Dr. John O’Keefe, a CCNY alumnus and winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Dr. Leon Glass, one of the world’s leading theoretical biologists, Carl E. Heastie, the first African-American Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Cecilia Muñoz, assistant to the president and director of the Domestic Policy Council at the White House, Ursula Burns, the head of Xerox and first African-American female CEO of a Fortune 500 Company, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. Di Napoli, Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz, Jr., Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Diana Rogovin Davidow, philanthropist and leader in the field of speech pathology, David Amram, the first composer in residence for the New York Philharmonic, Dennis M. Walcott, former New York City schools chancellor and former deputy mayor for education and community development, Errol Louis, political anchor of NY1 News and a CNN contributor, David Krell, chairman of the International Securities Exchange, Luis Alberto Moreno, president of the Inter-American Development Bank, Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, Fareed Zakaria, CNN host and Washington Post columnist, Dr. Regina Peruggi, former president of Kingsborough Community College, are among an impressive list of distinguished public servants, scientists, educators, lawyers, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, musicians, authors and journalists who are the speakers and honorees for the 2015 commencement ceremonies of The City University of New York.
Chancellor James B. Milliken stated: “Congratulations to the CUNY Class of 2015, which is a source of immense pride and satisfaction for our University, the city and the state. The vast majority of our graduates will remain in New York, where they will work, study and contribute to the social, intellectual and economic vitality of our communities. I know our graduates join me in offering special thanks to CUNY’s distinguished faculty and dedicated staff who have guided, supported and helped ensure the success of so many CUNY students. On behalf of the entire CUNY community, I welcome the many family members, friends, alumni and others who will join us in celebrating achievement in this spring’s commencement celebrations.”
The University is expected to confer more than 48,700 degrees across its 23 colleges and graduate and professional schools for academic year 2014-15. The University CUNY conferred 47,501 degrees last year.
At City College, Dr. John O’Keefe, winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and one of the world’s most influential neuroscientists, will speak and receive an honorary doctorate along with Ursula Burns, who heads Xerox and is the first African-American female CEO of a Fortune 500 Company, and Michael Pope, a noted authority in the power plant field. Baruch College will award honorary degrees to Luis Alberto Moreno, president of the Inter-American Development Bank, and David Krell, chairman of the International Securities Exchange, while Errol Louis, political anchor of NY1 News and a CNN contributor, will deliver the commencement address. Cecilia Muñoz, assistant to the president and director of the Domestic Policy Council at the White House, will be the commencement speaker at LaGuardia Community College. Darren Walker, 10th president of the Ford Foundation, will be the speaker at the morning ceremony of Hostos Community College, while Carl E. Heastie, the first African-American speaker of the New York State Assembly, will speak at the afternoon commencement exercises. Dennis M. Walcott, former New York City Schools chancellor and former deputy mayor for education and community development, will deliver the commencement address at Kingsborough Community College. The Hon. Robert Katzmann, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, will receive an honorary doctorate and speak at John Jay College’s morning ceremony. William Ramirez, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Puerto Rico, will be the speaker at the afternoon ceremony and also receive an honorary degree.
Renowned musician David Amram, the first composer in residence for the New York Philharmonic, will speak and receive an honorary doctorate at Brooklyn College’s master’s ceremony. In addition, Barry Salzberg, global chief executive officer of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (Deloitte Global), the world’s largest professional services network, will be the speaker and receive an honorary degree at Brooklyn’s baccalaureate ceremony, while Diana Rogovin Davidow, a leader in the field of speech pathology, will be awarded the Presidential Medal, and public health leader Dr. Rebecca Fuhrer will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award.
Brooklyn College: Master’s Ceremony I (1:45 p.m. ceremony). Schools of Humanities and Social Sciences; Natural and Behavioral Sciences; and Visual, Media and PerformingArts. Whitman Hall, 2900 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn.
Keynote Speaker and Honorary Degree: Doctor of Fine Arts: David Amram started his professional life in music in the early 1950s, playing French horn in the jazz bands of Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie, and Lionel Hampton. Appointed by Leonard Bernstein as the first composer in residence at the New York Philharmonic in 1966, he also composed the scores for the films “Pull My Daisy” (1959), “Splendor in the Grass” (1960), and “The Manchurian Candidate” (1962). He wrote scores for Joseph Papp’s Shakespeare in The Park from 1956-1967, and composed a second opera, “The Final Ingredient, An Opera of the Holocaust,” for ABC Television in 1965. From 1964–1966, Amram was the composer and music director for the Lincoln Center Theatre, and wrote the score for Arthur Miller’s play “After the Fall” (1964). Amram first performed at Brooklyn College in 1958 when he and American novelist and poet Jack Kerouac gave their final public Jazz/Poetry concert together. For 29 years, he was the Brooklyn Philharmonic’s musical director, conductor and narrator for Young People’s Concerts, Community Concerts and Free Parks Concerts, pioneering the inclusion of Jazz, Latin, and Native American music along with the European classics in all of his programs.
