2013 CUNY Commencement Ceremonies: Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, former Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Nasser D. Khalili, New York State Court of Appeals Judge Jenny Rivera, CNN lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer, El Diario La Prensa Publisher and CEO Rossana Rosado, President of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Reynold Levy, award-winning author and historian David Nasaw, forensic DNA testing pioneers Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, President and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., avant-garde director and playwright Robert Wilson, acclaimed CBS producer and editor Warren Lustig, African history scholar Toyin Falola, cystic fibrosis research pioneer William B. Guggino, education scholar Diane Ravitch, Natural Resources Defense Council President Frances Beinecke and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes are among the speakers and honorees.
Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, who announced that he will step down this summer after 14 years at the helm of CUNY, will speak at his alma mater, City College, to mark the 50th anniversary of the famed commencement address delivered by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Dr. Goldstein’s graduating class of 1963. CCNY will also award the President’s Medal to former Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, who is president and CEO of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, Inc. They head an impressive list of distinguished public servants, authors, playwrights, educators, jurists, lawyers, entrepreneurs, scholars, scientists, journalists, environmentalists and philanthropists who are among the speakers and honorees for the 2013 commencement ceremonies of The City University of New York.
Nasser D. Khalili, the world-renowned scholar, entrepreneur, art collector and philanthropist who was recently named a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for his pursuit of peace among nations, will speak at Queens College and receive the Queens College Medal, while educational historian and research professor Diane Ravitch will receive an honorary doctorate. The Hon. Jenny Rivera of the New York State Court of Appeals, will deliver the commencement address at the CUNY School of Law, where honorary degrees will be awarded to Lucas Guttentag, Senior Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, and Professor Beth E. Richie of the University of Illinois at Chicago, a leading authority and advocate for women and youth. Award-winning author and historian David Nasaw, the Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Distinguished Professor of History at CUNY, will address graduates at The Graduate Center, where honorary degrees will be awarded to Lawrence Weiner, a founding figure in conceptual art, and Robert Wilson, widely acknowledged as the theatre’s leading avant-garde director and playwright. City College will award an honorary doctorate to Martin Cohen, a 1970 alumnus who is co-chairman and co-CEO of Cohen & Steers, Inc., the world’s largest investor in publicly traded real estate companies.
“The Class of 2013 is a source of enormous pride and satisfaction for CUNY, the City of New York and New York State,” said Chancellor Goldstein. “The vast majority will remain in New York where they will work,study and contribute to the social, intellectual and economic vitality of our communities. We offer special thanks to CUNY’s world-class faculty and staff who, along with the families of our graduates, alumni donors and college friends, have provided crucial support to help make possible the success of our students and the joy of the upcoming commencement celebrations.”
Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, co-founders and co-directors of the Innocence Project at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, who have pioneered studying and litigating issues concerning the use of forensic DNA testing, will speak at the morning and afternoon commencement ceremonies of John Jay College. Brooklyn College will present its Distinguished Alumni Award to William B. Guggino, who has pioneered groundbreaking research on cystic fibrosis, and Warren Lustig, an award-winning CBS producer and editor. Professor Toyin Falola, who has had a global impact in the study of African history, modern Africa and the African diaspora, will receive an honorary doctorate at the College of Staten Island.
At Lehman College, Frances Beinecke, the president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, one of America’s leading environmental advocacy groups, will speak and receive an honorary doctorate, along with Dr. Fernando A. Picó, S.J., renowned author and historian at the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras. The speaker at Baruch College will be Gillian Tett, the British author and leading financial journalist, who will also receive an honorary doctorate together with Wesley K. Clark, retired four-star general and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. York College’s speaker will be Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which represents nearly 300,000 students attending 47 public Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes, whose drama, “Water by the Spoonful,” won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, will speak at Bronx Community College. Rossana Rosado, Publisher and CEO of El Diario La Prensa, the oldest Spanish-language newspaper in America, will deliver the commencement address at the Macaulay Honors College, where honorary degrees will be awarded to Reynold Levy, the President of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts who has spearheaded a $1.2 billion physical transformation and modernization of the Center; and Virginia Slaughter, who founded the Horace W. Goldsmith Scholars Program at Macaulay to identify, inspire and support the aspirations of undergraduate intellectual leaders. David Hinson, national director of the Minority Business Development Agency, will deliver the commencement address at New York City College of Technology.
The CUNY Spring 2013 Commencement Schedule May 17 – June 11:
CUNY School of Law: 11am, Kupferberg Center for the Arts, Colden Auditorium, Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing, Queens.
