CCNY’s 160th Commencement to Take Place June 1
CCNY will confer an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree on Howard Dodson, Director of the Schomburg Center, and an honorary Doctor of Science degree on Physics Professor Emeritus Harry Lustig at the 160thCommencement Exercises, 10 a.m. Thursday, June 1. This year’s Valedictorian is Ilana Hellmann, who is graduating from the CUNY Honors College at CCNY with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. After graduation, she will join the U.S. General Services Administration as an engineer. The Class of 2006 Salutatorian is Fabiha Naumi, a psychology and sociology double major. Following graduation, she will go to her native Bangladesh to work forGrameen Bank. President Williams will deliver the Commencement address. The 2006 Honors Convocation will be held 6 p.m. Thursday, May 25, in the Great Hall. Approximately 500 graduating seniors will be recognized during that ceremony.
Gen. Colin L. Powell, ’58, Donates $1 Million to Policy Center
Gen. Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.), ’58, announced at a press conference May 3 in Shepard Hall that he is donating $1 million to the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies. “Since stepping down as Secretary of State a little over a year ago, I have made the Colin Powell Center at my alma mater, The City College of New York, my priority,” he said in a statement. The gift from General Powell will provide the foundation for a significant expansion of the Colin Powell Center’s activities and facilities. He and the Center’s Directors, Vincent Boudreau and Andrew Rich, have been collaborating on a plan that calls for enlarging the Center greatly over a five-year period. In addition to his gift, General Powell announced the names of 20 distinguished Americans who have agreed to serve as members of the Colin Powell Center’s Advisory Council, which he chairs. “Throughout his distinguished career in military and public service, Colin L. Powell has stood for what a City College education represents, a bridge between modest beginnings and virtually limitless opportunity,” CCNY President Gregory H. Williams said in a statement. Previously, General Powell contributed more than $350,000 to establish the Maud and Luther Powell America’s Promise Scholarship in honor of his parents. More on this story.
CCNY Tops Model UN for Third Year
CCNY’s dominance in the annual model UN continues: For the third year running, CCNY took top honors at the National Model United Nations (NMUN) Conference, held last month at the United Nations and Marriott Marquis hotel. City was one of 15 institutions to receive an “Outstanding Delegation” award, the equivalent of a gold medal, in the 2006 competition, which attracted 240 colleges and universities from five continents. Junior Kathleen Thomas and sophomore Jessica Sell, both majoring in International Studies, served as Head Delegates for the 15-member CCNY contingent. “It’s the depth of our diversity that makes our team so unique and strong,” said Ms. Thomas, just one of five Americans in the City College delegation. “We come from different backgrounds and cultures, but of course, we also work extremely hard.” More on this story.
Presidential Awards Gala, Honoring Sy Sternberg, ’65, Raises $1.15 Million
Over $1 million dollars was raised at City College’s Third Presidential Awards Dinner, President Gregory Williams announced. The dinner. which honored Sy Sternberg, ’65, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Life Insurance Company, was held May 2 at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. The glittering gala was attended by many distinguished CCNY alumni including former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell ’58 and Chancellor of The City University of New York (CUNY) Dr. Matthew Goldstein ’63, who were the featured speakers. Linda Kaplan Thaler ’72, President and Chief Creative Officer of the Kaplan Thaler Group, emceed the event. “The overwhelming success of the dinner is a strong testimony to the high regard in which Sy is held,” said President Williams. “It was a privilege for the City College of New York to honor him for his accomplishments, as well as his strong and unflinching support for his Alma Mater.” Mr. Sternberg, who earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering at CCNY and holds an M.S.E.E. from Northeastern University, heads the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States and one of the largest life insurers in the world.
