Ambassador Bill Richardson, Playwright Wendy Wasserstein, News Anchor Peter Jennings Among CUNY Commencement Speakers

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson, award-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. CEO Bruce Llewelyn, Loral Space and Communications Chairman Bernard Schwartz, Senator Paul Wellstone, and ABC-TV news anchor Peter Jennings and New York State Comptroller H. Carl McCall are among the distinguished keynote speakers at The City University of New York’s 1997 college graduation ceremonies.

Approximately 28,000 students will receive degrees this year from CUNY in 23 separate commencements.

Leaders in many fields will receive honorary degrees from CUNY colleges including astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Director of the Hayden Planetarium; Arthur Gelb, President of the New York Times Foundation; French actress Jeanne Moreau; filmmaker Spike Lee; singer and composer Paul Simon; and Ghillean T. Prance, Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, England.

The 1997 CUNY commencements include:

  • CUNY Law School, May 29, 10 a.m., Queens College Colden Center, Kissena Boulevard and the Long Island Expressway, Flushing. Speaker: Judge Nathaniel R. Jones, the first holder of the Haywood Burns Chair in Civil Rights at CUNY Law School. Honorary Doctor of Laws Degrees: Judge Burns; Linda Greenhouse, New York Times legal affairs reporter; Margaret Fung, Director of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. Dean’s Medal: Former Judge John Carro.
  • CUNY Graduate School and University Center, May 30, 11 a.m., Town Hall, 123 W. 43 St. Manhattan. Speaker: Senator Paul David Wellstone (D/Minn.). Honorary Degrees ( Doctor of Humane Letters: Evelyn Cunningham, who served on the staffs of Mayor Dinkins, Governors Rockefeller and Cuomo, and President Nixon; William Golden, Co-Chairman of the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology and Government; and Frederic Papert, President of the 42nd Street Development Corporation; Doctor of Arts: distinguished French actress Jeanne Moreau.
  • Hostos Community College, June 1, 1 p.m., campus, 500 Grand Concourse, Bronx. Speaker: Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson.
  • York College, June 2, 10 a.m., campus, 94-20 Guy R. Brewer Blvd., Jamaica. Speaker: Dr. Megan E. McLaughlin, Executive Director and CEO of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, Inc. Honorary Doctor of Science degree: astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium and Visiting Research Scientist at Princeton University.
  • CUNY Baccalaureate Program, June 2, 10:15 a.m., Borough of Manhattan Community College, 199 Chambers Street, Manhattan. Speaker: ABC-TV “World News Tonight” anchor Peter Jennings.
  • City College, June 3, 10 a.m., campus, Convent Ave. & 138th Street, Manhattan. Speaker: President Yolanda T. Moses. Honorary Degrees ( Doctor of Humane Letters: Arthur Gelb, former Managing Editor of the New York Times, President of New York Times Foundation, who attended City College; Doctor of Science: Leonard Kleinrock, Professor of Computer Science at UCLA, called “a father of the Internet,” Class of 1957.
  • Borough of Manhattan Community College, June 3, 2 p.m., Theatre at Madison Square Garden. Speaker: Jeree Wade, singer, actress, playwright, and producer of “Shades of Harlem,” Class of 1966.
  • City University of New York Medical School, June 3, 2:30 p.m., City College campus, Convent Ave. & 138th Street, Manhattan. Speaker: Dr. Karl P. Adler, President and CEO, St. Vincent’s Medical Center.
  • Queens College, June 4, 9 a.m. campus, 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing. Speaker: President Allen L. Sessoms. Honorary Degrees ( Doctor of Science degree: Dr. Charles C. Hennekens, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard; Doctor of Humane Letters: Paul Simon, Grammy-award winning composer and singer, Class of 1963.
  • Bronx Community College, June 4, 10 a.m., campus. University Avenue & 181 Street, Bronx. Speaker: Jacqueline E. Woods, Liaison for Community Colleges, U.S. Department of Education.
  • Brooklyn College, June 4, 10:30 a.m., campus, 2900 Bedford Ave. & Ave. H, Brooklyn. Speaker: Dr. Arturo Madrid, Distinguished Professor of Humanities, Trinity University. Honorary degrees ( Doctor of Humane Letters: Donald Kramer, Class of 1958, a member of the Brooklyn College Foundation Board of Trustees and donor of $1 million to the college; Doctor of Fine Arts: filmmaker Shelton Jackson “Spike” Lee. Presidential Medals: Dr. Madrid and James Q. Riordan, Class of 1945, retired president of the Baekert Corp. Alumni awards: Annette Kolodny, Class of 1962, Professor of Comparative Cultural and Literary Studies at the University of Arizona; and William R. Baird, Class of 1955, advocate of women’s reproductive freedom.
