Governor George Pataki’s Letter of Congratulation to Prof. Collins

June 25, 2001 | The University

Dear Dr. Collins:

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your designation as Poet Laureate of the United States and to commend you on your lifetime of extraordinary work. Please accept this letter of commendation, as all of New York’s residents are proud of your achievement.

Professor Collins, it is truly an honor for you to receive this prestigious designation and to join the ranks of such distinguished writers as Robert Frost, Robert Penn Warren, James Dickey and the other poets who have been awarded this post since its inception in 1937.

Your poetry has won widespread critical acclaim, the admiration of literary luminaries like John Updike, and a devoted readership. In the best tradition of public education, you unite that professional success with superb instruction.

As a native New Yorker, you have demonstrated that you are an accomplished thinker and a gifted teacher who has spent the last three decades educating the students of New York State. As you pointed out in your remarks at the College’s Fall, 2000 Convocation, “to study the operations of poetry is to replicate the way we learn and think.” Clearly, the City University recognizes your contribution to the University community, and I am also pleased to add my congratulations for your designation as a Distinguished Professor at CUNY.

This national recognition of your immense talent and exceptional accomplishments is a tremendous honor for you, for Lehman College, for CUNY and for New York State. I again extend my congratulations to you, as well as to President Ricardo Fernandez, Chancellor Goldstein, the CUNY Board and the entire CUNY community on this outstanding achievement, and I offer my best wishes for your continued success in providing the finest educational opportunities to the citizens of New York.

Very truly yours,

George Pataki