About Cumberland

Cumberland County College 2019 Commencement speaker announced

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Dr. George A. Pruitt, president emeritus of Thomas Edison State University, and board-distinguished fellow of the University’s John S. Watson School of Public Service, will deliver the keynote address at Cumberland County College’s 52nd commencement ceremony, to take place on the college campus on Thursday, May 16.

In her announcement about the 2019 keynote commencement speaker, Cumberland County College interim president, Dr. Shelly Schneider said, “We are truly honored to have Dr. Pruitt deliver the keynote address to our students this year. He is a distinguished college president who is well-respected throughout the nation. I am confident Dr. Pruitt's message will be inspirational and meaningful to both our students and the college community.”

Dr. Pruitt is active in the formulation of educational policy nationally and within the State of New Jersey. Having served as president of Thomas Edison State University for more than 35 years, he is among the longest-serving public university presidents in the nation and identified as one of the country’s most effective college presidents in a study of presidential leadership funded by the Exxon Education Foundation. Prior to his tenure at Thomas Edison State University, he served in executive leadership positions at Illinois State University, Towson State University, Morgan State University, Tennessee State University, and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning.

Dr. Pruitt has served five secretaries of education under three presidents of both parties during his tenure as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, which advises the U.S. Secretary of Education on the recognition of accrediting agencies. He is the recipient of five honorary degrees in addition to numerous awards, honors and commendations and continues to consult widely within the higher education community, as well as in business and government.

He currently serves as member and past chair of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, member and past chair of the board of directors of the Structured Employment Economic Development Corporation (SEEDCO), and member of the board of directors of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Dr. Pruitt is past member and chair of the New Jersey Presidents’ Council, the board of directors of the MIDJersey Chamber of Commerce and Capital City Partnership. He is the former chair of the board of trustees for the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning; former vice chair, National Commission on Higher Education Attainment; and past member and chair of the board of trustees for The Union Institute & University.

He is a former member of the boards of directors of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities; American Council on Education; Choose New Jersey, Inc.; Greater Baltimore Medical Center; Greater Trenton, Inc.; New Jersey State Planning Commission; Mercer Medical Center; AASCU’s Millennium Leadership Initiative; Sun National Bank; and, The Trenton Savings Bank. He served on the board of trustees of Rider University and served as an advisor for the Kellogg National Fellowship Program, W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Dr. Pruitt has an adult daughter, Shayla and grandson, Landon. He and his wife, Pamela, reside in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.