Lackawanna County Judge Frank J. Ruggiero Address Keystone College Graduates 

Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas Judge and Keystone College alumnus the Honorable Frank J. Ruggiero will address members of the Keystone College Class of 2024 during the college’s 153rd commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 18, at 11 a.m. in Gambal Athletic Center on campus.

Judge Ruggiero’s last visit to campus was in October, 2023 when he served as guest speaker during the college’s Constitution Day program.

We are delighted and honored to have Judge Ruggiero serve as our commencement speaker,” said Keystone College President John F. Pullo, Sr. ’69. “As a proud Keystone alumnus, his message will have special meaning to members of our graduating class.”

A native of Carbondale, Judge Ruggiero graduated from Sacred Heart High School and earned an associate of arts degree in human services from Keystone in 1991 and a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Penn State University in 1993.

He obtained his juris doctorate degree from City University of New York at Queens College and began his career in the Brooklyn and Queen’s District Attorney Offices. He then served as law clerk to the Honorable Chester T. Harhut of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas and worked for the Lackawanna County Public Defender’s Office representing indigent criminal defendants in various matters ranging from summary offenses to the highest-grade felonies, including homicide.

While serving as a public defender, Judge Ruggiero entered private practice, concentrating on litigation pertaining to family, criminal, insurance, and municipal law. His client base was vastly diverse from representing individuals in their divorce and family-related matters to representing companies, corporations, and municipalities in complex civil litigation in various State, Federal, and Appellate Courts across the Commonwealth. He was also general counsel for a Reciprocal Insurance Exchange which insures hundreds of governmental entities across Pennsylvania and served as solicitor to numerous municipalities, including Carbondale and Lackawanna County.

On June 16, 2023, Gov. Josh Shapiro nominated him to fill a vacant seat on the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County and on June 30, 2023, was unanimously confirmed by the State Senate by a 50-0 vote. He was elected to a full 10-year term in November 2023.  

Judge Ruggiero has served in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and is active in national, statewide, and local associations and has earned national and state honors for his legal and public service. He is also active in several charitable organizations across the region. He is a former president of the Keystone College National Alumni Association and, from 1998 through 2004, served as an adjunct faculty member of political science, law, and criminal justice.

“I’m really looking forward to being back on campus as guest speaker during Keystone’s annual commencement,” Judge Ruggiero said. “Keystone is a wonderful college that has meant so much to me not only during my time as a student but also in the years since graduation. I can’t wait to meet members of Class of 2024 on this special day in their lives.”

Misericordia University Alumni Association to Honor Monsignor Bendik

Monsignor John “Jack” J. Bendik

The Misericordia University Alumni Association will present the Honorary Alumni Award to Monsignor John “Jack” J. Bendik, during the spring Commencement ceremony scheduled for Saturday, May 14, 2022. Monsignor Bendik has been a member of the university’s Board of Trustees since 1994.

The Honorary Alumni Award is awarded periodically to recognize individuals who are not alumni of the university and “have made significant contributions to Misericordia’s welfare, reputation, and prestige, and/or have shown lifelong devotion and demonstrated loyalty” to the university.

Monsignor Bendik’s selfless devotion is woven into the fabric of the university. According to Alumni Board President, Adam Grzech, “Monsignor’s commitment to our mission and service as a member of the Board of Trustees is immeasurable. Misericordia is a better place because of Monsignor, and we are honored to call him an Honorary Alumni of Misericordia University.”

Ordained into the priesthood in June 1967 at the Church of Nativity in Scranton, Monsignor Bendik was first assigned to St. Matthew’s Church in East Stroudsburg, where he also ministered to the students at East Stroudsburg University. He served there for 14 years before being named chaplain of Misericordia University until 1986. His other pastoral assignments included the Church of Our Lady of the Snows in Clarks Summit, Church of St. Benedict in Newton Twp., and Church of St. Mary of Czestochowa in Scranton. He served as pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church, Pittston, for more than two decades prior to his retirement in 2017. Monsignor Bendik is currently the administrator pro tem of Saint Andre Bessette Parish in Wilkes-Barre.

The University’s 96th annual spring undergraduate commencement ceremonies will begin on Friday, May 13 with a baccalaureate liturgy followed by a reception and awards ceremony. The graduate student commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 14 at 10:00 a.m. followed by the undergraduate commencement at 2:00 p.m. Both events will be held in the Anderson Sports and Health Center and are open to the public. Masks may be required by attendees and participants of the event; please check the Misericordia University website,