Contact: Jason Carey, 917-536-5914
Brooklyn College: Master’s Ceremony II (6:45 p.m. ceremony). School of Business and School of Education. Whitman Hall, 2900 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn.
Keynote Speaker and Distinguished Alumni Award: Dr. Leon Glass ’63 is one of the world’s leading theoretical biologists with the distinction of having made several scientific discoveries that are named in his honor. He is also a trained chemist and a trailblazer in using physics and mathematics to understand the complex physiological phenomena that occur with certain human ailments. Glass is currently a professor of physiology at McGill University, holding the Isadore Rosenfeld Chair in Cardiology. He came to Brooklyn College in 1959 as a New York State Regents College Fellow, graduated cum laude in 1963 with a bachelor of science in chemistry, and won the American Institute of Chemists Award for Undergraduate Studies. He then studied at the University of Chicago, where he earned a Ph.D. in chemistry at the age of 25. Glass’ work involves the use of mathematical and physical approaches to study human cardiovascular, genetic, neural, and visual systems, with possible practical applications in the treatment of atrial fibrillation, cardiac arrest, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and neutropenia. In 1969, Glass made a major discovery, known now as “Glass Patterns,” which clarified understanding of how the human brain processes visual stimuli. Glass is the co-author of two books, one of which, From Clocks to Chaos: The Rhythms of Life (Princeton, 1988), has been translated into several languages.
Contact: Jason Carey, 917-536-5914
Hunter College: 3 p.m., Theater at Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, Manhattan.
Speaker: George J. Mitchell, Jr. A Democrat, Mitchell served as a United States Senator from Maine from 1980 to 1995 and as Senate majority leader from 1989 to 1995. Since retirement from the Senate, he has held a number of positions in politics and business, and has served prominently in the roles of special envoy for Northern Ireland under President Clinton (1995-2001) and special envoy for Middle East Peace under President Obama (2009-2011). Mitchell has also served as chairman of The Walt Disney Company and the international law firm DLA Piper. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Dr. Frayda B. Lindemann, vice president of the Metropolitan Opera Association, as well as a member of the executive committee and a managing director of the board. She has taught music at Columbia, and was later an assistant professor of music history at Hunter College. She is also an editor of Current Musicology. In April 2012, Dr. Lindemann was named the chairman of OPERA America, becoming the first opera company trustee to be elected chair in the organization’s 42-year history.
Contact: Christopher Browne, 212-396-6533
The Graduate Center: 5 p.m., Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza (Columbus Avenue and 65th Street), Manhattan.
Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Lydia Davis — winner of the Man Booker International Prize, a MacArthur “genius” grant, and the Academy of Arts and Letters’ Award of Merit Medal — is a novelist, translator, and essayist. But she is best known for her short stories, many of which are just a few sentences long. She has published six collections throughout the four decades of her career, including Varieties of Disturbance: Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award. She is also renowned as a translator of French literature, including Marcel Proust, Gustave Flaubert, Maurice Blanchot, and Michel Leiris. Davis is currently a professor and writer-in-residence at University at Albany, SUNY. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Ai-jen Poo is the preeminent activist on behalf of immigrant women workers in the United States. A MacArthur Foundation fellow, one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People, and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, she currently serves as director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), the leading organization working to build power, respect and fair labor standards for the country’s 2.5 million nannies, housekeepers, and caregivers. In 2000, she co-founded Domestic Workers United, which spearheaded the successful passage of New York State’s historic Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in 2010. The law was the first in the United States to guarantee domestic workers overtime pay, three days’ paid leave, and legal protections from harassment and discrimination. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Patricia Phelps de Cisneros has supported education and the arts, with a strong focus on Latin America, for more than four decades. In the 1970s, Cisneros and her husband, Gustavo A. Cisneros, founded the New York City- and Caracas-based Fundación Cisneros to improve education in Latin America and foster awareness of the region’s heritage and contributions to world culture. The Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC), the primary art-related program of the Fundación Cisneros, has been a critical component of her efforts to increase appreciation of the diversity, sophistication, and range of Latin American art. She has received wide recognition for her work promoting education and the arts in Latin America, including the Cross of the Legion of Honor from France and the Great Cross of the Civil Order of Alfonso X the Wise from Spain. Distinguished Alumni Award: Dr. Maggie Johnson ’80 is director of education and university relations for Google. Johnson manages technical training and leadership development programs for Google engineers, operations staff, and information management and technical writing teams, as well as the company’s educational outreach efforts. She also manages the university relations area, building strategic partnerships with faculty and labs globally. Prior to Google, Johnson was a faculty member and director of undergraduate sdtudies in the department of computer science at Stanford University. She has also sought to advance education, computing, and science through her work for the National Science Foundation’s National STEM Education Distributed Learning program, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the University of California College Prep.
