Gifts and Calling. She holds a master's degree from Alliance Theological Seminary and earlier this spring, earned her doctorate from Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. Also a sought after speaker, Wanda is active in training and mentoring emerging leaders.


The couple planted and pastored Risen King Community Church in Redding, California from 1989 to 1999. Ron and Wanda are the parents of four children, Kelly, Brice, Karis, and Karly, and proud grandparents of Bella.


Two Alumnus of the Year Awards were presented at the ATS luncheon on Friday, May 29 to Shawn E. Kennedy (MPS 2003) for Outstanding North American Ministry and Service to the C&MA and to Luke L. Wong (M.Div. 2002) for Outstanding International Ministry and Service to the C&MA.


Shawn E. Kennedy is the co-founder and lead pastor of Existence Church in San Diego, California. In 2012 he founded Kingdom Come Discipleship and co-authored the book, Kingdom Come: A Gospel Centered Guide to Discipleship, to empower churches to create healthy discipleship cultures. Shawn is married to Rebekah and together they have a daughter, Maggie.


Luke Wong, following a successful twelve-year career at IBM, quit his job, sold his house, and moved with his family to China in response to God's calling. Luke and his wife, Amy, have served with the C&MA since 2007. They are the founders of BRIDGES, making equippers out of seekers, a ministry in China which has reached thousands, baptized hundreds, and developed more than thirty into full-time ministers.

Nyack Alumnus Jamal Sarikoki ('15) 
Leads Procession to Toni Morrison Bench Dedication

On Monday, May 18, Rockland County leaders and organizations hosted a special dedication ceremony for the Toni Morrison Society's "Bench by the Road Project." The Society, founded in 2006, has advanced its goal of "creating an outdoor museum of benches that marks important historical locations in the African diaspora in the United States and abroad." Fourteen benches have been installed around the globe.


The village of Nyack was named the 15th location for one of the prestigious benches honoring the memory of 19th century Nyack resident and one-time slave, Cynthia Hesdra. In 2010, a section of town was renamed Cynthia Hesdra Way. The bench will sit 400 yards from property that was owned by Ms. Hesdra from 1837 through 1859, the period when Underground Railroad activity was most intense. Nyack was considered the half-way point between Underground Railroad stops in Jersey City, New Jersey and Newburgh, New York.


The afternoon event began at Nyack Center where members of the Nyack College Chorale from the Rockland County and Manhattan campuses performed and were directed by 2015 Nyack alumnus Jamal Sarikoki. The Bachelor of Sacred Music major with his fellow vocalists led the procession to Memorial Park were the Nyack bench was dedicated.


Nobel Prize-and Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist Toni Morrison joined celebrants at the park and shared remarks.


Read more about this historic Nyack commemoration here.

Hudson River Pianofest


Nyack College School of Music hosted its sixth annual Hudson River Pianofest May 29-30 on the idyllic Rockland County campus, overlooking the historic Hudson River and the Tappan Zee Bridge. This inspiring two-day program of piano master classes, lectures, workshops, piano ensembles, and concerts was open to all music lovers: students, adult amateurs, teachers, and observers.


The featured guest artists and master teachers included the world-renowned virtuosi pianist, Sergei Babayan, noted contemporary music expert, Christopher Oldfather, award-winning pianist, Alexandre Moutouzkin, award-winning prodigy composer/pianist, J.P. Redmond, and Nyack's own Artistic Director, Dr. Tammy Lum.


For details about the 2015 Pianofest as well as photo galleries from previous Pianofests, please click here.

Homecoming 2015:
October 16-17
Mark your calendar now!

Every year the Office of Alumni Relations staff huddles to make Homecoming a weekend to remember for Nyack graduates and their families.


Did you graduate in '65, '75, '85, '90, '95, or '05? If yes, 2015 is a milestone reunion year for you! No one knows better than you what made your class so special. What was "trending" during your Nyack years? Consider this your invitation to take the lead in planning what your reunion will look like. Call the Alumni Office at 1-866-721-7946. We want to hear from you!

Remember to Stay Connected!

No matter where you are or what you're doing, we want to hear from you. You can submit engagement, wedding, birth, adoption, career, and ministry announcements on our website or via email
These announcements are posted in Nyack Nationan electronic publication featuring the latest achievements and life events of Nyack & ATS alumni. Click here to view recent editions of Nyack Nation.

