Harry J. Pappas, the Modesto native who has established a national television empire, will deliver the Saturday keynote address during two days of commencement ceremonies at California State University, Stanislaus on June 1 and 2.
The Friday and Saturday programs are scheduled for 8 a.m. in the University Amphitheatre. Pappas is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pappas Telecasting Companies, the largest privately held commercial television group in the United States.
Two ceremonies are being held on separate days for the first time in order to accommodate the almost 2,000 degree recipients and anticipated large audiences. The Colleges of Education, Natural Sciences, Human & Health Sciences, and Business Administration will award degrees at the June 1 Commencement and students from the Colleges of The Arts and Humanities & Social Sciences will receive their degrees during the concluding June 2 ceremony.
The son of Greek immigrant parents, Pappas has expanded his company over the years to include 31 stations in 24 "Designated Market Areas" that he either owns or operates, including market-leading FOX network stations led by the first Pappas Telecasting affiliate established in Fresno. Pappas stations serve more than 16 percent of all U.S. television households and reach nearly 40 percent of the country's hispanic households. Pappas also owns two radio stations. His company's most recent venture is CommunityCorrespondent.com, the first Web site of its kind for viewing on the Internet as well as for inclusion on TV newscasts.
Pappas has served on the Fox Network Board of Governors and completed three terms as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Broadcasters. He is a past member of the Board of the Association of Independent Television Stations of America and a past member of the Board of Directors of the Television Bureau of Advertising. Pappas has testified as an expert witness before Congressional committees and Federal Communications Commission hearings on issues affecting the broadcast industry.
Pappas has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including induction into Broadcasting & Cable's Hall of Fame, the highest honor in the industry. He and his wife, Stella, have established two foundations to help the Greek Orthodox Church, and they support a number of civic organizations and causes.