The John Keresty Lectures in Journalism will honor the memory of John Gregory Keresty, a 1963 graduate of Bethany College and a business executive who loved the printed word. A bequest from his estate and additional gifts will fund the lectures, which will examine current topics, trends and issues pertaining to the changing face of journalism. The lectures, scheduled to begin in the fall of 2009 on a date to be announced, will be open to the public and will be sponsored through the Bethany College Department of Communication.
Keresty (1941-2007), a manager of Hall Manufacturing Corporation in Ringwood, N.J., was a voracious reader of history, newspapers, magazines, non-fiction and journalism reviews. Early in his career, he worked as a newspaper editor and speech writer. His daughters, Laura and Elizabeth Gwynne Keresty, worked with Bethany College to develop the concept for the lecture series.
"Bethany's solid education landed him his first job straight out of school," Gwynne Keresty said. "He was always thankful for the love of learning he discovered on this campus, as well as for the good times and inspiring friendships he forged with students and faculty alike."
The Keresty Lectures in Journalism will commemorate her father's love of the written and spoken word and bring inspiring speakers to the College that he credited with his intellectual awakening, she said. A captivating storyteller and world traveler who was also passionate about music and the arts, Keresty exemplified Bethany College's emphasis on liberal arts education and lifelong learning.
Dr. Patrick Sutherland, Chair of Bethany's Department of Communication, said the establishment of the lecture program is especially timely as conventional print media compete with web-based delivery of news and other innovations in journalism. He noted the successful careers of other Bethany graduates currently employed by The New York Times, CNN, USA Today, CBS News, The Associated Press and other major media outlets.
"Bethany communication graduates continue to be outstanding in their fields," Sutherland said. "They succeed because of a demanding curriculum and a hands-on learning emphasis in communication disciplines—the best of both worlds."
The lecture series is supported by a bequest from John Keresty's estate, additional gifts from friends, Hall Manufacturing Corporation and Laura and Elizabeth Gwynne Keresty.