Contact: Tanya Domi, 212- 817-7283
Queens College: 9 a.m., Queens College Quad, 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing, Queens.
Honorary Degree (Posthumous): Doctor of Humane Letters: Andrew Goodman. Andrew Goodman was a Queens College student who volunteered to travel to the south in 1964 to participate in civil rights actions and programs to help disenfranchised African-Americans. As a result of this work, Goodman was brutally murdered along with his colleagues, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner, in June 1964 in Mississippi. Their deaths and their efforts helped to inspire the landmark civil rights advancements that followed. In acknowledgement of their extraordinary contribution to the nation and the world, Goodman and his colleagues received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2014.
Contact: Leanna Yip, 718-997-5591; or Maria Matteo, 718-997-5593
Brooklyn College: Baccalaureate Ceremony (9:30 a.m. ceremony). East Quad, 2900 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn.
Speaker and Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Barry Salzberg ’74 is the global chief executive officer of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (Deloitte Global), the world’s largest professional services network, which operates across more than 150 countries and territories, with approximately 210,000 people worldwide. As Deloitte Global CEO, Salzberg leads its executive committee, which is responsible for establishing Deloitte Global’s vision and strategy. Salzberg is also a member of the Deloitte Global Board of Directors. After graduating from Brooklyn College cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in accounting, Salzberg enrolled in Brooklyn Law School, earning his Juris Doctor in 1977. He then joined Haskins & Sells (later merged with Touche Ross to become Deloitte), specializing in tax accounting. In 1981, he earned a Master of Laws in taxation at New York University, and by 1985 became partner at Deloitte LLP (United States). Distinguished Alumni Award: Dr. Rebecca Fuhrer ’67 is the current director of the MSc in Public Health Program and immediate past chair of the department of epidemiology, biostatistics, and occupational Health at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. At McGill, she was the recipient of the Canada Research Chair in Psychosocial Epidemiology and Strathcona Chair of Preventative Medicine, and was recently elected as a faculty of medicine representative to the university senate. She was elected a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Fuhrer is also a member of the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR) Scientific Advisory Committee in Paris. Born in Germany, Fuhrer and her family immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old, and settled in Brooklyn. She would be the first person in her family to attend high school and college. She enrolled at Brooklyn College as a New York State Regents Scholar. Although she chose psychology as her area of study at the college, she continued to nurture her interest in quantitative methods. She credits a course she took in her senior year, “Programming for Computers,” as laying the foundation for her future endeavors and achievements. In 1967, Fuhrer received a B.A. in psychology. She then received a master’s degree in medical information science in 1974 and a Ph.D. in the same subject in 1977, both from the University of California, San Francisco. Presidential Medal: Diana Rogovin Davidow ’66, ’73 M.S., is a counselor, painter, leader in the field of speech pathology, and a philanthropist after whom the Brooklyn College Speech and Hearing Center is named. After attending Abraham Lincoln High School, Davidow enrolled in Brooklyn College because of its affordability and rigorous academic programs. She credits the college with changing the trajectory of her life and instilling in her a deeply embedded desire to be of service to others, as the school and many of its faculty were of service to her. She worked as a tap dance instructor for children in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn while attending college. Davidow went on to teach speech communications in the New York City public high school system. Afterward, she returned to Brooklyn College as an adjunct lecturer. She founded the Davidow Counseling Center at A Place Called Home, a nonprofit youth program for at-risk children. In 2007, Davidow generously donated $1 million to the college’s Speech and Hearing Center. This donation allowed the center, already regarded as one of the best of its kind in the nation, to modernize with state-of-the-art, digital classrooms and upgraded faculty research laboratories.
Contact: Jason Carey, 917-536-5914
College of Staten Island: 9:30 a.m., Great Lawn, 2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island.
Speaker and Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Sally W. Williams is a native Staten Islander and the daughter of Dr. Arleigh B. Williamson, a driving force in the establishment of the College of Staten Island. She is the former president of the New York State Chapter of the International Personnel Management Association and the New York Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration, (ASPA), and national chair for ASPA’s Section for Personnel and Labor Relations. President’s Medal: Linda M. Baran is president and CEO of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, where she has worked for the past 28 years. President’s Medal: James McBratney is the president of the Staten Island Restaurant and Tavern Association, and owner of Jimmy Max Bar and Restaurant. President’s Medal: Irving K. Robbins is an Associate Professor of Engineering and Physics at the College of Staten Island, and director of CSI’s Astrophysical Observatory. President’s Medal: Jean G. Roland is a native Staten Islander, a published poet and a fervent supporter of the Staten Island community and the College of Staten Island.
