Asnette K. Lockhart Is BCC’s Valedictorian

May 10, 2010 | Bronx Community College

Asnette K. Lockhart is Bronx Community College’s valedictorian. She moved to the U.S. from Jamaica in 2002 and is the fourth person, among her siblings, to go to college.

A returning student, she came to college when she was 39 years old.  Her daughter was 15 when Lockhart enrolled at BCC.

A business administration/accounting major, Lockhart has a grade point average of 3.99.  She graduated in August 2009 after attending BCC for three years. Currently, she is studying accounting at Baruch College and plans to graduate from Baruch in 2012. 

Upon returning to school, Lockhart was initially concerned that she would not be able to apply herself to her studies.  But college was important enough for her to persevere.  “Apart from the fact that it improves your marketable skills, college creates more informed and rounded individuals.  Personally, I have seen my confidence level rise significantly since I started college,” she says.

Lockhart was surprised that she became valedictorian, but was very pleased and proud that all her hard work paid off. “I feel very honored.  I am also very proud to say I am a product of BCC,” she maintains.  She attended BCC while she worked as manager of accounts receivables at Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill. When she mentioned she wanted to attend college, her boss, Lowell Hawthorne, encouraged her to go. Hawthorne, president and chief executive officer of Golden Krust, graduated from BCC in 1996. “Bronx Community College is relatively close to my job and home.  The cost was also a major influencing factor to attend the College,” says Lockhart.

Lockhart became an accounting major simply because she liked the subject in high school.  “I worked in the banking industry in Jamaica; and even now I continue to work in this field.  I thought that since I have spent so much time already in the field, it would be smart for me to continue in a more formal manner,” she says.

Pursuing her education brought with it many sacrifices.  She was unable to attend PTA meetings, unless she missed classes.  At times she felt guilty that her daughter’s teachers knew only the child’s father. “They probably thought that she didn’t have a mother,” says Lockhart. But Lockhart continued to study and brought home As. In fact, her daughter began to compete with her for better grades.

Reflecting on her learning experience at Bronx Community College, Lockhart says, “I met some very inspiring professors.  Most notable were Professor Virginia Campbell and Dr. Kathleen Urda from the English Department.  And there were Professor Clarence Perkins from Business & Information Systems and Professor Dexter Gibbs from Biology, in whose class I spent my last summer at BCC. I must say he is a great representative for Bronx Community College.”

Founded in 1957, Bronx Community College (BCC), the oldest of City University of New York’s six community colleges, serves as the engine for academic and economic mobility for motivated students from diverse backgrounds and preparations. More than 11,000 students from over 109 nations are enrolled in 30 associate degree and certificate programs including Nursing, Radiologic Technology, Computer Graphics, Nuclear Medicine, and Business Administration, Digital Arts, Computer Information Systems, Education Associate, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology, Electronic Engineering Technology, Liberal Arts, Marketing, Accounting, Human Services, Media Technology and Paralegal Studies. BCC’s 43-acre campus, high above the Harlem River, features architectural masterpieces of Stanford White and Marcel Breuer, as well as the Hall of Fame of Great Americans, the nation’s first hall of fame. BCC President Carolyn G. Williams is in her 14th year of leadership service to the College, which is located on a 43-acre campus at 2155 University Avenue at West 181st Street , formerly New York University’s uptown campus until 1973.

The College is home to initiatives not commonly associated with two-year institutions, such as the Center for Sustainable Energy, which promotes the use of renewable and efficient energy technologies in urban communities. The National Center for Educational Alliances (NCEA) ) is currently collaborating with South African Further Education and Training Colleges and universities to create linkages between these institutions and is also working to enhance student and academic support at the colleges.. NCEA also coordinates the College’s global initiative which facilitates global learning within and outside of the classroom.

Bryant Mason / (718) 289-5208 / bryant.mason@bcc.cuny.edu