In his June report to the CUNY Board of Trustees, Chancellor James B. Milliken remarked on commencements held across the University and shared highlights from a reception for over 300 TheDream.US scholarship winners. Chancellor Milliken provided an update on both the City and State budgets and their impact on the University including major investments in the ASAP program, funding for scholarships and assistance for senior colleges to implement performance improvement plans. The Chancellor also reported that New York State adopted a new sexual assault law championed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and supported by the University.
Public meeting of the Board of Trustees, June 29, 2015.
Hedge fund manager and activist investor Whitney Tilson thought Lumber Liquidators’ profit margins were was too high. Tilson tells an audience at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business how his suspicions led him to accuse the company of using cheap Chinese lumber containing potentially unsafe levels of formaldehyde.
David Goodman, brother of slain civil-rights activist Andrew Goodman, told Queens College graduates his brother’s story is linked to them. Goodman, a Queens College student, was murdered in Mississippi in June 1964 along with two other civil rights workers. “Andy had the idea that he could be a meaningful participant in our democracy – an idea that flourished right here, at Queens College. So as you learn, so shall you serve,” Goodman said.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams urged Brooklyn College graduates to explore the world in all its forms. “Go visit a mosque, or synagogue, or Buddhist temple,” said Adams, who served in the NYPD for 22 years and holds a B.A. from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “Understand how diversity helps us to develop our full personhood and become great people.”
Don’t let others define you. At the Lehman College 2015 commencement, Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz, Jr. recalled his first day in the New York State Assembly seated next a new colleague who boasted of his Harvard degree. Diaz, up from the hardscrabble Bronx streets, didn’t miss a beat. “You got a degree from the Ivy League. I’m a CUNY-twofer. And here we are….sitting next to each other. So, either I’m a great success or you are just a terrible failure.”
Former U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell, Jr. told 2015 Hunter College graduates: “We’re fortunate to be Americans.” In a rousing speech at Madison Square Garden, Mitchell urged grads to oppose any action that denies a child an education. He also instructed them to speak out against all forms of discrimination and injustice. “Never forget that in the presence of evil, silence makes you an accomplice,” Mitchell said.
Nobel Laureate and City College alum John O’Keefe traces historic findings on the hippocampus and human memory to his recent research on the brain’s cognitive map. O’Keefe, along with two other scientists, won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering an inner GPS in the brain that helps navigate surroundings. His engaging, and often humorous, discussion marked the inaugural Professor Sharon Cosloy-Edward Blank Family Distinguished Scientist Lecture at City College.
A few years after the Armenian genocide of 1915-16, several ex-leaders of the former Ottoman Empire met sudden violent deaths at the hands of assassins. Armenian-American actor Eric Bogosian tells the real-life cloak-and-dagger story behind these little-known historical events.
The LGBT movement has won some battles, but “victory blindness” threatens these gains, Michelangelo Signorile argues in “It’s Not Over: Getting Beyond Tolerance, Defeating Homophobia and Winning True Equality.” Signorile talks about his ideas for the movement to stay on the offensive —- including bashing gay bashers — with journalist Dan Savage.