CUNY TO GRADUATE THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS IN COMMENCEMENT CEREMONIES, WITH LEADERS, ARTISTS, WRITERS AND MORE AS KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Thousands of students from The City University of New York’s 24 institutions will receive their degrees over the next few weeks at commencements featuring keynote speakers whose accomplishments as leaders, influencers, artists and writers are as diverse as CUNY itself.

Among the addresses will be the City College commencement speech by Anita Hill, whose allegations against a Supreme Court nominee nearly 30 years ago made sexual harassment a national issue and laid the groundwork for the #MeToo movement of today. Another is André Aciman, a Lehman College alumnus and now a CUNY professor who is the author of the book that became the acclaimed 2017 film “Call Me By Your Name.” Cristina Jiménez Moreta, who led the movement that created DACA while a student at Queens College and was recently named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2018, will deliver the address at her alma mater. Journalist and MSNBC host Chris Hayes will speak to graduates of Macaulay Honors College. Actor, producer and filmmaker Vin Diesel will deliver the address at Hunter College’s commencement ceremony.

“The commencements on CUNY’s campuses each spring are celebrations of achievement for our new graduates, of course, but also for their colleges and for the University as a whole,” said Chancellor James B. Milliken. “This year’s commencement speakers reflect our mission and the diversity that makes CUNY special. It’s a pleasure to read this year’s list and see so many people who have made a difference in the world since they were students themselves. Their stories and their words on commencement day will be sources of inspiration to our new graduates.”

Here is a look at the commencement speakers scheduled for seven of CUNY’s senior colleges and highlights of others:

City College: Anita Hill, whose allegations against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas brought sexual harassment into the forefront as a national issue in 1991, will speak at CCNY’s 172nd commencement on June 1. Hill is now a professor of social policy, law and women’s studies at Brandeis University’s Heller’s School for Social Policy and Management. The sexual harassment cases and #MeToo movement of the past year have brought Hill back into prominence as the woman whose courage in speaking out made sexual harassment a part of the social lexicon. The City College commencement will be on the South Campus Great Lawn.

Baruch College: Jan Chu, chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), will be the keynote speaker at Baruch’s commencement May 30 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. An accomplished artist and musician and the daughter of Chinese immigrants, Chu has overseen $409 million in NEA grants since becoming chairperson in 2014. She has launched projects to demonstrate the importance of the arts, including an initiative called Creativity Connects, which investigates the current state of the arts in the country and explores how the arts connect with other industries. In 2016, Chu received a Special Tony Award on behalf of the NEA for its “unwavering commitment in paving the road” between Broadway and cities throughout the United States.

Lehman College: Novelist and memoirist André Aciman, a 1973 Lehman graduate and now a CUNY professor, will be the speaker at the college’s 50th Commencement on May 31. Aciman is the author of the 2007 novel “Call Me By Your Name,” which was turned into an Academy Award-winning movie. Egyptian-born and the author of four novels, Aciman is a distinguished professor in the comparative literature program at The Graduate Center and the director of its Writers’ Institute.

Brooklyn College: Judith Heumann, a Brooklyn-born disability-rights activist whose social justice leadership is recognized globally, will be the keynote speaker and receive an honorary doctorate at Brooklyn’s commencement May 31 at Barclays Center. Known as the “mother of the independent living disability-rights movement,” Heumann, who has used a wheelchair since contracting polio when she was two, has been a leading force in legislation and policies that benefit and protect people with disabilities. Her pioneering efforts over more than four decades — working for the World Bank and in the Clinton and Obama administrations, led the charge for the mainstream recognition of disability rights.

Queens College: Cristina Jiménez Moreta, a Queens alumna who organized the national campaign that led to the creation of DACA when she was a student, will be the college’s commencement speaker on May 31. Born in Ecuador, Jiménez Moreta came to New York with her parents when she was 13 and graduated cum laude in 2007. She founded and remains executive director of United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the country, and last year she was named a MacArthur Fellow for her role in changing public perceptions of immigrant youth and for helping shape the national debate around immigration policy. She was recently named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2018.

