Marist to Graduate 1,404 at Two Commencements; Emmy Award-Winning Newsman and Bank President to Deliver Addresses

POUGHKEEPSIE (May 6, 2013) – Ernie Anastos, the iconic, Emmy Award-winning New York City news anchor, whose 40-year broadcast career has included stints at several major stations in the nation’s largest media market, will be the featured speaker at Marist College’s undergraduate Commencement on Saturday, May 25, and will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Lisa Marie Cathie ‘03, president and CEO of Ulster Savings Bank, will address graduates at the adult and graduate Commencement on Friday, May 24.  She will be awarded the Distinguished Alumna Medal, the highest award presented to a Marist graduate.

Marist College President Dennis J. Murray will confer a total of 1,404 degrees during the two ceremonies, which are both scheduled to take place on the campus green. On Friday evening, 114 adult students will receive bachelor’s degrees, while 239 students will receive master’s degrees.  On Saturday, 1,051 traditional undergraduates will be awarded their bachelor’s degrees.

Approximately 2,000 family members, friends, and other visitors are expected to attend the May 24 Commencement, while an additional 10,000 guests are due to come to the Marist campus the following day.

About the Commencement Speakers:

Ernie Anastos has been a news anchor and reporter in New York and nationally for 35 years, having worked at four stations in the country’s largest television market, including WABC-TV, WCBS-TV, and, most recently FOX flagship station WNYW-TV, Fox 5. Since 2005, he has been an anchor for Fox 5 News and is the creator and host of Positively Ernie, a news magazine show that inspires viewers with stories of people and organizations doing good things to better their communities.

A member of the New York State Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame, Anastos has won or been nominated for a combined 32 Emmy Awards for his work. He is the only New York TV anchor to receive the Emmy for Lifetime Achievement, known as the Governors’ Award, from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ New York Chapter, which cited his “outstanding contributions to television.”

Anastos has covered the major stories of his time, including the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks and the deaths of Michael Jackson, Princess Diana, and John F. Kennedy, Jr. He has interviewed world leaders, including presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, as well as Mikhail Gorbachev, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Fidel Castro.

The New York Times has called Anastos “the ubiquitous anchorman,” who has captured the love and respect of New Yorkers. A native of Nashua, N.H., Anastos graduated Summa Cum Laude from Northeastern University before launching his career in radio news. He soon moved to television as an anchor with WPRI-TV in Providence.  In 1978, he landed in New York with WABC-TV News and went on to reporting and anchoring jobs at WCBS-TV and WWOR-TV before moving to his current spot at FOX 5.

Anastos is familiar to national audiences through anchoring and substitute hosting stints on ABC’s Good Morning America and The CBS Morning News. He has also appeared in major motion pictures and prime-time dramas, including Independence Day, Summer of Sam, and 24, and was even name-checked in a Beastie Boys song.

Anastos is the author of the children’s book, Ernie and the Big Newz, the proceeds from which are donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Twixt; Teens Yesterday and Today, a history of the lifestyles of America’s youth, which was featured at the Smithsonian Institution. He has also been a regular columnist for Family Circle magazine.

Anastos holds honorary doctorate degrees in humanities from Manhattanville College and Curry College. He is a member of the University Corporation at his alma mater, Northeastern.

Lisa Marie Cathie is president, CEO, and trustee of Ulster Savings Bank (USB). The bank, with assets of over $720 million, has 14 branch offices in Ulster, Dutchess, and Greene counties and mortgage origination offices in Ulster, Orange, Dutchess, and Suffolk counties.  In addition to traditional retail banking and lending, its operations include providing insurance, payroll, tax preparation, and investment and title services to homeowners, business, and commercial customers throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley.

Prior to joining USB, Cathie was senior vice president and chief operating officer of Orange County Trust Company, where she directed the overall operations of the organization and helped the bank achieve dramatic growth, nearly doubling its assets.

Cathie’s experience also includes serving as regional vice president for Hudson United Bank, with oversight of more than 100 branches; vice president for M&T Bank in the areas of branch administration, operations, and marketing; assistant treasurer at the Bank of New York; and in retail, consumer, and commercial real estate operations at Poughkeepsie Savings Bank, where she began her banking career.

Cathie was the founder and president of Optimum Performance, Inc., which provided professional consulting expertise to mid-sized financial institutions throughout the country in the areas of organizational development, strategic planning, management development, customer experience, and core technology systems providers.  

Cathie currently serves on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council (CDIAC), the New York League of Independent Bankers, and the Executive Committee and Board of Directors for Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress.

Cathie is chairman of Marist’s Global and Professional Programs Advisory Board and served on the College’s Strategic Planning and Steering Committee, as well as being involved with many organizations throughout the region. Cathie received her Bachelor of Science in organizational leadership and communication from Marist in 2003 and her Associate’s degree from Dutchess Community College. She is a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Pennsylvania and completed the Strategic IQ Program at Harvard Business School.