Astronaut Captain Mark Kelly & "Humans of New York" Creator Brandon Stanton to Deliver Kean University’s 2016 Commencement Addresses

Astronaut Captain Mark Kelly  Credits: Kean University
Brandon Stanton, photographer and founder of the popular Humans of New York photo blog. Credits: Kean University

WEST ORANGE, NJ -- One of West Orange's favorite astronauts who viewed the human condition from space, and a popular photo blogger who views the human condition on earth, will deliver commencement addresses for Kean University this May.

The highly decorated astronaut and best-selling author, Captain Mark Kelly, will deliver the commencement address at the Nathan Weiss Graduate College Commencement at New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, Tuesday, May 17 at 7 p.m.

Renowned photographer, digital storyteller and creator of the photo blog Humans of New York, Brandon Stanton will give the commencement address at Kean University’s Undergraduate Commencement at the Prudential Center in Newark, Thursday, May 19 at 8:30 a.m. 

Sign Up for E-News

Kean University President Dr. Dawood Farahi said of the two speakers, “In very different ways, both have advanced our understanding of the world and each other through their leadership, commitment and curiosity to better understand Earth and its inhabitants.” 

“Captain Kelly and Brandon Stanton are inspirations for all of us, most especially our students who are about to launch their careers,” he added.

An American hero raised in West Orange, Kelly has captured the imaginations and hearts of Americans through his adventures in space as well as for his loving support of his wife, former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, after an assassination attempt.

Kelly began his career as an astronaut in 1996. During his illustrious career with NASA, he spent more than 50 days in space and commanded both the Space Shuttle Discovery and Space Shuttle Endeavour, including its final flight in May 2011. He is one of only two people who have visited the International Space Station on four different occasions.

Kelly continues to contribute to science as a participant in NASA’s unprecedented study of the effects of long-term spaceflight, serving as the on the ground test subject compared to his identical twin brother Scott, an astronaut who spent a year on the International Space Station. Kelly is also a #1 New York Times best-selling author of Gabby: A Story of Courage, Love and Resilience and a founder of World View Enterprises, a company pioneering a new frontier at the edge of space.

Stanton worked as a bond trader in Chicago for three years after graduating from the University of Georgia, before losing his job and heading to New York.  In 2010, he launched the Humans of New York (HONY) photo blog, capturing the spirit, the heart and soul of the city through an exhaustive catalogue of photos of 10,000 New Yorkers, along with quotes, captions and short stories about their lives, hopes and dreams. Taken together, these portraits became the subject of a vibrant blog.

HONY is followed by nearly fourteen million people worldwide, who check the blog for daily glimpses into the lives of everyday New Yorkers. It is the fastest growing Arts and Humanities page on Facebook. In 2013, a compilation of HONY stories and pictures became a #1 New York Times bestselling book and Stanton’s third book, HONY: Stories, is a New York Times Best Seller.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Evolve Cycle And Fitness Presale Happening Now!

May 18, 2018

CALDWELL, NJ - Evolve Cycle and Fitness is now offering 10 classes for only $90. That’s only $9 a class when you purchase before its official Grand Opening on Friday, June 1, 2018. 

Only two weeks left to take advantage of this limited time offer! Call Martha at 973-979-5919 or click here to sign up.

Evolve Cycle and Fitness is a Premier Fitness Boutique ...

Save Up To 20% at CNP Treasures

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Are you still looking for the perfect gift for your mom or that special someone in your life for Mother's Day? Then CNP Treasures has you covered! Save up to 20% at CNP Treasures located at 14 Northfield Ave in West Orange.

Come by this weekend so we can help you find the perfect gift! Offer expires Sunday, May ...

Montclair HS Student Reported Sexual Assault in All-Gender Bathroom, Officials Say

May 17, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - According to published reports on Wednesday, Montclair Police officials are investigating allegations of sexual assault reported to have occurred in a bathroom at Montclair High School.

Montclair police officials state that officers received a report about an incident at the high school of a sexual nature that occurred around 3:18 p.m. on Monday. The ...

Upcoming Events


Mon, May 28, 8:00 PM

West Orange High School, West Orange

Board of Education Meeting

Community Calendar Education


Tue, May 29

Essex County

Primary – Vote by Mail deadline


Tue, May 29, 6:30 PM

Council Chambers, West Orange

Township Council Meeting

Clarifying Points Made in Article About WOHS Air Quality Issues

May 14, 2018

Dear Editor, 

I am the advisor to West Orange High School's student newspaper, The Pioneer. My Editor-in-Chief, Anna Favetta, is the student who researched the topic and wrote the article bringing this issue to light. She worked on the article for 4 months before she had adequate and proper information for it to go to print. 

An article on the BOE presentation of the ...

What It Means to Me - A Baseball Story

We are all in amazement of the dedication and talent of our young West Orange athletes. One of the goals of our youth sports programs is to develop our players so they are ready for high school and are prepared for success at that next level of play. Throughout the course of the year we will be featuring some of our talented young athletes and coaches. This week we have the perspective of ...

West Orange On Three!

The spring season is in full swing, and we are excited to debut this new column focusing on all things youth sports!  We thought we would kick things off with an overview of the programs West Orange has to offer, and then go behind the scenes to see what makes youth sports tick.

West Orange Police Athletic League (PAL) and Mountain Top League (MTL), together with the West Orange ...

Summer 2018 Events at the West Orange Public Library

May 15, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Beginning in June, the West Orange Public Library will offer the following events for area residents of all ages:

Dinosaurs’ Rock!                                             

Monday, June 11, 4:00 p.m.

Field Station Dinosaur visits with the ...

10-Year-Old Cancer Patient Receives Donation from Randolph Hockey Family

May 21, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ — While the inter-town hockey battles on the ice between Randolph and Roxbury are fierce at every age level, when it comes to real-life battles off the ice, there is no hesitation to offer help to their neighbor.

Such is the case with a recent gesture of unity and support from the members of the Randolph varsity hockey team, when they came together to ...

A Royal Pain

I went to a big wedding over the weekend.  It was in England.

I like to think I was invited, but according to the Royal Guards and the Thames Valley Police I was not.  But more about that later.

You see, not too long ago I received an evite addressed to me from H&  Curiously, it was in my spam folder with a warning message. For an evite it was pretty ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...