Speaker: The Honorable Jenny Rivera was appointed to the New York State Court of Appeals in February 2013. She is the second Latina to sit on that bench. Until her recent appointment, Judge Rivera served on the faculty at CUNY Law School since 1997, teaching property, administrative law, civil procedure, lawyering, and civil rights. She is the founder of the Law School’s Center on Latino and Latina Rights and Equality (CLORE). She is an elected member of the American Law Institute, Reporter for the ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities, and a former member of the National Board of Bar Examiners Diversity Issues Committee. She served as a law clerk to then-District Judge Sonia Sotomayor. She has also served as an administrative law judge, a Commissioner of the New York City Commission on Human Rights, and a Special Deputy Attorney General for Civil Rights for then-New York State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo. She was a lawyer for the Legal Aid Society’s Homeless Family Rights Project and served as an Associate Counsel for LatinoJustice PRLDEF. Judge Rivera has a JD from New York University School of Law and an LLM from Columbia Law School. Among her many awards and recognitions are the 2013 Spirit of Excellence Award from the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession and the New York State Bar Association 2012 Diversity Trailblazer Lifetime Achievement Award. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Laws: Lucas Guttentag is Senior Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project and teaches at Yale Law School. He has argued important constitutional cases involving immigrants before the Supreme Court and various United States Courts of Appeals. He is in the forefront of the fight against laws such as Arizona’s SB 1070 and anti-immigrant laws in states including Georgia and Alabama. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Laws: Beth E. Richie is Professor of Criminal Justice and Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a graduate of the CUNY Graduate and University Center, where she received her Ph.D. in sociology in 1992. Currently, Dr. Richie is leading a multi-million dollar research project sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation researching women and youth issues at Rikers Island Correctional Facility. She was the recipient of three major awards: the National Advocacy Award by the Department of Health and Health and Human Services, Office of Violence Prevention; the Audre Lorde Legacy Award of the Union Institute stemming from her work with the National Network for Women in Prison; and the Visionary Award of the Violence Intervention Project.
Contact: Carol Kozo, 718-340-4207
CUNY Graduate Center: 5 p.m., Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza (Columbus Avenue & 65th Street), Manhattan. Attendance is by invitation only.
Speaker: David Nasaw, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Distinguished Professor of History, The Graduate Center, CUNY. Celebrated author, biographer, and historian, David Nasaw specializes in the cultural and social history of early twentieth-century America. His biography of William Randolph Hearst, The Chief, won the Bancroft Prize, and his acclaimed biography of Andrew Carnegie was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize. The Patriarch, a finalist for a 2013 Pulitzer, brings to life the story of Joseph Patrick Kennedy, in this, the first and only biography based on unrestricted and exclusive access to the Joseph P. Kennedy papers. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Lawrence Weiner is a founding figure in conceptual art. His career has flourished since the first presentation of his work in California in 1960. The Bronx-born artist, educated in the public schools of New York, is a great exemplar of that brand of wide-ranging innovation that changes minds, challenges perceptions, and has helped to keep New York the cultural capital of the world. His many honors include National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships (1976 and 1983), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1994), the Wolfgang Hahn Prize (1995), and a Skowhegan Medal for Painting/Conceptual Art (1999). Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Robert Wilson, widely acknowledged as the theatre’s leading avant-garde director and playwright, is also a celebrated painter, sculptor, designer, and video artist, who has done trend-setting work as performer, choreographer, and sound and lighting director. The New York Times described him as “a towering figure in the world of experimental theater . . . an explorer of the uses of time and space onstage.” Megacritic Susan Sontag called his career “a major artistic creation,” adding, “I can’t think of any body of work as large or as influential.” Wilson is perhaps best known for having created, with composer Philip Glass, the monumental and tradition-shattering opera “Einstein on the Beach.” Among Wilson’s awards and honors are an Obie for direction, the Golden Lion for sculpture from the Venice Biennale, the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for Lifetime Achievement, the National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement, two Guggenheim Fellowships, and the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship Award. He has been named a “Commandeur des arts et des lettres” by the French Minister of Culture.
Contact: Tanya Domi, 212-817-7283 or 212-817-7183.
John Jay College of Criminal Justice: Two ceremonies: at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Jacob K. Javits Convention Center North, W. 40th St. and 11th Ave., Manhattan.
Speaker and Honorary Degree: Doctor of Laws (10:30 a.m. ceremony): Barry Scheck, co-founder and co-director of the Innocence Project at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Speaker and Honorary Degree: Doctor of Laws (3:30 p.m. ceremony): Peter Neufeld, co-founder and co-director of the Innocence Project at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. In 1988, Neufeld and Scheck became involved in studying and litigating issues concerning the use of forensic DNA testing. Their work not only shaped the course of case law across the country but also helped lead to an influential study by the National Academy of Sciences on forensic DNA testing, as well as important state and federal legislation setting standards for the use of DNA testing. They are members of the New York State Commission on Forensic Science, a body that regulates all crime and forensic DNA laboratories in the state. They have litigated and taught extensively in both the “hard” and behavioral forensic sciences. Their trials frequently redefine and expand the parameters of permissible defenses involving forensic psychiatry and laboratory science. Most of this work is pro bono and of public interest. Their cases often result in enhancing public awareness of systemic problems, improving the criminal justice system and legislative reform.
Contact: Doreen Vinas, 212-237-8645
Brooklyn College: 2 p.m., Master’s Commencement – Program I (School of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Natural and Behavioral Sciences, and School of Visual and Performing Arts): Walt Whitman Theater, 2900 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn.