CCNY MFA Film Earns Student Oscar Nomination
“6AM,” a short film written and directed by Carmen Vidal, a second-year Cinematography major in the M.F.A. in Media Arts Production program, was selected as a national finalist for the 2006 Student Academy Awards. The film, a portrait of a quiet New York City in the last moments before dawn, was one of two finalists in its category nominated from among 149 entries in Region 3, which includes New York and Puerto Rico. The winners will be announced at a ceremony June 11 in Los Angeles. Ms. Vidal, a native of Spain, was supported on the project by: Octavio Warnock-Graham, director of photography; Sara Booth, editor; Ira Blanchard, second camera, and Piotr Kajustra, producer. The Student Academy Awards, a program of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, supports and encourage filmmakers with no previous professional experience who are enrolled at accredited colleges and universities. More on this story.
President Williams Receives High Honor from Austrian Government
On a recent trip to Vienna, President Williams was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art, 1st Class, one of that country’s highest civilian honors, for promoting educational cooperation between Austria and New York City. Elisabeth Gehrer, Federal Minister of Education, Science and Culture, who presented the award to President Williams, cited his strong commitment to the many education cooperation programs between Austria and New York. In accepting the award, President Williams recalled his humble upbringing in a segregated town in the 1950s and 1960s and said never would he have imagined that some four decades later he would be standing in such an extraordinary museum like the Museum of Fine Arts, surrounded by the art and artifacts of 1,000 years of Western civilization to receive such an esteemed award. More on this story.
Physics Department Revising Undergraduate Program
The City College Physics Department is embarking upon a major revision of its undergraduate program and curriculum, according to Distinguished Professor Myriam Sarachik, the department Chair. The new curriculum will offer students better-structured courses, a modernized curriculum and increased flexibility in choosing and designing study sequences. Introductory courses will now incorporate laboratory exercises (previously a separate class) and be taught with a combination of larger lectures taught by “star” professors and combined recitation/lab sections. With an eye to updating the curriculum for all sections in the future, one experimental section will be run that features greater focus on important developments of the 20th Century such as special relativity, quantum mechanics and nanophysics. The changes will take place for the Fall 2006 semester. The department is also establishing a flexible major that allows students to combine a reduced set of physics courses with courses in other disciplines.
Poetry Festival Set For Tuesday in Aaron Davis Hall
The 34th Annual City College Poetry Festival takes place 9:15 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 16 in Aaron Davis Hall. The event, “New York’s longest-running, most established and most democratic poetry celebration,” features recitations by elementary and high school students from all five boroughs, a competition for cash awards in the high school division and readings by CCNY students, alumni, faculty members and published poets from around the country. This year’s featured guest is Alicia Ostriker, an award-winning American poet and critic who was nominated twice for a National Book Award and has authored 11 volumes of poetry. City College’s Division of Humanities and Arts and the Poetry Outreach Center, directed by Professor Barry Wallenstein, sponsor the Festival. More on this story.
City College Fund Names Elena Sturman Executive Director
Elena Sturman has been appointed Executive Director of The City College Fund, succeeding Jim Schatz, who retired last year after having served in that position since 1994. The City College Fund raises money for scholarships and to support programs and activities at CCNY not covered by tax levies. Ms. Sturman joined The Fund in 2000 as Director of Donor Relations, and had been serving as Acting Executive Director since last July. Four years ago, she helped establish the Stuyvesant Scholarship Program, which aims to recruit high-achieving seniors from that school to CCNY. Earlier this year, Larry Gralla, ’51, a principal supporter of the Stuyvesant Project, and his wife, Yvette, ’52, pledged $7 million to replicate the program at up to 11 additional academically competitive New York City public high schools.
