Retired Marine General Peter Pace will deliver commencement address at Keuka College

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
Marine General Peter Pace, Rtd., former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

General Peter Pace, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will deliver the commencement address at Keuka College May 29.

Pace will also receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

“We are delighted that Gen. Pace accepted our invitation to speak at the College’s 103rd commencement,” said Keuka President Joseph G. Burke. “It will be a special day for Keuka College and the general.”

Pace was born in Brooklyn,and grew up in Teaneck, N.J. Among his junior and senior high school teachers, one of his favorites and the one who had lasting impact was Marion Cutler, a 1952 graduate of Keuka College, who died March 24.

“He was my student in English 8 and in my ninth grade group guidance class,” recalled Cutler in a letter to classmates on the occasion of her 50th Keuka reunion. “Even then I knew that his bright future was assured because he exhibited only the best qualities.”

Cutler and Pace stayed in touch over the years and the general was “honored with the opportunity to share the stage with Marion, who had a tremendous impact on his life,” explained Carolanne Marquis, COO/executive vice president.

Cutler was also slated to receive an honorary degree at commencement and one will now be awarded to her posthumously.

“We were all saddened to learn of Marion’s death, no one more so than Gen. Pace, but he informed us he was still looking forward to coming to Keuka Park and paying tribute to his former teacher,” said Marquis.

Pace retired from active duty in October 2007 after more than 40 years of service in the United States Marine Corps.

Pace was sworn in as the 16th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Sept. 30, 2005. In this capacity, he served as the principal military advisor to the President, the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council, and the Homeland Security Council. Prior to becoming chairman, he served as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Pace holds the distinction of being the first Marine to have served in either of these positions.

A 1967 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Pace holds a master's degree in business administration from George Washington University and attended Harvard University for the Senior Executives in National and International Security program. The general is also a graduate of the Infantry Officers' Advanced Course at Fort Benning, Ga.; the Marine Corps Command and Staff College in Quantico, Va.; and the National War College at Ft. McNair, in Washington, D.C.

In June 2008, General Pace was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor a president can bestow.

Pace serves on the board of directors of several corporate entities involved in management consulting, private equity, and IT security. He served on the president’s Intelligence Advisory Board, and is currently on the secretary of defense’s Defense Policy Board. He is a longstanding member of the board of directors for the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, a charity that provides scholarship bonds to children of Marines or federal law enforcement personnel who were killed while serving our country. He is Chairman of the Board for Wall Street Warfighters Foundation, an organization that provides training support and job placement services for disabled military veterans interested in careers in the financial services industry. He and his wife, Lynne, serve on the advisory board for Our Military Kids, an organization that supports children of deployed Guard and Reserve personnel with tutoring and enrichment activities.

Pace and his wife have a son, Peter; a daughter, Tiffany Marie; a daughter-in-law, Lynsey Olczak Pace; and a granddaughter, Linden Elyse.