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Former N.J. Gov. Thomas Kean to give commencement speech at Eckerd College

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Former GOP New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean will be speak at the Eckerd College Commencement on Sunday, May 17.

Called “the courtly elder statesmen of New Jersey Republicanism,” by The Wall Street Journal, the 79-year-old Kean is perhaps best known nationally as being the co-chair (along with former Democratic U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton) of the 9/11 Commission Report, published in 2003.

Kean served as governor in New Jersey from 1982-90. Like one of his successors, Christine Whitman, Kean is associated with that dying breed, the Northeastern Republican moderate. He’s pro-choice and was an early advocate of tackling climate change.

After leaving the governor’s mansion in Trenton, he was named president of Drew University in 1990.

Last year’s commencement speaker at Eckerd was political science professor and MSNBC weekend host Melissa Harris-Perry.


Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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