Contact: Ken Bach, 718-982-2200
Lehman College: 10 a.m., South Field, 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx.
Speaker: Rubén Diaz, Jr. first entered public office as a member of the New York State Assembly in 1997, and is currently serving his second full term as Bronx Borough President, having been reelected in November 2013 with more than 89 percent of the vote. As borough president, Diaz — who is a proud Lehman alumnus (class of ’05) — has led the implementation of a “New Bronx” agenda—on economic development, housing, education and public safety. The Bronx has seen over $7 billion in new development of all kinds since Borough President Diaz took office in 2009. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Laws: Tonio Burgos, the president of Tonio Burgos & Associates (TB&A), which he founded 25 years ago. With almost four decades of government, civic involvement and legislative affairs experience, Burgos is one of the most experienced and insightful consultants in the tri-state region working with a wide range of clients in the public and private sectors, including candidates for public office. In 1983, New York Governor Mario Cuomo appointed Burgos appointments secretary and in 1984, director of executive services. Burgos also served as a commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and as a Director of the PATH Rail System. Burgos is an active leader in many civic organizations and causes. In 1995, President Bill Clinton appointed Burgos to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. He has also served as a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Board of Trustees. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Fine Arts: Micki Grant has a long and distinguished career as a composer/lyricist, musician (bass, violin, piano) playwright/librettist and stage and television actress/singer. She was one of the first African-American cast members of a daytime soap opera and the first woman to win the Grammy Award for the score for a Broadway musical. Other honors for her numerous Broadway shows include the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award, and a Tony nomination. Grant is a member of the Dramatists Guild Council, and serves on the Advisory Boards of New Federal Theatre and the Black Academy of Arts & Letters. Her multitude of awards includes the NAACP Image, OBIE, and Mademoiselle Achievement Awards. In 1999, Grant was honored with the Living Legend Award at the National Black Theatre Festival. The Festival also honored her with the Sidney Poitier Lifelong Achievement Award in 2007. She graduated from Lehman College in 1994. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Commercial Sciences: Jaime Lucero was born in 1957 in a small town in the state of Puebla called Independencia. With no English proficiency and minimal professional skills, he arrived in the United States in 1975 looking for a better future. He was part of the first wave of Mexican immigrants who came from Puebla to the tri-state area, along with his brother Julio. They bought a truck and started a clothing distribution service in New York and New Jersey. By 1985, the small business had grown into a substantial distribution company, Azteca Enterprises. In 1993, Gold and Silver Inc. was founded. Based in New Jersey, Gold and Silver Inc. imports and finishes high-end fashion clothing for major department stores. In the late ’90s, Lucero built a garment factory in his native state of Puebla. With it and other similar projects, he has helped to create more than 5,000 jobs and revitalize local economies in several underdeveloped regions of Mexico. In September 2014, the City University of New York’s Board of Trustees named the Mexican Studies Institute at Lehman College in honor of Lucero, who provided a major gift to the Lehman College Foundation in order to establish a scholarship endowment and assist the Institute in expanding its community, cultural and educational goals as a leading academic institution.
Contact: Joseph Tirella, 718-960-8013
City College of New York: 9 a.m., South Campus Great Lawn, 135th St. and Convent Ave., Manhattan.
Speaker and Honorary Degree: Doctor of Science: Dr. John O’Keefe, ’63, is one of the most influential neuroscientists today. The Harlem-born son of Irish immigrants was awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his co-discovery of cells “that constitute a positioning system in the brain.” It has been dubbed an “inner GPS” and it could play a role in Alzheimer’s research. O’Keefe is the 10th City College graduate to receive the Nobel Prize. He credits CCNY, where he earned a psychology degree, for giving him the knowledge and inspiration for his research. Dr. O’Keefe is currently professor at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at University College London (UCL). He also serves as director of the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behavior at UCL.
Speaker and Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Ursula Burns. In 2009, Burns became the first African-American female CEO of a Fortune 500 Company when Xerox appointed her to the position. She became Xerox chair in 2010. The daughter of Panamanian immigrants, Burns had started at the company as a summer intern more than 30 years earlier. She parlayed that into a full-time job at Xerox after earning a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Columbia University. Burns is active in civic and philanthropic causes. This includes Change the Equation of which she is a founding board director. It focuses on improving the nation’s education system in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. She is also director of the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Foundation. Speaker and Honorary Degree: Doctor of Science: Michael Pope, ’44 BEE, is a noted authority in the power plant field and a renowned specialist in fossil fuel-fired plants of all types. His expertise earned him two Man of the Year awards (1973, 1979) from Engineering News-Record for service to the construction industry and the Award of Honor from the American Consulting Engineers Council for developing Fluidized Bed Combustion Technology (1979). A Merchant Marine veteran of World War II, Pope was co-founder, partner and CEO of Pope Evans and Robbins, Inc. He later established a second consulting firm, where he served as president until retiring in 2004. Pope has been a long and generous supporter of CCNY and is a founding member of the City College Fund’s board of directors.
