The 2008 Winter Commencement Exercise at Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College was held on the evening of January 16, 2008, with New York State Assemblyman Ruben Diaz, Jr. (85th District) as the guest speaker.
Assemblyman Diaz addressed a graduating class of 232 students who received A.A., A.S., and A.A.S. degrees in a variety of programs, as well as certificates from the Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) program.
“I would like to congratulate the Graduates of 2008; you have demonstrated both determination and commitment and have met this important challenge to achieve a keystone in your life; therefore, today we see the much earned results,” said Assemblyman Diaz to the graduating class. “Hostos Community College continues to play a vital role for the people of the Bronx by performing the college’s critical mission to provide the highest quality education for our community and in turn preparing today’s graduates for a future filled with success.”
“We are very happy to report that this is the largest graduating class to date for a winter commencement at the college,” said Hostos President Dolores M. Fernandez. “We are also very pleased that 24 members of this class are receiving LPN certificates; this is the largest group since the inception of the LPN program. Also, 16 are receiving associate’s degrees in Radiologic Technology, which is one of the largest groups ever to graduate from that program. All our graduates’ degrees and certificates will take them straight into the workforce or to further study at a four-year college or university.”
The class valedictorian is Sung Hwan Choi, who achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA, and the salutatorian is Diana Dilone, whose GPA is 3.939.
Sung Hwan Choi was born and reared in Seoul, Korea. After graduating from high school in 2000, he attended Konkuk University and studied architecture until 2002. Then he enlisted in the Korean military to fulfill his national defense duty. Upon being honorably discharged from the military, Choi decided to study in the United States and moved New York City. After attending the International English Language Institute at Hunter College, he enrolled at Hostos as a liberal arts major.
Choi will continue his education at Rutgers University, where he will major in accounting or finance. His reason for making this country his home is that “The United States, and particularly New York City, is one of the most important axes of the world economy.”
Diana Dilone Abreu, who was born in the Dominican Republic, moved to United States at the age of 20. After having lived here for two years, she enrolled at the New York Language Center to study English; however, a year later she realized that the program had not provided her with enough preparation to begin college. Working at a restaurant, she took three months of English classes at La Guardia Community College, and finally in 2004 began working toward an associate’s degree in liberal arts and sciences at Hostos.
Dilone Abreu admits that “It is not easy to be a full-time employee, a full-time student and a full-time mother.” Nevertheless, her hard work and determination helped her not only to become the salutatorian of her graduating class but also to obtain a job as an administrative assistant in a prestigious bank.
Other participants in the commencement exercise included Jay Hershenson, Senior Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Secretary of the CUNY Board of Trustees, who spoke on behalf of CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, and also the Hon. Philip Alfonso Berry, Vice Chairman of the CUNY Board of Trustees.
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College of The City University of New York (CUNY) is a unique and intimate college that is dedicated to academic excellence. For more news about Hostos, visit: www.hostos.cuny.edu/news/.