NEW PALTZ – James H. Ottaway, Jr., distinguished journalist, publisher, and newspaper executive, will deliver the seventh annual Dennis O’Keefe Memorial Lecture, sponsored by the Friends of the Sojourner Truth Library, at the State University of New York at New Paltz, at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept.19, in Coykendall Science Building Auditorium. This event is free and open to the public.
Ottaway will be drawing from his long career in journalism, which began when he first served as a reporter and associate editor of the News-Times of Danbury, Conn. He later worked as a reporter and bureau chief, among other positions, for the Times Herald-Record (Middletown, N.Y.), as editor of the Pocono Record (Stroudsburg, Pa.), and as publisher of the New Bedford Standard Times (Mass.). He became President and Director of the Ottaway Newspapers, in 1970, upon its merger with Dow Jones. In 2003 he retired as senior vice president of Dow Jones & Company, retiring from its Board of Directors three years later. He has also served as Chairman of the World Press Freedom Committee (Reston, Va).
Ottaway has long been affiliated with numerous philanthropic organizations, serving on the boards of Doctors without Boarders, Human Rights Watch, the American School of Classical Studies (Athens), and the Wallkill Valley Land Trust, among other organizations. A trustee and chairman of the Storm King Art Center, he is also a life trustee of Bard College and chairman of the advisory board of its institute for International Liberal Education.
The recipient of several honorary degrees, he and his wife, Mary Hyde Ottaway, have three children and live in New Paltz, where they are active members of the community. At New Paltz, the James H. Ottaway Sr. Endowed Professorship is named in honor of Ottaway’s father, the founder of the Ottaway Newspapers. The only distinguished professorship at the College, the Ottaway Fellows have included four Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists and two best-selling authors.
The Dennis O’Keefe lecture series honors the memory of Dennis O’Keefe who graduated from New Paltz in 1973 and was a dynamic member of the College and community. His positive spirit inspired the lives of New Paltz faculty, staff, students, and community members. O’Keefe’s diverse interests included Thomas Jefferson, architecture, weather, and New Paltz history. He served as a long-time staff member of the Sojourner Truth Library at New Paltz and with the New Paltz Volunteer Fire Department.
The Friends of the Sojourner Truth Library is an association of faculty, students, alumni, and community members dedicated to promoting and enhancing the library as a shared resource. Membership in the Friends group includes borrowing privileges and access to campus parking. For further information please contact Morgan Gwenwald, outreach librarian, at (845) 257-3677 or visit the Library website.