Hunter College: Actor Vin Diesel, who attended Hunter as an English major in the late 1980s before pursuing an acting career, will deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary doctorate at the college’s graduation ceremonies at Radio City Music Hall on May 30. Diesel, whose given name was Mark Sinclair, grew up in New York and began acting when he was 7. He’s best known for his portrayal of the character Dominic Toretto in “The Fast and the Furious” movie franchise.Diesel recently starred in and produced the eighth installment, which grossed $1.2 billion worldwide.

Macaulay Honors College: MSNBC host Chris Hayes will address Macaulay’s 500 graduates at the United Palace Theater on June 7. Born and raised in the Bronx, Hayes attended Hunter College High School and became one of the country’s prominent young journalists and commentators. In addition to hosting the nightly “All In with Chris Hayes” on MSNBC, Hayes is the author of the bestselling Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy, about the crisis of authority in American life, and A Colony in a Nation, focusing on the racial disparities of the criminal justice system.

York College: Lysa Scully, general manager of LaGuardia Airport, will deliver the York commencement address June 1. Apart from running one of the country’s busiest airports, Scully is overseeing the $8 billion project to bring LaGuardia into the 21st century, creating an entirely new airport while the existing one remains up and running.

CUNY School of Professional Studies: Writer and social activist Shaun King will be the speaker at the school’s commencement June 1 at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center. King is known for his columns on justice for The New York Daily News and promotion of the Black Lives Matter movement on social media. He’s now a writer-in-residence at Harvard Law School’s Fair Punishment Project and a columnist for The Intercept.


CUNY COMMENCEMENT 2018 SCHEDULE

 

BARUCH COLLEGE

 

WHO:             Jane Chu, chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts, will deliver the commencement address and receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree.

WHERE:        Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Ave., in Brooklyn, NY

WHEN:          Wednesday, May 30, 2018, at 9:30 a.m.

CONTACT:   Suzanne Bronski, 646-660-6093

 

CUNY GRADUATE CENTER

 

WHO:            André Acimen (’73), a Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center and author of the acclaimed novel Call Me By Your Name, will deliver the keynote address.

WHERE:        David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, Columbus Avenue and 65th Street, New York, NY

WHEN:
          Wednesday May 30, 2018, at 7:30 p.m.

CONTACT:   Tanya Domi, 212-817-7283

 

HUNTER COLLEGE

 

WHO:            Actor, producer and filmmaker Vin Diesel (“The Fast & The Furious,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “The Chronicles of Riddick”) who attended Hunter College, will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, as well as deliver the keynote address.

WHERE:        Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY

WHEN:          Wednesday, May 30, 2018, at 3:00 p.m.

CONTACT:   Devin Callahan, 212-396-6590

 

JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE

 

WHO:            Ronald V. Clarke, one of the most important figures in criminal justice research and education, has helped to transform the study of criminology over the past four decades. He will deliver the keynote address at themorning ceremony. He will also be honored with an Honorary Doctor of Science degree. Rashida Manjoo, an international human rights advocate, particularly in the area of women’s rights as human rights, for over 30 years, will be the keynote speaker at the afternoon ceremony and also receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.

WHERE:        Arthur Ashe Stadium, 124-02 Roosevelt Ave., Flushing, NY

WHEN:          There will be two commencement ceremonies on Wednesday, May 30, 2018, the first at 10:30 a.m. and then at 3:30 p.m.

CONTACT:   Rama Sudhakar, 212-237-8628

BROOKLYN COLLEGE

 

WHO:            Judith E. “Judy” Heumann, a disability-rights activist whose social justice leadership is recognized globally, will be the keynote speaker and receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree.

WHERE:        Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Ave., in Brooklyn, NY

WHEN:          Thursday, May 31, 2018, at 9:15 a.m.