Contact: Jay Mwamba, 212-650-7580
York College: School of Business and Information Systems (9 a.m. ceremony). The Milton G. Bassin Performing Arts Center; 94-45 Guy R. Blvd., Jamaica, Queens.
Keynote speaker: Hon. Thomas P. Di Napoli, New York State comptroller in his third term. Before becoming state comptroller, Mr. DiNapoli served the state as an assemblyman from Long Island.
Contact: Marcia Moxam Comrie, 718-262-3865
Bronx Community College: 9:30 a.m., Ohio Field, Bronx Community College Campus, 2155 University Ave., Bronx.
Greetings: James B. Milliken became Chancellor of The City University of New York on June 1, 2014. Prior to his appointment, he served as president of the University of Nebraska for 10 years, where he also held appointments as professor at the University’s College of Law and the School of Public Administration. CUNY Trustee Terrence F. Martell is chairperson of the University Faculty Senate and an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees. He is director of the Weissman Center for International Business of Baruch College and the Saxe Distinguished Professor of Finance.
Contact: Diane Weathers: 718-289-5770
Queensborough Community College: 10 a.m., Athletic Field, Queensborough Community College, 222-05 56th Ave., Bayside, Queens.
Speaker: Dr. Diane B. Call, president of Queensborough Community College.
Contact: Alice Doyle, 718-281-5591; Stephen Di Dio, 718-631-6044
Borough Manhattan Community College: (11 a.m. ceremony). The Theatre in Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, N.Y.
Presidential Medal: Stephen Meringoff, president of the Meringoff Family Foundation.
Contact: Manny Romero, 212-220-1238
York College: School of Health Sciences and Professional Programs (1 p.m. ceremony). The Milton G. Bassin Performing Arts Center; 94-45 Guy R. Brewer Blvd., Jamaica, Queens.
Keynote Speaker: Hon. Yvonne Graham, director, Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Prevention, New York State Department of Health. Graham formerly served as deputy Brooklyn borough president under Borough President Marty Markowitz.
York College: School of Arts and Sciences (5 p.m. ceremony) Health and Physical Education Field; 160-30 Liberty Avenue at 160th Street between Liberty Avenue and South Road, Jamaica, Queens.
Keynote Speaker: York alumna Dr. Belinda S. Miles ’83, president of Westchester Community College.
Contact: Marcia Moxam Comrie, 718-262-3865
Borough Manhattan Community College: (3:30 p.m). The Theatre in Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, N.Y.
Presidential Medal: Jay Lieberman, trustee of The Derfner Foundation.
Contact: Manny Romero, 212-220-1238
Medgar Evers College: 10 a.m., Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn.
Speaker: Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. Honorary Degree (Posthumous), Doctor of Humane Letters: Medgar Wiley Evers, activist. Known as “The Man in Mississippi,” Medgar Evers is a seminal figure in the history of the American civil rights movement. From 1954 until his assassination in 1963, Evers traveled throughout Mississippi organizing African-Americans in peaceful protests, economic boycotts, political sit-ins, and voter registration drives to draw national and world attention to unjust practices. He was assassinated on June 12, 1963 when he was shot in the back in the driveway of his Jackson, Mississippi home. His widow, Myrlie Evers-Williams, will accept the award on his behalf.
Contact: Jamilah Fraser, 347-563-1018
Macaulay Honors College: 6:30 p.m., Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, Manhattan.
Speaker: Fareed Zakaria has been called “the most influential foreign policy adviser of his generation” (Esquire). He is the Emmy-nominated host of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, a contributing editor for The Atlantic, a columnist for The Washington Post, the bestselling author of The Post-American World and The Future of Freedom, and recently published his newest book: In Defense of a Liberal Education.
Contact: Sheila Stainback, 212-729-2924
City Tech (New York City College of Technology): 6:30 pm, Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn.
Speaker and Honorary Degree: Doctor of Science: Charles E. Phillips, Esq., CEO, Infor, the world’s third largest provider of enterprise software applications. Infor builds industry-specific software for manufacturing, healthcare, fashion and public sector organizations, among others, and pioneered the concept of deploying an entire industry in the cloud. Prior to Infor, Phillips was the president of Oracle Corporation. During his tenure there, the company tripled in size and successfully acquired 70 companies. He also was a managing director in the Technology Group at Morgan Stanley, where he was an Institutional Investor All Star for ten consecutive years. Before his 18-year career on Wall Street, Phillips was a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a J.D. from New York Law School, and an MBA from Hampton University. Phillips serves on the Boards of Viacom, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Posse Foundation, and the United States Air Force Endowment Fund, among others. He also served on the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness (previously the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board), chaired by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.
