The week of September 25 was bittersweet at Hostos as Nydia Edgecombe, the longtime Director of Hostos’ Alumni Relations Office, bid her farewell after four decades of service to the College and the community.
The goodbye began on September 28, as the Bronx Chamber of Commerce recognized her incredible career at the Hispanic Heritage Celebration Luncheon at Tosca’s Marquee in the Bronx. There, she was celebrated alongside many of the same people she has worked with during her time at the College, including Luis Eladio Torres; Principal, Community School 55 and Hostos alum; Carmelo Alvarado, Vice President, Relationship Manager, TD Bank; Officer Norkiss Andino, 49th Precinct, NYPD; Joe Ithier, Consultant, Red Apple Group; and Dulce Maria Nuñez, Licensed Mortgage Originator, A.S.A.P. Mortgage Corp.
Surrounded by colleagues, friends and her husband Wallace Edgecombe, she thanked the former co-workers and students who she said impacted her life for the better and dedicated her award to the people suffering in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria.
Later that week on Sept. 29, the Division for Institutional Advancement threw Edgecombe a surprise luncheon as the college community stopped by her office throughout the day to say farewell on what was her final day at Hostos.
Her final grand sendoff is scheduled for Oct. 21, when a tribute concert for to Pete “El Conde” Rodríguez will be held in her honor. The evening will feature his daughter, acclaimed singer Cita Rodríguez, and his son, the multitalented jazz trumpeter Dr. Pete Rodríguez as musical director, with cameo appearances by artists who performed with “El Conde” over the course of his career.
To purchase tickets and join the celebration, click here.
More about Nydia Edgecombe
Nydia Edgecombe has worked at Eugenio María de Hostos Community College of The City University of New York (CUNY) since August 2, 1977.
When she first came to work at Hostos she was hired as a college assistant in the Admissions Office, assisting the Director of Admissions at that time, Virginia Paris, with the Spanish correspondence for new immigrants from Latin America. Nydia immediately fell in love with the College, making a career out of servicing students. Throughout the years, she was promoted to a variety of positions, becoming the Director of Admissions and Recruitment in1986.
Her new recruitment and admission strategies for the College included developing the first On-The-Spot Admission program in CUNY to simplify the application process for new students. Nydia also assisted in the development of the first direct admission process within the CUNY system, securing the enrollment of hundreds of students from the community into Hostos. While directing the Admissions and Recruitment Office, she also served as the International Students Advisor, preparing visas for students from all over the world eager to attend classes at Hostos.
During her tenure as Director of Admissions and Recruitment, she chaired the CUNY Council of Admissions Directors from 2000 to 2002. In 2003, she was named the first chair for the newly formed CUNY Community College Enrollment Committee.
After 18 years at the helm at the Admissions and Recruitment Office, Nydia became the first Director of Alumni Relations at Hostos, developing this office from the ground up. The Office currently holds an alumni database of more than 20,000 graduates. She established the first alumni photo ID in the CUNY system, providing graduates with in-house access to the gym, library and the computer and fitness centers. Under Nydia’s leadership, the Hostos alumni enjoy significant discounts to attend enhancement courses through the Hostos Workforce and Continuing Education Department, as well as discount tickets to attend concerts sponsored by the Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture. A partnership with the Career Services Office allows alumni to attend the college career fairs and free interview skills and resume workshops.
Nydia is also a founding member of the Hostos Circle of 100 Scholarship and Emergency Fund. From 2006 to the present, as the principal development coordinator and administrator of this fund, she has secured funds from alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the College to support the needs of students near graduation facing financial adversities. Throughout the years, more than $250,000 have been awarded to this cohort of students, securing their transition from candidates of graduation to alumni. The Circle of 100 continues to be active, with an established base of loyal donors supporting this fund.
In addition to the Circle of 100, she has coordinated other fundraising campaigns to support the education of all Hostos students. These have included the CUNY Charitable Campaigns from 2003 to 2009, the Invest in CUNY Bronx Scholarship Committee from 2009 to 2013 and the Hostos CUNY Giving Tuesday Campaign in 2016.
Nydia was instrumental in establishing Hostos’ Josephine Aguado Scholarship for Single Parents (2010), the Virginia Paris Scholarship for Social Justice (2012), the Gerald J. Meyer Transfer Scholarship (2014), and the Ramón J. Jiménez Memorial Scholarship (2016). From 2004 to 2014, Nydia also secured more than $50,000 in scholarship funding from the Diversity Foundation, Inc., which included funds from The New York Yankees and the Puerto Rican Parade, Inc.
Nydia is quick to point out that, from 2007 to 2014, she established the Hostos Dominican and Martin Luther King Scholarships, with the generous support of Healthfirst, awarding over $10,000 to students to support their Hostos graduation.
Nydia holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Lehman College, class of 1982, and a Master in Science in Education from Baruch College, with a concentration in Higher Education Administration, class of 1992. She also completed two training certificates (2008 and 2010) with the Invest-in-CUNY Fundraising Academy, at the CUNY School of Professional Studies.
She is currently a candidate for a doctoral degree in history of Puerto Rico from El Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y El Caribe in old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Nydia is scheduled to defend her thesis, “The Hell Lady from the Bronx” Evelina López Antonetty, el activismo comunitario de una puertorriqueña en la diáspora del Sur del Bronx”, in the spring of 2018.
Since 1982 she has been happily married to Wallace Ingraham Edgecombe, “el amor de su vida.” She has a daughter, Jenny, and three grandchildren: handsome and wonderful Max, beautiful and smart Olivia and funny and adorable Riley.
About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities for nearly half a century. Since 1968, Hostos has been a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs.
Hostos offers 27 associate degree programs and two certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to The City University of New York’s (CUNY) four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of CUNY, the nation’s leading urban public university, which serves more than 500,000 students at 24 colleges.