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College announces Honorary Degree recipients

By: Andrew Mees, Director of College and Athletics Communications              

BLOOMFIELD, N.J. – A pair of award-winning and influential public citizens will receive honorary doctoral degrees from Bloomfield College at the institution’s 141st Commencement on Thursday, May 22.

Journalist and author Alison Stewart and director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at The New York Public Library Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad will receive the recognition as part of the school’s Commencement exercises, Bloomfield President Richard Levao announced today.

Stewart will be awarded the Doctor of Fine Arts degree for her work on the frontlines of some of the world’s top news stories of the past two decades, including the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and Hurricane Katrina.

Anchoring shows for major news networks including CBS, MSNBC and ABC, Stewart received an Emmy for her work with ABC during the 9-11 attacks and a Peabody Award in 1992 for her groundbreaking political coverage as part of the MTV News program “Choose or Lose”. A native of Glen Ridge, N.J., she released her first book in 2013 titled First Class: The Legacy of Dunbar, America’s First Black Public High School.

“I’m extremely excited to hear that Bloomfield has offered Ms. Stewart an honorary degree,” assistant professor of communications Esther Dillard said. “She is an encouraging example to students who have a dream of being successful as a writer and a journalist. It is my hope that students and other young women of color will be encouraged by her personal story and to aim high when it comes to their own career accomplishments.”

Dr. Muhammad will be awarded the Doctor of Humane Letters degree for his prominent work in cultural and societal issues within the African-American community. The director of the historic Schomburg Center since 2010, his scholarship has been featured in publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post. His first book The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America was awarded the John Hope Franklin Best Book Award in 2011, given to the best work in American Studies.

“I am delighted to have established a new friendship with a distinguished scholar like Dr. Muhammad and his wife, Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad, who has graciously joined our board,” said Bloomfield trustee Rosemary Iversen. “It is appropriate to confer this distinguished honor on someone of his stature, and with his personal convictions.”

Commencement exercises will begin at 9:30 a.m. on May 22, with guest check-in beginning at 7 a.m. Guest seating begins at 8 a.m.

For more information on Bloomfield’s 141st Commencement, please visit