Contact: Denise Sutton, 718-260-5979. or Stephen Soiffer, 718-260-5992
Baruch College: 10 a.m., Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn.
Speaker: Errol Louis is the political anchor of NY1 News, where he hosts “Inside City Hall,” a nightly prime-time show about New York City politics. Louis also is a CNN contributor, providing on-air commentary on key events from presidential primaries to Election Night. He writes frequently for CNN.com. Louis has moderated more than a dozen debates between candidates for mayor, public advocate, city and state comptroller and state attorney general, and writes a weekly column for the New York Daily News on a range of political and social topics. He was recently ranked #30 on the list of the 100 most powerful people in New York City politics. Louis serves as director of urban reporting at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, where he has taught political and investigative reporting to dozens of students. Prior to joining NY1 News, Louis was a Daily News opinion journalist from 2004 to 2010, writing a regular column and serving on the paper’s editorial board. He also hosted a weekday talk show on AM1600 WWRL, where he was twice named one of the “Heavy 100” top talk-show hosts in America by Talkers Magazine, the bible of the news/talk radio industry. In 2010, he was named the city’s Best Columnist & Radio Show Host by the Village Voice. A graduate of New Rochelle High School, Louis attended Harvard College, where he graduated with a B.A. in Government. He also earned an M.A. in Political Science from Yale University and a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: David Krell, (MBA ’71). From the inception of the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Krell served as president and chief executive officer, and in January 2008, he became chairman. Krell co-founded ISE in 1997 along with William A. Porter, then chairman of E*Trade, and his colleague Marty Averbuch. From 1997 to 1998, Krell was chairman and co-founder of K-Squared Research, LLC, a financial services consulting firm. He has also served as vice president of the New York Stock Exchange and Merrill Lynch. Krell was an adjunct professor at Rutgers University Graduate School of Management and at the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch. He is on the board of the Baruch College Fund and the Dean’s Advisory Board for Zicklin. In May of 2008, Krell was presented with the Joseph W. Sullivan Options Industry Achievement Award at the Options Industry Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2008, Krell was appointed to the board of Sophis, a provider of cross-asset, front-to-back risk and portfolio management solutions. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Letters: Luis Alberto Moreno assumed the presidency of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in October 2005. As president of the bank, Moreno also chairs the Board of Executive Directors of the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) and the Donors’ Committee of the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) – both institutions of the IDB Group. Before joining IDB, Moreno served as Colombia’s ambassador to the United States for seven years. In Colombia, Moreno had a distinguished career in the public and private sectors. He served as minister of economic Development, president of the Instituto de Fomento Industrial, the Colombian government’s industrial finance corporation, and manager of social investment policies – including the housing strategy for low-income families. In the private sector, he advised major Colombian companies and foreign investors. He was also an executive producer of “TV Hoy,” a leading television news program. Moreno has received numerous honors and awards from governments and private entities, including Colombia’s highest honor, the Grand Cross of the Order of Boyacá and the Clinton Global Citizen Award for Leadership in Public Service. For his achievements in journalism, in 1990 Harvard University awarded him a Nieman Fellowship to pursue specialized studies and research. Moreno holds a degree in Business Administration and Economics from Florida Atlantic University and an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University.
Contact: Mary Gorman, 646-312-3315
John Jay College of Criminal Justice: Two ceremonies, at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., The Theater at Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, Manhattan.
Speaker and Honorary Degree: Doctor of Laws (10:30 a.m. ceremony): Judge Robert Katzmann is the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Judge Katzmann is a champion of the rights of immigrants in the legal system. He conceived of and is responsible for the creation of the Immigrant Justice Corps, the first fellowship program in the U.S. dedicated to meeting the critical need for high-quality legal assistance for immigrants. The program recruits talented lawyers and college graduates from around the country and partners them with New York City’s leading non-profit legal services providers and community-based organizations to offer a broad range of immigration assistance for asylum seekers, juveniles, and victims of crime, violence or human trafficking. Katzmann is also a prolific scholar, who was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was honored with the American Political Science Association’s Charles Edward Merriam Award for his “significant contribution to the art of government through the application of social science research.”