Speaker and Distinguished Alumni Award: Warren Lustig ’99 is an award-winning producer and editor at CBS where, for thirty years, he has documented historic, international events in television broadcasts that have captivated American audiences. Lustig was on the front lines for three Winter Olympics; the discovery of the Titanic in the North Sea; former President Ronald Reagan’s visit to Russia in 1988, which preceded the fall of communism; the 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square; Operation Desert Storm; and Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. For his work, Lustig has been honored with 11 Emmy Awards and two Peabodys. His productions have aired on many well-known and prestigious shows, among them “60 Minutes,” “60 Minutes II,” “The Evening News with Dan Rather” and “Street Stories with Ed Bradley.” He also spent several years with CBS Sports. Lustig created TV Boot Camp, an intensive two-week program in which CUNY broadcast journalism students create a half-hour broadcast in the style of “60 Minutes.” In 2010, the program was recognized by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in a magazine that was distributed at the Emmy Awards ceremony. Born and raised in Midwood, Brooklyn, he completed the majority of his collegiate studies at Brooklyn College, ultimately earning his degree through the CUNY Baccalaureate Program for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies.
Contact: Ernesto Mora, 212-662-9939
Hunter College: 2 p.m., Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
Speaker: Wolf Blitzer is CNN’s lead political anchor and the anchor of The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.
In the 2012 election season, Blitzer moderated three CNN Republican presidential debates and led CNN’s election coverage throughout America’s Choice 2012, serving as lead anchor on key primary and caucus nights. During the 2008 presidential election, Blitzer spearheaded CNN’s Peabody Award-winning coverage of the presidential primary debates and campaigns. He also anchored coverage surrounding the major political events, including both conventions, election night and the full-day of President Barack Obama’s inauguration. Blitzer began his career in 1972 with the Reuters News Agency in Tel Aviv. Shortly thereafter, he became a Washington, D.C., correspondent for The Jerusalem Post. After more than 15 years of reporting from the nation’s capital, Blitzer joined CNN in 1990 as the network’s military-affairs correspondent at the Pentagon. He served as CNN’s senior White House correspondent covering President Bill Clinton from his election in November 1992 until 1999.
Throughout his career, Blitzer has interviewed some of history’s most notable figures, including President Barack Obama, former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. Blitzer has also interviewed many foreign leaders— the Dalai Lama, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, former South African President Nelson Mandela among them.
Among the numerous honors he has received for his reporting, Blitzer is the recipient of an Emmy Award from The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his 1996 coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing and a Golden CableACE from the National Academy of Cable Programming for his and CNN’s coverage of the Persian Gulf War. He was also among the teams awarded a George Foster Peabody award for Hurricane Katrina coverage; an Alfred I. duPont Award for coverage of the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia; and an Edward R. Murrow Award for CNN’s coverage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
Blitzer is the author of two books, Between Washington and Jerusalem: A Reporter’s Notebook (Oxford University Press, 1985) and Territory of Lies (Harper and Row, 1989). He earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from the State University of New York at Buffalo, a master of arts degree in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C.
Honorary Degree: Doctor of Fine Arts: Anne Pasternak. Ms. Pasternak’s groundbreaking contributions to the artistic culture of New York City have changed the face of public art here and around the country. She is widely renowned for bringing art to urban spaces and transforming how citizens view their city and world.
As president and artistic director of Creative Time, where she has served for almost 20 years, Ms. Pasternak has overseen major projects by new, emerging, and established artists in locales like Grand Central Station, Coney Island, and the Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage. She is perhaps best known for initiating the Tribute in Light, the twin beacons that lit up the World Trade Center six months after 9/11. Ms. Pasternak studied art history at Hunter College.
Contact: Susan Konig, 212-772-4068
Brooklyn College: 7 p.m., Master’s Commencement – Program II (School of Business and School of Education): Walt Whitman Theater, 2900 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn.
Speaker and Distinguished Alumni Award: William B. Guggino ’69 is a professor, researcher and mentor who has pioneered groundbreaking research on cystic fibrosis and dedicated much of his time to the training and mentoring of future scientists. He has had a long and distinguished career at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he is a professor of pediatrics and of physiology, head of the Cystic Fibrosis Research Development Program and co-director of the Polycystic Kidney Disease Research and Clinical Core Center. His substantial research in the field of cystic fibrosis and his effective mentorship of clinician scientists have contributed to advances that have doubled the lifespans of people living with this disease. His research collaboration with colleague Peter Agre on water channel proteins led to discoveries that eventually won Agre the 2003 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Agre often credited Guggino for critical experiments that led up to his award. In 2006, Guggino received the Doris F. Tulcin Cystic Fibrosis Research Award from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, which recognized his research achievements as well as his mentoring work. He has been a recipient of the Hopkins Excellence in Teaching Award and the National Institutes of Health Merit Award and was recently elected as a corresponding member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium. Guggino was born and raised in the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn. He obtained a bachelor of science degree in biology from Brooklyn College, a master of science in comparative physiology from Long Island University C.W. Post College, and a doctorate in marine biology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He was a fellow at Yale Medical School in renal physiology in 1982.
Contact: Ernesto Mora, 212-662-9939
Queens College: 9 a.m., Queens College Quad, 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing, Queens.
