Academic News

New CUNY Students honored with Peter Jennings Scholarship following completion of High School Equivalency

June 19, 2017

The 2017 Peter Jennings Scholarship Laurel Awards ceremony was held at the CUNY TV studio at the CUNY Graduate Center on Thursday June 15. This awards program was established 15 years ago in honor the late Peter Jennings, who served as anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight for more than twenty years, and provides scholarships to students who are transitioning to CUNY colleges after their successful completion of CUNY’s High School Equivalency Prep program. Like the award recipients, Mr. Jennings left high school without graduating and later returned to complete his high school equivalency—an aspect of his legacy that made him a strong supporter of CUNY’s programs for students on non-traditional academic paths. Kayce Freed Jennings, television producer and widow of Peter Jennings, introduced the ten student recipients.

The scholarship recipients hail from all over the world—Colombia, Jamaica, China, Mexico, Benin/West Africa, and Dominican Republic—and are pursuing a wide range of academic interests as CUNY students, including accounting, travel/tourism, bilingual education, counseling, business, and music. In addition to honoring winners of the $1,500 scholarships, this year’s ceremony included the presentation of the Suri Duitch Award, named for CUNY’s long-time Dean of Adult and Continuing Education and recognizing the academic excellence and exceptional promise of a CUNY student. This award in the amount of $400 was presented to Eudy Lopez in recognition of his special achievement, his promise and his spirit of academic curiosity.

CUNY’s Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost Vita Rabinowitz addressed the crowd, which included Pauline Toole, Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Records and Information Services, deans from several CUNY colleges, and teachers in CUNY’s High School Equivalency Prep program, as well as the scholarship recipients and their friends and families. “Students, your success with the high school equivalency is a tremendous accomplishment, and your decision to matriculate as CUNY students is one that you will never regret. It will open doors for you that you never knew existed, and help you chart the course of your life,” said EVC Rabinowitz. “There is great wisdom in deciding to prioritize education—it’s the surest path toward increasing your earning potential, improving your job prospects, and finding opportunities to grow as an individual.”

Photo of the awards recipients at the 2017 Peter Jennings Scholarship Laurel Awards