CONTACT:   Keisha-Gaye Anderson, 718-951-5882

 

COLLEGE OF STATEN ISLAND

 

WHO:             Tyehimba Jess
, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and associate professor of English at the College of Staten Island, will deliver the keynote address.

WHERE:        Great Lawn, CSI, Willowbrook Campus, 2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island, NY

WHEN:          Thursday, May 31, 2018, at 9:30 a.m.

CONTACT:   Terry Mares, 718-982-2428

 

THE CUNY GRADUATE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH & HEALTH POLICY

 

WHO:            Cecile Richards, a national leader for women’s rights and social and economic justice, author of The New York Times bestseller Make Trouble, and president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, will be the keynote speaker. Ms. Richards will also be given an Honorary Doctor of Science degree.

WHERE:        Apollo Theater, 253 W 125th St., New York, NY

WHEN:          Thursday, May 31, 2018, at 5 p.m.

CONTACT:   Barbara Aaron, 646-364-9772

 

HOSTOS COMMUNITY COLLEGE

 

WHO:             Luis Salgado, an international director, choreographer and educator (“In The Heights” and “On Your Feet!”)will deliver the keynote address.

WHERE:        New York City Center, 131 W 55th St., New York, NY

WHEN:          Thursday, May 31, 2018, at 3 p.m.

CONTACT:   Rich Pietras, 718-518-6513

 

LEHMAN COLLEGE

 

WHO:             André Acimen (’73), a Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center and author of the acclaimed novel Call    Me by Your Name, will deliver the keynote address. Acimen will also be receive the Alumni Achievement Award.

WHERE:        South Field, Lehman College, 250 Bedford Park Blvd. West, Bronx, NY

WHEN:          Thursday, May 31, 2018, at 10:00 a.m.

CONTACT:   David Koeppel, 718-960-4492

 

QUEENS COLLEGE

 

WHO:             Cristina Jiménez Moreta (’07), a MacArthur Fellow, an immigrant rights advocate and co-founder of United We Dream, will serve as the keynote speaker and will be presented with an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters degree.

WHERE:        Queens College Quad, 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Queens, NY

WHEN:          Thursday, May 31, 2018, at 9 a.m.

CONTACT:   Maria Matteo, 718-997-5595

 

BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE

 

WHO:             Tim Tynan, the Managing Director and Global Head of Citigroup Business Services, will be honored with a Presidential Medal Award at the morning ceremony and will address the graduates. Steven Fiterman, Manager and Chief Principal of the Steven C. and Susan L. Fiterman Charitable Foundation, will also be honored with a Presidential Medal Award and will address the afternoon graduates.

WHERE:        The Theater at Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza in New York, NY

WHEN:          Friday, June 1, 2018, at 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

CONTACT:   Manuel Romero, 212-220-1238

 

BRONX COMMUNITY COLLEGE

 

WHO:             This year’s ceremony will have no commencement speaker.

WHERE:        Ohio Field, Bronx Community College, 2155 University Ave/, Bronx, NY

WHEN:          Friday, June 1, 2018, at 9:30 a.m.

CONTACT:   Ramona Barksdale, 718-289-5457

 

CITY COLLEGE OF NEW YORK

 

WHO:             Anita F. Hill, noted law professor, author and activist for gender and civil rights, will serve as the keynote speaker and receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree.

WHERE:        South Campus Great Lawn, 135th St. and Convent Ave., New York, NY

WHEN:          Friday, June 1, 2018, at 9:30 a.m.

CONTACT:   Jay Mwamba, 212-650-7580

 

CUNY SCHOOL OF PROFESSIONAL STUDIES

 

WHO:             Shaun King, journalist, activist and humanitarian, who is a Writer-In-Residence at Harvard Law School’s Fair Punishment Project and columnist  for The Intercept, will deliver this year’s keynote address.

WHERE:        David Geffen Hall, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY

WHEN:          Friday, June 1, 2018, 4:30 p.m.