Speaker and Recipient of the Queens College Medal: Nasser D. Khalili, world-renowned scholar, entrepreneur, art collector and philanthropist. Khalili has received many honors, among the most recent being named a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in October 2012 for his pursuit of peace among nations through culture and education. Khalili is co-founder and chairman of the Maimonides Foundation, a charity that promotes peace and understanding among the three monotheistic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Since 1970, under the auspices of his family trust, Khalili has assembled six of the world’s finest and most comprehensive art collections, comprising some 25,000 works. Selections from each collection have been exhibited more than 35 museums worldwide. Khalili is also a Trustee of the City of Jerusalem; was knighted by two Popes; holds the title of Knight Commander of the Royal Order of Francis I; and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Boston University. Among his notable contributions to the scholarship of Islamic art was his endowment of The Nasser D. Khalili Visiting Professorship in Islamic Studies at Queens College, where he received his bachelor of science degree in 1974. He is a graduate, Associate Research Professor, and Honorary Fellow of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Diane Ravitch is an educational historian and research professor at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. Formerly she served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education in both the George W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations. Described by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as “perhaps America’s most influential scholar on education,” Ravitch is a champion of public education curricula rooted in the liberal arts and teacher training programs that focus on developing expertise in content areas. She has authored more than 20 books including the 2010 bestseller, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education. In 2011 Ravitch was awarded the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Prize by the American Academy of Political and Social Science for her work toward advancing the public good.
Contact: Phyllis C. Stevens, 718-997-5597; or Maria Matteo, 718-997-5593
Brooklyn College: 9:30 a.m., Baccalaureate Commencement Program, Brooklyn College’s Central Quadrangle, 2900 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn.
Speaker and Honorary Degree: Doctor of Fine Arts: Kate Rothko Prizel ’73 is a physician specializing in clinical pathology and transfusion medicine. She is also the daughter of famed abstract painter Mark Rothko. As a young woman and Brooklyn College student, Rothko Prizel successfully sued one of the most powerful art galleries in New York City to claim her father’s paintings, which he had always wanted to be offered up for public consumption after his death. After nearly a decade in court, Rothko Prizel won the return of more than 650 of her father’s paintings and became the administrator of his estate. She was involved in reconstituting the Mark Rothko Foundation, which donated the bulk of the artworks to 19 museums, allowing public access to some of the most important paintings of the 20th century. She planned the first major retrospective exhibition since her father’s death, which opened at the Guggenheim Museum in 1978; a major European exhibition, which opened at the Tate Gallery in 1987; and a retrospective exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, which opened in 1998, as well as many other smaller shows. Rothko Prizel was highly involved in overseeing the planning and design of the Mark Rothko catalogue raisonné and has also provided assistance to other authors of works on her father and his art. She has participated in several film and television programs featuring Mark Rothko and has served on the board of trustees of the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Rothko Prizel graduated from Brooklyn College with a bachelor of science in chemistry, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and won a Jonas Salk Scholarship to attend medical school. She went on to graduate from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1978 with an M.D. and went on to complete a residency in pathology and a fellowship in transfusion medicine there. After completing her medical training, Rothko Prizel practiced clinical pathology and transfusion medicine at several institutions in the Baltimore-Washington area, including Uniformed Services University, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the Chesapeake American Red Cross Blood Services and the Washington, DC, VA Medical Center. At the same time she taught pathology courses at Johns Hopkins, Uniformed Services and George Washington University School of Medicine. Presidential Medal: Howard Slusher ’59 is a Nike consultant and legendary sports attorney whose keen tactics changed the game for athletes seeking equitable representation with ownership at the negotiation table. For many years, Slusher acted as an agent for high-value sports players, assuring they obtained the contracts the market justified. He represented 16 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and more than 200 athletes, coaches and entertainers. After agenting, Slusher continued his career in the sports world, working for Nike for more than thirty-five years as special assistant to chairman Phil Knight. Slusher and his wife Rebecca founded the Athletic Fund for Brooklyn College which donated state-of-the-art uniforms, athletic footwear and equipment for Brooklyn College student-athletes, coaches and game staff. Slusher’s athletic prowess awarded him distinction on the Brooklyn College Athletics Wall of Fame. He remains committed to athletics and began running marathons at age 56. He has since completed 19. In 1996, he was named No. 13 among the Top 20 most powerful people in sporting goods/apparel by Sportstyle. Slusher is a Willamsburg, Brooklyn native who intended to pursue a career in football coaching until Brooklyn College professors persuaded him to pursue graduate school. He earned his bachelor of science degree in health and physical education, cum laude, from Brooklyn College; a master of arts and doctorate degrees in physical education from The Ohio State University; and a law degree from the University of Southern California. Slusher has taught undergraduate and graduate programs in health and physical education at The Ohio State University, the University of Maryland and the University of Southern California, where he was a tenured faculty member and also coached soccer. He is also the author of Man, Sport, and Existence: A Critical Analysis. Class Representative: Latricia Davidson ’13 is a B.A. in Television and Radio Communications and a B.F.A. in theater (acting), is the vice president and treasurer of the Brooklyn College Forensics Team. The recipient of the Spring 2012 Susan & Zachary Solomon Scholarship from the Theater Department, she has performed in various plays staged by the Theater Department. As the recipient of the 2011 Alumni Association Student Award, Davidson volunteers part time in the Health and Nutrition Program and plans to obtain a doctorate in human development and culture, to volunteer as a teacher and do research in underserved areas of the world, including parts of West Africa and the Caribbean. A Marge Magner Spring Internship Honoraria, Davidson also hopes to pursue studies in media, especially in film production, to become a professor of communication and cultural studies.