Speaker and Honorary Degree: Doctor of Laws (3:30 p.m. ceremony): William Ramirez is the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Puerto Rico. He has devoted most of his professional life to reforming the Puerto Rican Police Department, creating the Gender Violence Police Accountability Project, and human rights activism. Ramirez, who grew up in the South Bronx, was the founding vice president of the ACLU of Puerto Rico and in his early years in that position investigated allegations of human rights abuses directed at homeless drug users participating in federally funded needle exchange programs. In 2007, the ACLU began to file charges against the Puerto Rican Police Department with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. His work resulted in a National ACLU report which led to a federal court supervised consent order for sustainable reform of Puerto Rico’s Police Department. This effort by Ramirez was undertaken despite threats that were directed at him and the ACLU. As a result of the Gender Violence Police Accountability project, hundreds of women around the island have been trained as independent overseers or monitors of police compliance with domestic violence protocols mandated by the federal government. Currently, Ramirez is working on reforming the criminal justice system in Puerto Rico in collaboration with the Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice and the Puerto Rico Open Places initiative.
Contact: Doreen Viñas, 212-237-8645
LaGuardia Community College: 10 a.m., The Theater at Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza (Seventh Avenue, between 31st and 33rd Streets), Manhattan.
Speaker: Cecilia Muñoz, assistant to the President and director of the Domestic Policy Council, which coordinates the domestic policy-making process in the White House. Prior to this role, she served as deputy assistant to the President and director of Intergovernmental Affairs where she oversaw the Obama administration’s relationships with state and local governments. Before joining the Obama administration, Muñoz served as senior vice president for the Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the nation’s largest Latino civil rights organization. She supervised NCLR’s policy staff covering a variety of issues of importance to Latinos, including civil rights, employment, poverty, farmworker issues, education, health, housing, and immigration. Her particular area of expertise is immigration policy, which she covered at NCLR for 20 years. Muñoz has testified numerous times before Congress and appears regularly in the Spanish- and English-language media. Her media credits include the Today Show, Good Morning America, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Dateline NBC, O’Reilly Factor, CNN’s Situation Room, and National Public Radio. Muñoz is the former chair of the Board of Center for Community Change, and served on the U.S. Programs Board of the Open Society Institute and the Board of Directors of the Atlantic Philanthropies and the National Immigration Forum. She is the daughter of immigrants from Bolivia and was born in Detroit. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and her master’s from the University of California at Berkeley. In June 2000, she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation fellowship in recognition of her work on immigration and civil rights. In 2007, she served as the Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. She has received numerous other awards and recognitions from various sources, including the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and a variety of local non-profit organizations.
Contact: Charles Elias, 718-482-5052
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College: 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Main Theater, 450 Grand Concourse, Bronx.
Speaker (10:30 a.m. ceremony): Darren Walker is the 10th president of the Ford Foundation, but his connection to the institution and its mission — as a beneficiary, grantee, and grant maker — has spanned his entire life. As a child, Walker was a member of Head Start’s inaugural class in 1965, before attending Goose Creek, Texas, public schools. At the University of Texas, Pell Grants and scholarships helped finance his college and law school education. Both programs were Ford Foundation-funded pilot initiatives. After a 10-year career in corporate law and international finance at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and UBS, he served for seven years as chief operating officer of the Abyssinian Development Corporation, Harlem’s largest community development organization and a Ford Foundation grantee. At the Abyssinian Development Corporation, Walker led efforts to develop over 1,000 units of housing for low- and moderate-income families, was involved in two of Harlem’s largest privately financed commercial projects in 30 years, and oversaw the development of the first public school built in New York City by a community organization. From Harlem, he joined the Rockefeller Foundation, where he ultimately rose to vice president, and oversaw all domestic and international programs. Beginning in 2002, Walker helped guide the foundation’s programs in education, civil rights, workforce development, and program-related investments. He also supervised Rockefeller’s foreign offices, initiated new programming in urban development and arts and culture, and led its post-Katrina New Orleans Recovery Program. Nearly a decade later, Walker was recruited to the Ford Foundation as vice president responsible for education, creativity, and free expression programs, as well as the foundation’s four Africa offices. As vice president, he shaped more than $140 million in annual grant making around the world, covering areas as diverse as media and journalism, arts and culture, sexuality and reproductive health and rights, educational access and opportunity, and religion. Walker was a driving force behind initiatives such as JustFilms, one of the largest documentary film funds in the world, and public-private collaborations such as ArtPlace, which supports cultural development in cities and rural areas in America. In 2013 the Ford Foundation trustees appointed him chief executive, and today Walker oversees more than $12 billion in assets, $500 million in grants, and 10 international offices. As the head of the foundation, he has emphasized the importance of bringing together philanthropy, government, and business to advance social justice. He was recently credited by The New York Times as playing “a critical role in saving Detroit’s pensions and art collection in the city’s bankruptcy proceedings” — the result of an innovative partnership between nine foundations, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the State of Michigan. Walker also serves on various boards — including Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Friends of the High Line, New York City Ballet, and the Arcus Foundation — and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in government and in speech communication from the University of Texas at Austin as well as a doctorate in jurisprudence from the University of Texas School of Law.