CONTACT:   Andrea Fagon, 646-664-8690

 

QUEENSBOROUGH COMMUNITY COLLEGE

 

WHO:             Dr. Diane B. Call, the President of Queensborough Community College, will deliver this year’s keynote address.

WHERE:        Queensborough Community College Athletic Field, QCC, 222-05 56th Ave., Bayside, NY

WHEN:          Friday, June 1, 2018, at 9:00 a.m.

CONTACT:   Alice Doyle, 718-281-5591

 

YORK COLLEGE

 

WHO:             Lysa Scully, general manager of LaGuardia Airport, will deliver the keynote address at this year’s commencement.

WHERE:        Health and Physical Education Field, York College, 160-30 Liberty Ave., Jamaica, NY

WHEN:          Friday, June 1, 2018, at 9:00 a.m.

CONTACT:   Marcia Comrie, 718-262-3865

 

CUNY BACCALAUREATE

 

WHO:            Gareth Rhodes (’11) who graduated summa cum laude from the CUNY B.A. program, before going to work for Governor Andrew Cuomo as deputy press secretary, will deliver the keynote address. He is currently attending Harvard Law School and running for Congress in New York’s 19th District.

WHERE:        Proshansky Auditorium, CUNY Graduate Center, 365 5th Ave., New York, NY

WHEN:          Monday, June 4, 2018, at 10:30 a.m.

CONTACT:   Regina Matthews, 212.817.8223

 

MEDGAR EVERS COLLEGE

 

WHO:             Deval Patrick, the former Governor of Massachusetts, will deliver the keynote address and receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

WHERE:        Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

WHEN:          Monday, June 4, 2018, at 9 a.m.

CONTACT:   Kevin Adams, 718-270-6244

 

NEW YORK CITY COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY

 

WHO:            Catherine Grace “Cady” Coleman, a former member of the NASA Astronaut Corps, Air Force Officer and chemist, will deliver the keynote address.

WHERE:        Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn, NY

WHEN:          Monday, June 4, 2018, at 5:30 p.m.

CONTACT:   Stephen M. Soiffer, 718-260-5992

 

LAGUARDIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE

 

WHO:             Shaun King, journalist, activist and humanitarian, who is a Writer-In-Residence at Harvard Law School’s Fair Punishment Project and columnist  for The Intercept, will deliver this year’s keynote address.

WHERE:        Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Ave., in Brooklyn, NY

WHEN:          Tuesday, June 5, 2018, at 9 a.m.

CONTACT:   Luda Spajic, 718-482-5060

 

MACAULAY HONORS COLLEGE

 

WHO:            Chris Hayes, host of MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes” and bestselling author, will deliver this year’s keynote address.

WHERE:        United Palace Theater, 4140 Broadway, New York, NY.

WHEN:          Thursday, June 7, 2018, at 3:00 p.m.

CONTACT:   Kathryn Lineberger, 212-729-2912

 

STELLA AND CHARLES GUTTMAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE

 

WHO:            Dr. John B. King, Jr. the President and CEO of The Education Trust, a national nonprofit organization that aims to identify and close opportunity and achievement gaps from preschool through college, and former U.S. Secretary of Education, is this year’s keynote speaker. Dr. King will also receive a Presidential Medal Award.

WHERE:        Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture, Hostos Community College, 450 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY

WHEN:          Thursday, June 14, 2018, at 10:30 a.m.

CONTACT:   Linda Merians, 646-313-8023

 

KINGSBOROUGH COMMUNITY COLLEGE

WHO:           Jaime R. Williams, New York State Assemblymember from Brooklyn’s Assembly District 59. Assemblymember Williams is also a graduate of Kingsborough Community College.

WHERE:       MAC Amphitheatre, Kingsborough Community College,2001 Oriental Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY 11235

WHEN:          Thursday, June 14, 2018, at 10:00 a.m.

CONTACT:   John Aaron, 718-368-5394

 

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 23 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni.  CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields. The University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 272,000 undergraduate students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 400 high schools throughout the five boroughs. The University offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.

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