Contact: Ernesto Mora, 212-662-9939
College of Staten Island: 10 a.m., Great Lawn, 2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island, New York. Departmental Exercises to follow immediately.
Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Betsy Dubovsky, Executive Director of The Staten Island Foundation, has dedicated her professional life to community service, benefiting the College of Staten Island and residents of Staten Island and managing the operations and the annual allocations of this 15 year-old, $70 million-foundation. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Toyin Falola, CSI Professor and world-renown scholar of African history. As a profoundly original thinker, intellectual leader, engaging teacher, and institution builder, Professor Falola has made a global impact in the study of African history, modern Africa and the African diaspora.
Contact: Ken Bach, 718-982-2200
Herbert H. Lehman College: 11 a.m., Southern Field, Lehman College, 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, N.Y.
Speaker and Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Frances Beinecke, the president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the nation’s leading environmental advocacy groups with 1.3 million members. She is the author of Clean Energy Common Sense: An American Call to Action on Global Climate Change and was appointed by President Obama to serve on the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Dr. Fernando A. Picó, S.J., is a Professor of History at the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras and the author of Puerto Rico: A General History, considered a classic text of Puerto Rican history.
Contact: Joseph Tirella, 718-960-5746
Baruch College: 2:30 p.m., Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, 126th Street and Roosevelt Avenue, Flushing, Queens.
Speaker and Honorary Degree: Doctor of Letters: Gillian Tett is a British author and news journalist at The Financial Times where she is Assistant Editor and Columnist. In 2012 she received a Society of American Business Editors and Writers award. Ms. Tett was previously Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards (2009). Her book, Fool’s Gold, won “Financial Book of the Year” at the inaugural Spear’s Book Awards in 2009. In 2007 Ms. Tett was awarded the Wincott prize, the premier British award for financial journalism, for her capital markets coverage. Additionally, she was British Business Journalist of the Year in 2008. Before joining The Financial Times in 1993, Ms. Tett was awarded a Ph.D. in social anthropology from Cambridge University based on field work in the former Soviet Union. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Wesley K. Clark is CEO of Wesley K. Clark and Associates, an international consulting firm that specializes in business development, crisis support, and strategic communications; and retired General of the United States Army. He was valedictorian of his graduating class at West Point and was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford, where he earned a degree in philosophy, politics and economics. He later graduated from the Command and General Staff College with a master’s degree in military science. During his 34 years of service in the United States Army, Clark rose to the rank of four-star general as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. After his retirement in 2000, he became an investment banker, author, commentator and businessman, and sought the 2004 Democratic Party presidential nomination.
Contact: Mary Gorman, 646-312-3315
York College: 8:30 a.m., York College Athletic Field, behind 160-02 Liberty Avenue, Jamaica, Queens.
Speaker: Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., president and CEO, Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), the only national organization representing nearly 300,000 students attending this country’s 47 public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). With approximately 80 percent of HBCU students attending TMCF member-schools, Mr. Taylor leads an organization responsible for providing this country with a robust and diverse pipeline of talented workers and future leaders. Immediately prior to assuming the presidency of TMCF, Mr. Taylor worked as a senior executive for IAC/InterActiveCorp – first as its Senior Vice President of Human Resources and then as the President & CEO of one of IAC’s operating subsidiaries, RushmoreDrive.com. Before joining IAC, Mr. Taylor’s career spanned nearly 15 years as Litigation Partner and President of the human resources consulting business for the McGuireWoods law firm; Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary for Compass Group USA; General Counsel & Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Viacom subsidiary, Paramount Pictures Live Entertainment Group; and Associate General Counsel & Vice President of Human Resources for Viacom subsidiary, Blockbuster Entertainment Group. Mr. Taylor, an Isaac Bashevis Singer Scholar and honors graduate of the University of Miami, went on to earn a master of arts with honors from Drake University and a doctor of jurisprudence with honors from the Drake Law School, where he served as research editor of the Drake Law Review and argued on the National Moot Court Team. He is licensed to practice law in Florida, Illinois, and Washington, D.C. and holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources certification. Mr. Taylor, who serves on the corporate board of Gallup, a leader in organizational consulting and public opinion research, also volunteers his time to several nonprofit boards, including serving as: former chairman of the Society for Human Resource Management, one of the world’s largest professional associations with 250,000 members in more than 100 countries; and member of the Board of Directors of the YMCA of the USA, the country’s largest social service agency. He is also a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.
Contact: Marcia Moxam Comrie, 718-262-3865
Bronx Community College: 10 a.m., Ohio Field, Bronx Community College, 2155 University Avenue, Bronx, N.Y.
