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CUNY Honors its Supporters at Commencement

August 31, 2009 | Partners and Supporters

CUNY put the spotlight on philanthropy at commencement this year, honoring some of its key supporters and tapping several as keynote speakers.

  • Philanthropist, real estate developer and 1943 City College alumnus Bernard Spitzer, who recently established The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at City College, was awarded the President’s Medal for Distinguished Service.
  • Sidney M. Harman, PhD, Baruch College class of ’39, delivered the college’s keynote address. Dr. Harman, executive chairman of Harman International Industries Inc. is the founder of the Harman Writers-in-Residence program at Baruch.
  • Brooklyn College awarded the Presidential Medal to Barry R. Feirstein, class of ’74, and Howard “Woody” Tanger. Mr. Feirstein is chair of the Brooklyn College Foundation and creator of the Barry R. Feirstein Presidential Scholarship. Mr. Tanger, whose father, Alexander Tanger, was a Brooklyn College alum, is a major supporter of the college’s Library Café and the benefactor of the Woody Tanger Auditorium.
  • Don Buchwald, class of ’59, chair of the Brooklyn College Foundation’s Performing Arts Center Committee, received the Distinguished Alumni award “for his long and principled career as a talent agent … and his steadfast loyalty to and support of his alma mater.”
  • Widely regarded as one of the best attorneys in the country, Hunter College alumna Sheila Birnbaum – BA, Phi Beta Kappa, class of ’60 and MA class of ’62 – received an honorary Doctorate of Laws.