Feel the pulse of Nyack! You'll find it in the words of our amazing bloggers who share from the heart at http://life.nyack.eduEditor Melissa Ruttanai coordinates the efforts of the men and women in the campus community studying in undergraduate and graduate programs. Some are writing from campus and others are speaking directly from destinations abroad. You'll find very insightful, refreshing perspectives that showcase Nyack's reputation for empowering transformational education--inside and outside of the classroom.

The Damien Sneed Foundation Presents the Performing Arts Institute 'The Wiz: If You Believe Summer Program' August 3 through August 14 in New York City


School of Music classes are over but Nyack College Manhattan Professor Damien Sneed plays on.


Prof. Sneed has been selected by Tony Award-winning choreographer George Faison to be the musical director and conductor of a production of "The Wiz: A Celebration in Dance & Music presented by CityParks Foundation's Central Park's SummerStage.


Scheduled free performances are Wednesday, August 12 at Rumsey Playfield, located on East 72nd Street, off Fifth Avenue in Central Park. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and show time is 8:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. On Thursday, August 13, and Friday, August 14, the production will be held at Marcus Garvey Park at 120th Street and Fifth Avenue in Harlem; Show time is 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.


"I am honored to work with George Faison, a Broadway legend and icon in musical theater," says Sneed. "I'm also honored to work with Timothy Graphenreed. We are creating something very special. Like the Broadway musical, I feel this new production of The Wiz will live on and create other performance opportunities for young and developing talent in our community and beyond."


In conjunction with the production, The Damien Sneed Foundation will present his inaugural Performing Arts Institute, "The Wiz: If You Believe Summer Program" starting Monday, August 3 through Friday, August 14, at the Faison Firehouse Theatre. The Performing Arts Institute summer program will culminate with students performing in Central Park for SummerStage's 30th anniversary season with a performance of "The Wiz: A Celebration of Dance & Music." The camp will be open to high school students and undergraduate college students who are instrumentalists, vocalists, dancers and aspiring entertainment industry executives.


To request an audition for The Wiz please email For more information and to apply for the summer program, please email

Benefit Concert 4 Nepal

Join the Nyack College community to enjoy great music for a great cause! Bring your friends and family, too!

Concerts will be held on Friday, June 12 at 7:30 pm and on Saturday, June 13 at 2:30 pm in the Music Hall at Nyack's NYC campus, 2 Washington Street, New York, New York.

Upcoming Admissions Events



Visit Days, Undergraduate

July 18, 2015

October 12, 2015

November 8-9, 2015

February 15, 2016

March 20-21, 2016

April 11, 2016


Summer 2015 Orientation Days

Students enrolling for the fall 2015 semester are welcome to attend one of our Summer Orientation Days. These days begin at 9:00 a.m. in Shuman Hall and include a meeting with your personal financial aid counselor, a dorm tour, lunch in our Dining Hall, and a meeting with your admissions counselor. Please contact your admissions counselor at 1-800-33-NYACK to register to attend one of these dates!

June 11, 2015

June 25, 2015

July 16, 2015

July 30, 2015

August 13, 2015


For more information, call 800.336.9225.


Personalized Campus Visit

Schedule a day at your convenience to check out classes, tour the campus, attend chapel, and get important financial aid and admissions information.


During the school year (Sept-Apr), personalized campus visits are held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays beginning at 10:00 a.m.


During the summer months (May-July), please call 1-800-33-NYACK to set up a visit.




Join other prospective students to learn more about our education, music, business, ministry, and liberal arts majors. We'll give an overview of the application process and discuss financial aid opportunities.


Open House for Undergraduate, Adult, and Graduate Programs

The following open houses will be held at 2 Washington Street, New York, New York.

Wed., June 17, 6:00 p.m.

Wed., July 22, 6:00 p.m.


For more information, call 877.626.2236.


Personalized Campus Visit

Schedule a day at your convenience to check out classes, tour the campus, and get important financial aid and admissions information.


Personalized campus visits are held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays beginning at 10:00 a.m.


Why spend money going to the doctor when you can access quality care by phone or video chat from your home or while on the road? The Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary

Alumni Associations now offer telehealth--a simple, affordable way to meet your everyday

healthcare needs. Physicians are available 24/7 with no limit on the time of consultation or

frequency of calls. To learn more, click here or call our program

partner at 888-252-2242.