Speaker: Quiara Alegría Hudes, an award-winning playwright. She is the author of “Water by the Spoonful,” winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. “Water by the Spoonful” is the second in a trilogy of plays. The first, “Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue,” was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2007. The third and final installment, “The Happiest Song Plays Last,” opens at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago in April 2013. Hudes wrote the book for the Broadway musical “In the Heights,” which received the 2008 Tony Award for Best Musical, a Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical, and was a 2009 Pulitzer Prize finalist. In its original Off-Broadway incarnation, “In the Heights” won the Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical. The touring companies of “In the Heights” have performed at Puerto Rico’s Centro Bellas Artes, LA’s Pantages, and Tokyo’s International Forum. Her other works include “Barrio Grrrl!,” a children’s musical that premiered at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2009 and toured nationally. “26 Miles” premiered at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre in 2009 and was published in American Theatre Magazine. “Yemaya’s Belly,” Hudes’ first play, premiered at Portland Stage Company and received The Clauder Prize. Hudes’ honors include the United States Artists Fontanals Fellowship, the Joyce Fellowship at the Goodman Theatre, the Aetna New Voices Fellowship at Hartford Stage, the Roe Green Award at the Cleveland Playhouse, fellowships at Sundance Theater Institute and the O’Neill Theater Center, and a residency at New Dramatists. The City of Philadelphia honored Hudes with a resolution in 2011 and Mayor Rahm Emmanuel declared April 27, 2013 “Quiara Hudes Day” in Chicago. After graduating from public school in Philadelphia, Hudes went on to receive a B.A. in music from Yale University and an M.F.A. in playwriting from Brown, where she studied with Paula Vogel. Hudes is on the board of Philadelphia Young Playwrights, which produced her first play when she was in the 10th grade. She lives in New York with her husband and two children. President’s Medal: The Hon. Carmen E. Arroyo. In a special election in February 1994, 30 years after she came to New York City from Puerto Rico to build a better future for her family, Arroyo became the first Hispanic woman elected to the New York State Assembly and the first Puerto Rican woman elected to any state assembly in the country. By then she had already established a record of social and political activism, beginning in 1966 when she organized the welfare mothers of her community into the South Bronx Action Group. In 1978, she became the Executive Director of the South Bronx Community Corporation, where she implemented policy and oversaw program budgeting. That same year, Arroyo was elected Female District Leader of what today is the 74th Assembly District, a position she held until 1993. In addition to her work in the State Assembly, where she serves on the committees for Alcoholism & Drug Abuse, Children & Families, Education, and Aging, Ms. Arroyo is President of Puerto Rican Women in Political Action and a founder of Entre Nosotras, Inc., an organization to empower Puerto Rican and Hispanic women throughout the state. A graduate of Hostos Community College, she is also a poet and author, currently working on her next book, The Life of a Puerto Rican Woman in the U.S.
Contact: Diane Weathers, 718-289-5770
City College of New York: 10 a.m., Commencement Plaza, 135th Street at Convent Avenue, Manhattan.
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Matthew Goldstein, outgoing Chancellor of The City University of New York and a member of the CCNY Class of 1963. During his 14-year tenure, Chancellor Goldstein has led the transformation of CUNY into the premiere integrated urban public university in America. He has overseen the rise in enrollment to more than 270,000 degree-seeking students, increased admission standards and graduation rates and enhanced resources. Today, CUNY comprises 24 colleges and professional schools throughout New York City. Prior to his appointment as the first CUNY graduate to lead the university, Chancellor Goldstein served as president of Adelphi University. He has also served as president of Baruch College, president of the CUNY Research Foundation, and acting vice chancellor for academic affairs of CUNY. A distinguished mathematician, the Chancellor has held faculty positions at several colleges and universities and has written extensively in mathematics and statistics. Among his honors are the 2011 Association for a Better New York “Spirit of ABNY” Award, and the 2007 Carnegie Corporation of New York’s Academic Leadership Award. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Science: Martin Cohen ’70 Liberal Arts, is co-chairman and co-CEO of Cohen & Steers, Inc., the world’s largest investor in publicly traded real estate companies, a universe encompassing more than $1 trillion in assets worldwide. His contribution to the financial world is as a pioneer; investing in real estate through the public market. As a portfolio manager at New York’s Citibank, he organized and managed a real estate securities fund for the bank’s clients, the first such fund of its kind. Later, at National Securities and Research, he and Robert Steers started the first real estate mutual fund. In 1986 they established Cohen & Steers. Mr. Cohen has served as a member of the Board of Governors of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) and chairs CCNY’s 21st Century Foundation Board. He received NAREIT’s Industry Achievement Award in 2001 and a Lifetime Achievement Award from NYU’s real estate program. In addition to CCNY, Mr. Cohen assists in the advancement of many other organizations such as the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and the Central Park Conservancy. President’s Medal: C. Virginia Fields, president and CEO of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, Inc. (NBLCA) who also served as the 25th Borough president of Manhattan (1998 to 2005). Mrs. Fields was in the forefront of community battles in the early 1980s to secure housing for people living with AIDS. As Manhattan Borough President, she was instrumental in the allocation of millions of dollars for programmatic support to community-based organizations and educational institutions, borough-wide. In 2005, Mrs. Fields was a Democratic candidate for Mayor of New York City, becoming the first African-American woman to seek that office. A graduate of Indiana University’s School of Social Work, she has served as an adjunct lecturer at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work.
Contact: Jay Mwamba, 212-650-7580
Queensborough Community College: 10 a.m., Athletic Field, Queensborough Community College, 222-05 56th Ave., Bayside, N.Y.
Presidential Inauguration: Queensborough Community College’s 52nd Commencement Exercises will feature the inauguration of the College’s fifth President, Dr. Diane B. Call. Dr. Call was appointed President by the CUNY Board of Trustees on January 28, 2013 after serving as Interim President since July 1, 2010. Prior to that Dr. Call was Queensborough’s Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. She has also served as Vice President for Finance and Administration, Assistant Dean for Instructional Support Services and in other posts in a career spanning four decades at the College and CUNY in positions that encompass virtually all major areas of administration and academics at Queensborough Community College. Commencement will also feature members of the Class of 1963, a tradition of inviting back the 50-year class that began last year with QCC’s first graduating class.