Speaker (3:30 p.m. ceremony): Carl E. Heastie made history on Feb. 3, 2015, when the New York State Assembly elected him New York’s first African-American Assembly speaker. Speaker Heastie has stressed the need to help improve the lives of all New Yorkers. He is committed to establishing a true living wage, ensuring women’s equality, securing every child’s access to a solid education, and enacting affordable housing. Since he was first elected to office in 2000, Heastie has been a strong advocate on behalf of New York State working families, especially during his tenure as chairman of the Assembly Labor Committee. Representing the 83rd A.D. in the Bronx, Heastie has been called one of the most active Assembly members by his colleagues. He quickly became one of the leading advocates for the construction of new schools in New York City. In addition, he has secured funds for housing, education, after-school programming, health and human services, jobs readiness and computer training programs. Among his many legislative achievements, Heastie was the author of the Wage Theft Prevention Act, which provided stiffer penalties for employers who steal wages from employees. He scored victory for public health when he passed a law that prohibited the sale of Nico-water to children under 18 years old. He also authored a law to help victims of domestic violence be released from lease obligations if it is found that remaining in the residence would keep the victim in a dangerous environment. Heastie was a principal negotiator securing an increase in New York’s minimum wage, which took effect Jan. 1, 2014. Additionally, he was able to work toward increases in unemployment insurance, which had been stagnant since 1998. Prior to being elected to the state Assembly, Heastie served as a budget analyst in the New York City Comptroller’s office where he researched, prepared and authored reports on the city’s spending patterns. This experience in budget analysis is one of the strongest skills Heastie has brought to the New York State Legislature. His budget skills were honed at the State University of New York at Stony Brook where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics and Statistics, which he followed up with an MBA in Finance from Baruch College.
Contact: Rich Pietras, 917-750-1434
Tuesday, June 9
CUNY School of Professional Studies: 6 p.m., Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh., Manhattan.
Speaker: Dr. Regina Peruggi. Dr. Peruggi is recently retired after nine years as President of Kingsborough Community College/CUNY. During her tenure as President, she instituted a strategic planning process, expanded an innovative Learning Communities model, developed the KCC Workforce and Economic Development Center, created new academic programs, engaged alumni in college advancement efforts, and re-energized faculty development programs. Prior to her Kingsborough appointment, Peruggi served for three years as president of the Central Park Conservancy, and from 1990 to 2001 she was president of Marymount Manhattan College. Peruggi is a principal in the consulting firm, NEXT Transition Associates, the chairperson of the board of the Havens Relief Fund Society, and chairperson emerita of the Women’s Refugee Commission. She serves as a director on the boards of Good Shepherd Services, The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation, the Silver Shield Foundation, and the Silvercrest Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation. Peruggi earned a B.A. in sociology from The College of New Rochelle, an MBA from New York University, and an EdD from Columbia University Teachers College.
Contact: Andrea Fagon, 646-664-8690
Kingsborough Community College: 11 a.m., 2001 Oriental Boulevard, Brooklyn.
Speaker: The Honorable Dennis M. Walcott, former New York City Schools Chancellor and former deputy mayor for education and community development. Walcott most recently was an honorary distinguished fellow at the University of the West Indies and is currently a board member of Bloomberg Philanthropies. He served as chancellor of the New York City Department of Education from 2011 through 2013, following more than eight years as Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development. As chancellor, Walcott led transformational change across a system of more than 1,800 schools with 1.1million students, 136,000 employees, and a $24 billion budget. Building on Mayor Bloomberg’s Children First reforms, Walcott prioritized cultivating teacher talent, expanding school choices, creating strong partnerships with parents, and preparing students to graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and careers. Prior to his appointment as chancellor, Walcott served as Mayor Bloomberg’s deputy mayor for education and community development, overseeing and coordinating the operations of the Department of Education, the New York City Housing Authority, the Department of Youth and Community Development and the Mayor’s Office of Adult Education. Walcott maintained his supervisory role of the Department of Youth and Community Development during his tenure as chancellor. He also reviewed the activities of the New York City School Construction Authority, The City University of New York, and The City University Construction Fund. Walcott was responsible for collaborating with community-based organizations citywide and coordinating policies concerning youth programs and adult education.
Contact: Dawn S. Walker, 718-368-5543
Guttman Community College: 10:30 a.m., Gerald W. Lynch Theater, John Jay College, 524 W. 59th St., Manhattan.
Speaker: President Scott E. Evenbeck. President’s Medals: Betsy Barefoot and John N. Gardner.
Contact: Linda Merians, 646-313-8023
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 comprises 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. The University serves more than 274,000 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.