Statement by Chancellor Matthew Goldstein Of The City University of New York, June 21, 2001

I offer my warmest congratulations to Billy Collins, Professor of English at Lehman College of The City University of New York, on his appointment today as the Poet Laureate of the United States.

This extraordinary achievement places Professor Collins alongside Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Gwendolyn Brooks and other great American poets who have served as Poet Laureate.

Acclaimed by the critics, Prof. Collins is among the most popular poets of our time. His last three collections of poetry have been unprecedented successes. His distinctive voice has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The American Scholar. He is a Guggenheim fellow and a New York Public Library “Literary Lion.”

Professor Collins has been teaching at Lehman College in the Bronx since 1969 where he serves as Professor of English. Next week, the CUNY Board of Trustees is scheduled to designate nine leading scholars, including Professor Collins, as Distinguished Professors, the highest faculty honor the University can bestow.

I applaud Poet Laureate and Professor Billy Collins for this truly remarkable achievement and congratulate him for a lifetime of scholarly excellence.