D.A. Pennebaker To Keynote Cityvisions Film Festival, May 30-31
Legendary documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker will deliver the keynote address at Cityvisions 2006, the eighth annual showcase and juried festival of thesis films from the M.F.A. in Media Arts Production at The City College of New York (CCNY). The event will take place at the Clearview Cinema, 62nd St. & Broadway, May 30 and 31, starting at 6 p.m. both nights. Admission is $5.00 per night. 12 student thesis films will be screened and compete for awards during the festival. Professor Dave Davidson, Director of the M.F.A. Program, described the collection of films as “perhaps our best ever. It is compelling material – entertaining, but by no means lightweight.” Keynote speaker Pennebaker is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of cinema verite filmmaking. His films include: Don’t Look Back, a portrait of Bob Dylan; Monterey Pop, which starred Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, and The War Room, which followed Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign, and was nominated for an Academy Award in 1994. More on this story, or go to www.cityvisions-ccny.com.
“Telling Dominican History: The Pioneers”
Pioneering Dominican activists Normandia Maldonado and Juan A. Paulino will be honored at a dinner celebrating their donation of personal papers, materials and other memorabilia related to their respective causes to the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute’s Dominican Archives. The event, “Telling Dominican History: The Pioneers,” takes place 6 – 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 17, in the Faculty Dining Room. It features cultural performance by Ballet Quisqueya, an organization founded by Ms. Maldonado in 1988 to promote Dominican culture through folk music. Ms. Maldonado is also is the co-founder of the Centro Cívico Cultural Juan Pablo Duarte and the Dominican Parade in Manhattan. Mr. Paulino founded the Centro Cívico y Cultural Juan Pablo Duarte, (a different organization), which promotes awareness about Juan Pablo Duarte, the Dominican Republic’s founding president, and his ideals. Call (212) 650-7496 for more information.
The CCNY Architectural Alumni presented Distinguished Alumni Awards to Alan Hantman, ’64, and Signe Nielsen, ’77, at their Spring Event, May 10. Mr. Hantman is Architect of The Capitol and Mr. Nielsen is with Matthews Nielsen Landscape Architects. The Distinguished Faculty Award was presented to Gary McNeil, ’65. The Communications Alumni inducted into their Hall of Fame: Terence Samuel, ’84, Director of Programming, AOL Black Voices; Gerald Eskenazi, ’59, New York Times sportswriter and author; Charlotte Frank, ’50, Vice President, Research, McGraw-Hill-Hill Education, and David Diaz, ’65, well-known television newscaster and Distinguished Lecturer at CCNY, at their 31st Annual Dinner, May 11. In addition, writer and editor Milton Himmelfarb, ’38, and Business Week economics editor Norman Jonas, ’55, were inducted posthumously. The Alumni Varsity will induct nine athletes into their Hall of Fame at their 41st Annual Dinner, May 16: Dr. Robert Behrman, ’49; Karl F. Birns, ’69; Robert Demas, ’58; Dr. Robert M. Glasse, ’51; Joseph Grevious, ’55; Rotchild MaGloire, Robyn McCarthy, Hector Muñoz, ’01, and Peter Saad, ’99. They will present the Mark Asa Abbott Award to Bob Adler, ’58, and a special award to body building pioneer Tom Sansone. The Engineering School Alumni will present a Career Achievement Award to John Dionisio, ’71, President and Chief Executive Officer, AECOM Technology Corp., at their Annual Banquet and Awards Dinner, May 23.
From the President
This is the time of year when the College community gathers together to celebrate the remarkable successes of our students, in school, departmental and divisional awards programs, and, of course, at Honors Convocation and Commencement. I would like to take this moment, however, to recognize and thank the faculty and staff of The City College of New York, for the success of our students is your success.
You have mentored and taught and counseled these young men and women; you have helped them to navigate a sometimes confusing and often cumbersome system; you have been stern and keen and kind in offering the encouragement and discipline they needed. As you know, I believe that college is a time of transformation. You have helped to transform the lives of the Class of 2006, and I have no doubt they will go on to transform the world we live in.
At commencement on Thursday, June 1, we will celebrate the success of your students, and present honorary degrees to Howard Dodson, one of the preeminent scholars of African-American history in the United States and the Director of the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture, and to a man that many of you will remember as a former Dean of Science and Provost at City College, Harry Lustig. I hope to see you there.
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