Notice of Online Archive

  • This page is no longer being updated and remains online for informational and historical purposes only. The information is accurate as of the last page update.

    For questions about page contents, contact the Communications Division.

Lafayette will award honorary doctorates to three distinguished leaders at the College’s 170th Commencement exercises Saturday, May 21.

Brian P. Lamb, president and chief executive officer of C-SPAN, will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters degree. Dorothy Gulbenkian Blaney, president of Cedar Crest College, will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Lafayette announced earlier that the Commencement speaker will be Tom Ridge, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and former Governor of Pennsylvania. He will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Commencement will be held at 2:30 p.m. on the Quad. A Baccalaureate service will be held at 10:30 a.m. the same day, also on the Quad. John P. Colatch, Lafayette’s director of religious life and College chaplain, will deliver the Baccalaureate address. In case of rain, the ceremonies will be held in Allan P. Kirby Sports Center.

For information on Commencement, click here.

Lamb helped found C-SPAN, the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network, and has served as its chief executive officer since its beginning in 1979. Today, more than 86 million households can tune in C-SPAN’s flagship television network.

The concept of a public affairs network that provides in-depth coverage of national and international issues was a natural for Lamb, who has been both a journalist and a political press secretary. Interested in broadcasting from childhood, he worked at Indiana radio and TV stations while attending high school and college, spinning records, selling ads, and eventually hosting the locally popular “Dance Date” television program.

After graduation from Purdue University, Lamb joined the Navy. His tour included White House duty in the Johnson administration and a stint in the Pentagon public affairs office during the Vietnam War. In 1967, he went home to Lafayette, Ind. He soon returned to the nation’s capital as a freelance reporter for UPI Audio, then became a Senate press secretary and then a White House telecommunications policy staffer.

In 1974, Lamb began publishing a biweekly newsletter called The Media Report. He also covered communications issues as Washington bureau chief for Cablevision magazine. By 1977, Lamb had won the support of key cable industry executives for a channel that could deliver gavel-to-gavel coverage of the U.S. Congress. Organizing C-SPAN as a not-for-profit company, the group built one of D.C.’s first satellite uplinks, just in time to deliver the first televised session of the U.S. House of Representatives to 3.5 million cable households March 19, 1979.

C-SPAN now offers three 24-hour television networks, C-SPAN, C-SPAN2, and C-SPAN3.

C-SPAN, the flagship network, provides gavel-to-gavel coverage of the U.S. House of Representatives and coverage of daily political events from Washington, including congressional hearings, White House briefings, news conferences, policy seminars, and more.

C-SPAN2 was created in 1986 to cover U.S. Senate proceedings. On weekends, C-SPAN2 features Book TV, 48 hours of non-fiction book programming. C-SPAN3, launched on a 24-hour basis in January 2001, is available to systems offering digital cable packages.

C-SPAN also programs WCSP, an FM radio station that serves the Washington/Baltimore area and the nation via satellite radio, and has an extensive site on the internet at

A regular on-air presence for C-SPAN, Lamb hosted “Booknotes” throughout its 15-year run from 1989 to 2004. He has also published three books based on the series. He lives in Arlington, Va.

Blaney has been a leader in higher education for more than 30 years. The president of Cedar Crest since 1989, she has also held executive positions at Pace University, with 25,000 students and four campuses; New York’s State Education Department, the largest state education department in the nation; and the International Labor Office, Geneva, Switzerland.

During Blaney’s presidency, Cedar Crest’s enrollment has increased from 700 to more than 1,600 students. The number of honor students has increased by 35 percent, and the number of science students has doubled. The endowment has increased fourfold, total annual giving has risen from $1.2 million to $5.7 million, and alumnae participation in giving has increased from 26 percent to 50 percent.

The college has acquired major art works on permanent loan, including 46 sculptures of Gaston Lachaise (one of the 20th century’s modern masters), eight works of Bruno Lucchesi (one of the leading figurative sculptors of the second half of the century) and seven works of Toshiko Takaezu (international ceramicist).

Cedar Crest has added the Miller Family Building, with state-of-the-art science and nursing facilities and Lachaise art gallery; Rodale Aquatic Center, with a competition and a fitness pool; and Oberkotter Center for Health and Wellness.

She was honored this year with the District II Chief Executive Leadership Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. The award is among the highest honors the council bestows upon educational leaders.

Blaney has developed strategic plans, designed multi-disciplinary programs, restructured institutions, shaped public-private partnerships and raised more than $85 million from individuals, corporations, and public and private foundations. She is a regular columnist in the press, writing on contemporary issues, with particular emphasis on ethical and leadership questions. She has chaired accreditation teams and led trustee planning retreats.

She served as executive vice president at Pace University 1983-88. Among other accomplishments shedeveloped and implemented a strategic plan involving all academic programs, graduate and undergraduate, in all schools (law school, liberal arts college, nursing school, education school, and business school) on four campuses in New York City and Westchester County.

Blaney was a senior consultant in the International Labor Office 1981-83. The office handles the day-to-day operations of the International Labor Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to improving labor conditions and living standards throughout the world.

She held positions of increasing responsibility in the New York State Education Department 1973-81, culminating in her appointment as deputy commissioner for higher education and the professions, the state’s senior higher education officer. As deputy commissioner Blaney oversaw 250 private and public, undergraduate and graduate colleges and universities, working with presidents and chancellors.

Blaney was assistant professor of English at the State University of New York at Albany 1970-73.

She is author of Infinite Possibilities: A Personal View of a Changing World, with photographs by David Finn, and co-author, with Ernest R. May of Harvard University, of Careers for Humanists. She holds a Ph.D. in from the State University of New York at Albany and bachelor’s degree with high honors in comparative literature from Cornell University. She was a Woodrow Wilson fellow, in comparative literature, at the University of California, Berkeley.

Blaney is chair of the board of the Women’s Sports Foundation, founded by Billie Jean King, and a trustee of the Academy of American Poets, Discovery Center of Science and Technology, and national Council of Independent Colleges.

She is married to Dr. Joseph Blaney, immediate past director of the United Nations International School in New York City. Her daughter, Hope Harrison, is professor of history and international affairs at George Washington University.

Categorized in: News and Features