Contact: Alex Burnett, 718-631-6044
Borough of Manhattan Community College: 11:30 a.m., Jacob K. Javits Convention Center North, 37th Street and 11th Avenue.
Speaker: Dr. Antonio Pérez, BMCC’s President will speak about BMCC’s 50th anniversary celebration. Dr. Pérez, has served as BMCC’s President since 1995 and has dedicated himself to making BMCC an institution revered nationally for its excellence in teaching, learning, scholarships, and service to students and the community. Dr. Pérez maintains a deep, personal commitment to community support by serving on the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation’s World Trade Center Memorial Committee. Additionally, he sits on the boards of the Business Alliance for Downtown New York, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Presidential Medalist: Ms. Christine Larsen, Executive Vice President, J.P. Morgan Chase. Ms. Larsen is chairperson of the BMCC Foundation Board.
Contact: Barry Rosen, 212-220-1238
Medgar Evers College: 12 p.m., Jacob K. Javits Convention Center North, 655 West 34th St., Manhattan.
Speaker: Lowell F. Hawthorne, is a graduate of Bronx Community College, and President and Chief Executive Officer of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill. After migrating with his family in 1981 to the United States, he went to work as an accountant for the New York Police Department before striking out as an entrepreneur starting Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill in the Bronx in 1989. Today, the company, with more than 120 stores throughout the country, is the nation’s largest manufacturer, distributor, and franchiser of Caribbean baked products. Golden Krust is the first Caribbean-owned business in the U.S. to be granted a franchise license. Mr. Hawthorne received Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2002, was conferred with the Order of Distinction from his native homeland of Jamaica, and an honorary Doctor of Letters from Medgar Evers College in 2011. Most recently, he penned his autobiography, The Baker’s Son. His philanthropic interests include the Mavis & Ephraim Hawthorne Golden Krust Scholarship Foundation, awarding more than 150 scholarships to institutions since its launch in 2005. Currently, Mr. Hawthorne is a director of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) and chairman of the Partnership Board of the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies.
Contact: Dawn S. Walker, 718-270-6901 or 718-530-4539
CUNY Baccalaureate Degree: 10 a.m., The Great Hall at The Cooper Union, 7 East 7th Street, New York, NY.
Speaker: TBA. Faculty Mentor Speaker: TBA. Student Speaker: Nicholas A. Montano, June 2013 Graduate, International Criminology / Juvenile Delinquent Psychology, Recipient of a 2013 Marshall Scholarship.
Contact: Beth Kneller, 212-817-8238
New York City College of Technology: 11:30 a.m., Jacob Javits Center North, 40th Street at 11th Avenue, Manhattan.
Speaker: David Hinson, national director, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), a bureau within the United States Department of Commerce. MBDA’s mission is to expand the U.S. economy and create new jobs by promoting the growth and global competitiveness of large, medium and small businesses that are minority-owned. Prior to joining the Obama Administration as a presidential appointee, Hinson was president and CEO of Wealth Management Network, Inc., a multi-million dollar independent financial advisory boutique, where he provided global asset management and risk management services to high net worth and emerging wealth clients. He holds an MBA in finance from Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a BBA in insurance and finance, with honors, from Howard University, Washington, DC.
Contact: Michele Forsten, 718-260-5979; or Dale Tarnowieski, 718-260-5695
CUNY School of Public Health Graduation Recognition Ceremony: 5:30 p.m., The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, 695 Park Avenue, Manhattan.
Keynote Speaker: John E. McDonough, DPH, MPA is a professor of public health practice at the Harvard School of Public Health and director of the new HSPH Center for Public Health Leadership. Most recently, he was the Joan H. Tisch Distinguished Fellow in Public Health at Hunter College. Between 2008 and 2010, he served as a Senior Adviser on National Health Reform to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
Contact: Michael Arena, 646-664-9300
CUNY School of Professional Studies: 6 p.m., Starr Theatre, Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Broadway at 65th Street, New York, NY.
Keynote Speaker: Tanya Fields, Executive Director, The BLK ProjeK, is an activist and social entrepreneur in the South Bronx. As the Founder and Executive Director of The BLK ProjeK, her work seeks to address food justice, public and mental health issues as they specifically relate to underserved women of color through culturally relevant education, beautification of public spaces, urban gardening and community programming. She recently created and hosted Not Just Talk: Food in the South Bronx, a one-day conference centered on issues of food justice and food sovereignty. Prior to establishing The BLK Projek, Ms. Fields worked extensively with nonprofits including Sustainable South Bronx and Mothers on the Move. A noted speaker, Ms. Fields was profiled in the 2011 book, The Next Eco-Warriors: 22 Young Women and Men Who Are Saving the Planet, and currently blogs for Ebony magazine. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Baruch College.
Contact: Heather Zeman, 212-817-7274; or Lia Kudless, 212-817-7255
Macaulay Honors College: 6:30 p.m., Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Broadway at 65th Street, New York, N.Y.