  • John Jay College of Criminal Justice, June 4, 10:30 a.m., Theatre, Madison Square Garden. Honorary Degrees ( Doctor of Humane Letters Rev. Constance Baugh, founding pastor of the Church of Gethsemane in Brooklyn, the only community of faith in the country specifically for prisoners, ex-prisoners, their families and people in solidarity with the poor; Geoffre Canada, President of the Rheedlen Centers for Children and Families in Harlem; Tom Feelings, retired Professor of Art at the University of South Carolina and illustrator of The Middle Passage: White Ships, Black Cargo; Doctor of Law: Dr. John Monahan, holder of the Dohert Chair in Law at the University of Virginia.
  • Lehman College, June 4, 10:30 a.m., campus, 250 Bedford Park Blvd. West, Bronx. Speaker: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and former Congressman from New Mexico Bill Richardson. Honorary Degrees ( Doctor of Humane Letters: Ambassador Richardson; Doctor of Science: Professor Ghillean T. Prance, Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England.
  • New York City Technical College, June 4, 10:30 a.m., Carnegie Hall, West 57th and Seventh Avenue. Speaker: Charles A. Gargano, Chairman and CEO, Empire State Development Corp. Honorary Degrees ( Doctor of Laws: Mr. Gargano; Doctor of Humane Letters: Professor Emeritus Dr. Israel Kugler, a founder of the Professional Staff Congress, the faculty union of CUNY.
  • Baruch College, June 4, 11 a.m., Mason Hall, 17 Lexington Ave., Manhattan. Graduate Commencement. Speaker: Bernard Schwartz, Class of 1948, Chairman of Loral Space and Communications, Ltd., whose donation of $500,000 established the Bernard L. Schwartz Communications Institute at Baruch. He will receive the President’s Medal.
  • Hunter College, June 4, 3 p.m., campus, East 69th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues. Commencement for Humanities and the Arts, Education, and Science and Mathematics. Speaker: Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein. Honorary Doctor of Letters Degrees: Ms. Wasserstein; Dr. Paul LeClerc, President, New York Public Library, former president of Hunter College. President’s Medal awarded posthumously to Dr. Marion Wilson Starling, Class of 1928, Professor Emerita of English at Brooklyn College, and author of The Slave Narrative.
  • College of Staten Island. June 5, 10 a.m., campus, 2800 Victory Blvd, Staten Island. Speaker: New York State Comptroller H. Carl McCall. President’s Medals: State Senator John J. Marchi; Paul Henry, Esq., President of the College of Staten Island Foundation; and CUNY Trustee Susan Moore Mouner.
  • Baruch College, June 5, 11 a.m., Theatre, Madison Square Garden. Undergraduate Commencement. Speaker: Real estate developer William Newman, Class of 1947, whose $5 million gift established the William and Anita Newman Library, and whose $3.5 million donation created the Steven L. Newman Real Estate Institute at Baruch College. Honorary Doctor of Laws Degrees: Mr. Newman; Stuart Subotnick, Class of 1962, Executive Vice President of Metromedia.
  • Hunter College, June 5, 3 p.m., campus, E. 69th Street between Park & Lexington Avenues. Commencement for Nursing, Health Sciences, Social Work and Social Sciences. Speaker: Hugh Price, President of the National Urban League. Honorary Degrees ( Doctor of Letters: Bob Herbert, op-ed columnist for the New York Times; Doctor of Science: Dr. Dorothea Zucker-Franklin, Class of 1952, leading scientist in hematology and electron microscopy and Professor of Medicine at NYU Medical Center; University Doctor of Humane Letters: Dr. Kevin Cahill, President-General, American Irish Historical Society.
  • Queensborough Community College, June 6, 9:30 a.m., campus, 222-05 56th Ave., Bayside. Speakers: Queens Borough President Claire Schulman; Queensborough Community College President Kurt Schmeller.
  • Medgar Evers College, June 7, 10 a.m., campus, 1650 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn. Speaker: Bruce Llewellyn, CEO, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. in Philadelphia.
  • Kingsborough Community College, June 16, 11 a.m., campus, 2001 Oriental Blvd., Brooklyn. Speaker: City Councilwoman Priscilla Wooten, Chair of the Council’s Education Committee.
  • LaGuardia Community College, September 16, Theatre, Madison Square Garden. (To be announced)