Congressman Charles B. Rangel to Address Lehman Class of 2007

BRONX, NY — Congressman Charles B. Rangel will address over 2,000 graduate and undergraduate students in the Lehman College Class of 2007 at Commencement exercises on Thursday, May 31. The ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. on the South Field of Lehman’s Bronx campus and will be attended by family and friends of the graduates, who represent 135 nations, including the United States.

Now in his 19th term as the Representative of New York’s 15th Congressional District, Congressman Rangel is the first African American to chair the powerful House Ways and Means Committee and is noted for implementing major initiatives in such areas as civil rights, urban revitalization, employment, and affordable housing. He was first elected to Congress in 1970 and has been reelected ever since.

The Commencement ceremony will also honor Dr. Roscoe C. Brown, Jr., former president of Bronx Community College and a decorated World War II commander of the famed Tuskegee Airmen—America’s first African American military airmen. Dr. Brown, who will receive The President’s Medal, was a full professor at New York University for more than 25 years and currently directs the Center for Urban Education Policy at The City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center. He has received numerous awards for his scholarly work and community service.

Honorary doctorates will be awarded to Tony Award-winning composer Adam Guettel; poet, actor, and founder of the world-famous Living Theater Judith Malina; celebrated author and educator Judith Ortiz Cofer; and veteran civil rights attorney Peter D. Roos.

Lehman President Ricardo R. Fernández will preside at the Commencement and will be joined on the podium by Rev. Dr. J. G. McCann, Pastor of St. Luke Baptist Church; Dr. Hugo M. Morales, a member of the CUNY Board of Trustees; and Frederick P. Schaffer, CUNY General Counsel and Senior Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs. New York State Senator Charles E. Schumer is also expected to bring greetings to the graduates.

Sociology major Lorraine Brown-Zanders will deliver the address on behalf of the graduating class. A member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Dean’s List, she plans to pursue a master’s in education at Lehman. Dr. Bruce Byland, a member of the Lehman anthropology faculty since 1984, will receive this year’s “Teacher of the Year Award.” Dr. Byland has continually demonstrated excellence in his field of research, and is recognized by his students as a committed and motivating professor.

Awards for excellence in research, scholarship, and creative works will be presented to Dr. Thomas Spear, an expert on contemporary French and Francophone literature who created an award-winning website dedicated to the arts and culture of the Francophone world, and Dr. Christopher Gerry, whose highly regarded research on quantum optics has been cited more than 1,400 times in the past 25 years.

Contact: Keisha-Gaye Anderson / 718-960-8013