On Saturday, April 25th, the Madison Historical Society will host Dr. Vincent N. Parrillo of William Paterson University, who will describe “The Ellis Island You Know and May Not Know.” Dr. Parrillo’s presentation will take place in the Chase Room of the Madison Public Library beginning at 1:30 PM.  The presentation is open to the public, and there is no admission charge.

“This will be our second meeting and presentation to be held on a Saturday,” stated Society Vice President and Programs Chairman Jim Malcolm.  “Last summer, the Society hosted a Villa Lorraine presentation and Summer Hill Park tour on a Saturday, and it was a huge success.  With the large number of Madison residents with ancestors that came through Ellis Island on their way to a new life in America, we expect that there will be an equal or even greater interest in Dr. Parrillo’s talk. He is an internationally recognized expert on immigration.”   

Vincent N. Parrillo is a professor of sociology at William Paterson and is Director of the Paterson Metropolitan Region Research Center.  He is the author or editor of twelve books, including the historical novel about Ellis Island: Guardians of the Gate.   He was also was the executive producer, writer, and narrator of three award-winning PBS television documentaries: Ellis Island: Gateway to America; Smokestacks and Steeples: A Portrait of Paterson; and Gaetano Federici: The Sculptor Laureate of Paterson.

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Born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey, Dr. Parrillo received his B.S. degree from Seton Hall University, his M.A. from Montclair State University, and his doctorate from Rutgers University. His many scholarly articles have appeared in a number of academic journals, and he was the 2013 recipient of the William Paterson University Faculty Achievement Award for Scholarship and Creative Expression. 

Dr. Parrillo has also been a visiting professor at the University of Liège, Belgium, the University of Pisa, Italy, and Roehampton University, London, and was a Fulbright teaching fellow in the Czech Republic in 2000.  There he lectured at Charles University in Prague and Palacký University in Olomouc.  In 2002, he directed a cast of Broadway stars (including several Tony Award nominees) in a staged reading of the rock opera Hamlet at the Lamb’s Theatre in New York City. In 2005 he co-produced its world premiere in Prague.