Speaker: Rossana Rosado has been Publisher and CEO at El Diario La Prensa since 1999, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the oldest Spanish-language newspaper in the country. Prior to becoming publisher, Ms. Rosado was Editor-in-Chief of the paper and was the first woman to hold that position at the now 97 year-old paper. Her many awards include an Emmy, a STAR award from the NY Women’s Agenda, and a Peabody Award for Journalism. She served on Mayor Bloomberg’s transition team in 2001 and as one of six co-chairs for Governor Eliot Spitzer’s transition team in 2006. She currently serves on the board of the New York Women’s Foundation, 100 Hispanic Women of Westchester, Repertorio Español and co-chairs a capital committee for the Caribbean Cultural Center. She is also an adviser to The Fortune Society, and served on Governor Paterson’s Task Force on Juvenile Justice from 2008 – 2009. Ms. Rosado holds a B.A. in journalism from Pace University. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Reynold Levy is the President of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. During his tenure, Lincoln Center’s award winning and critically acclaimed programs flourished, even as its unprecedented and much applauded $1.2 billion physical transformation modernized and expanded the 16-acre campus housing eleven world-class performing arts organizations and educational institutions. Levy’s leadership at Lincoln Center continues a distinguished career of public service. He has been President of the International Rescue Committee, the senior officer of AT&T in charge of government relations, President of the AT&T Foundation, Executive Director of the 92nd Street Y, and Staff Director of the Task Force on the New York City Fiscal Crisis. Levy’s alma mater, Hobart College, honored him with its Alumni Medal of Excellence, given to only twenty graduates in the 125-year history of the school. The International Rescue Committee bestowed on him its coveted Freedom Award. Columbia University awarded Levy the highly regarded Lawrence A. Wien Prize for Social Responsibility. Lincoln Center granted him its Laureate Award. He received the 2009 Design Patron Award granted by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt Museum for his stewardship of Lincoln Center’s massive physical transformation. Reynold Levy is a graduate of Hobart College. He was granted a master’s degree and PhD in government and foreign affairs from the University of Virginia and a law degree from Columbia University, the latter two in 1973. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Virginia Slaughter founded the Horace W. Goldsmith Scholars Program at Macaulay Honors College in 2002, with the aim of identifying, inspiring, and supporting the aspirations of undergraduate intellectual leaders. Her first job after graduating college in 1948 was working for the United Nations alongside Ralph Bunche. Her spirit of adventure and her burgeoning interest in the intellectual development of young people led her next to the Institute for International Education. She was brought to City College by the renowned educator and theorist Mina P. Shaughnessy to teach in the basic writing and ESL programs. In 1976, she coordinated the creation of reports on every remedial program in the University–an early instance of cross-campus cooperation and best practices research. Her work culminated in the publication of Teaching Basic Skills in College (Jossey-Bass, 1980), of which she is co-author. Her commitment to access and excellence in education led to the creation, in 1984, of the Scholarship Enhancement Program at CUNY, an enormously successful program designed to encourage high achieving students to compete for national and international graduate fellowships. For more than ten years she served as President of Inwood House, a leader and innovator in teen pregnancy prevention, youth development and family support. She is Trustee Emerita at Connecticut College, where she served on the Board of Trustees from 1997 to 2007, focusing her efforts on financial aid, student diversity and science initiatives. Ms. Slaughter received a B.A. in psychology from Connecticut College and a master’s degree in education from the University of Bridgeport.
Contact: Autumn Payne, 212-729-2909
LaGuardia Community College: 10 a.m., Jacob Javits Center North, West 40th Street and 11th Avenue, Manhattan.
Keynote speaker: TBA.
Contact: Randy Fader-Smith, 718-482-5985
Hostos Community College: 3:30 p.m., New York City Center, 131 West 55th Street, New York, N.Y.
Contact: Soldanela Rivera, 917-627-9097
Kingsborough Community College: 11 a.m., 2001 Oriental Boulevard, Brooklyn, New York, Marine Academic Center Plaza tent.
Speaker: Elizabeth C. Yeampierre, executive director of UPROSE, Brooklyn’s oldest Latino community based organization. Her vision for an inter-generational, multi-cultural and community led organization is the driving force behind UPROSE. She is a long-time advocate and trailblazer for community organizing around sustainable just development in Sunset Park. She is part of the New York City environmental justice leadership responsible for getting NY State’s first Brownfield legislation, Article X power plant legislation and NYC’s Solid Waste Management Plan passed. In Sunset Park, Brooklyn she facilitated an aggressive urban forestry initiative, helped double the amount of open space and developed a project that resulted in the retro-fitting and re-powering of 12 diesel trucks for a local business. She holds a law degree from Northeastern University along with a Certificate of Non-Profit Management from Columbia University. President’s Medal: Elizabeth C. Yeampierre.
Contact: Ruby Ryles, 718-368-5543
About The City University of New York:
The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847, the University is comprised of 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the CUNY Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College. The University serves more than 269,000 degree credit students and 218,083 adult, continuing and professional education students.College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 300 high schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The University offers online baccalaureate degrees through the School of Professional Studies and an individualized baccalaureate through the CUNY Baccalaureate Degree. Nearly 3 million unique visitors and 10 million page views are served each month via www.cuny.edu, the University’s website.