May 2022
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As the academic year winds down, campus life—and my schedule—remains busy. It is a joy to be a part of our active, engaged community.
In observance of Yom HaShoah last Wednesday, April 27, I had an enlightening and thought-provoking conversation with Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League. Our discussion, presented by the Center for Jewish Studies and Queens College, addressed not only the rising incidence of antisemitic incidents, but also the need to combat all hate crimes, whoever is targeted. This timely occasion, which was conducted in the Rosenthal Library and livestreamed, was covered by QNS.
A talk by QC alumnus Lee Korn was on the menu when the college held a breakfast for business students.
Collectively, QC alumni comprise a powerful network, holding prominent positions in many areas. Building on that legacy, the college held a breakfast on Thursday, April 28, to allow students in the new Queens College Business School to talk to successful alumni in a casual setting. Lee Korn ’96 and Max Rodriguez ’07, a Queens College Foundation trustee, attended, as did some recent graduates. Michael Wechsler ’90 and Frank Boccio ’74, economics faculty, were there in support of their students. Future connecting breakfasts will be planned.
President Frank H. Wu, CUNY Trustee Sandra Wilkin, and AVP of Facilities Planning and Operations Zeco Krcic take a spin around campus.
CUNY Board of Trustees Vice Chairperson Sandra Wilkin visited the college on Friday, April 29. Trustee Wilkin, a graduate of two CUNY colleges who is prominent in the construction industry, co-founded the Women and Minorities Builder's Council. She toured the campus and joined us for enlightening conversations with several esteemed members of our community.
From left, Ying Zhou (Tech Incubator), Shiro Withanachchi (Economics), Luc Marest (Economics), Interim Associate Provost of Innovation and Student Success Nathalia Holtzman, President Frank H. Wu, Vice Chairperson Sandra Wilkin, and AVP for Budget and Finance Joseph Loughren.
The Global Chamber, an international chamber of commerce, held a globinar on Thursday, April 21, featuring the QC Tech Incubator. I had the opportunity to say a few words about Queens College’s new business and art schools and their importance in the “world’s borough” before the virtual microphone was passed to Ying Zhou, the incubator’s executive director.
In just two days, we will celebrate the launch of Queens College School of Art, or QCArts for short. Its mission—reflecting the college’s core values—is to build the community and diversity of artists, people who work in the business of the arts, and their audiences. Festivities on Thursday, May 5, begin at 5 pm, when guests can embark on a spectacular self-guided campus Arts Walk to meet arts faculty and students and learn more about QCArts programs and resources. At 6:30 pm, we’ll toast the school with a reception in the atrium of the Aaron Copland School of Music. 
Drama, Theatre & Dance will present Metanoia, a showcase of student choreography, that evening at 8 pm, with performances through Sunday, May 8. Our student showcases give aspiring choreographers, dancers, and designers the opportunity to collaborate on creating and performing original works. The rest of us get a chance to see talented artists in action before they become famous! Tickets are available in advance at the Kupferberg Center Box Office at Colden Theater and online at
CUNY marks its 175th birthday on Saturday, May 7. On that day in 1847, the Free Academy—the predecessor of The City College of New York—received its charter from the New York State Legislature. (Yes, this remarkable educational institution has been around more than twice as long as Queens College, which turns 85 this October.) Turns out that one in 73 college students in the United States go to CUNY. To learn more about our university and its history, visit the anniversary website
More than $9 million in state and city funding has supported the track and soccer field improvements that have been taking place over the last year. On May 9, in front of state and city elected officials who provided key funding, we’ll have a ribbon-cutting at the beautifully renovated athletic field. I promise to lace up my sneakers and join our supporters and students in the inaugural lap and more.
Attending last year's groundbreaking were, from left, Queens College Athletics Director Robert Twible, Student Association President Zaire Couloute, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Queens College President Frank H. Wu, City Council Member Francisco Moya, State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, City Council Member James Gennaro, Special Counsel for Ratepayer Protection and former City Council Member Rory Lancman, CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, and student athlete Shannon Gibbons. For details, see Frankly Speaking Summer 2021.
Student-athletes are among the beneficiaries of funds raised at the annual Queens College Gala. The money supports scholarships, faculty research, and much, much more. This year’s gala, on Wednesday, May 11, at Guastavino's in Manhattan, will honor three outstanding business leaders: Paulette E. Mullings Bradnock ’84, chief audit executive for BNY Mellon; Matthew T. Higgins ’98, co-founder and CEO of RSE Ventures; and, posthumously, Steven Gerard ’67, who was CEO and chair of CBIZ Inc and former beloved chair of the Queens College Foundation. It’s sure to be a memorable evening, with WPIX’s Mary Murphy ’81 serving as emcee and talented students and alumni providing entertainment. To buy a ticket or make a donation, click here.
The next big Queens College date will be the Jimmy Heath Scholarship Fund Concert at LeFrak Hall on Saturday, May 21. Alumnus Antonio Hart (ACSM)—director of the Jazz Studies Program and, like Heath, a saxophonist and composer—was a devoted student of Jimmy’s. An all-star lineup Antonio has organized will pay tribute to a musical giant. In addition, we anticipate that the New York City Council will soon schedule a street naming in Corona, Queens, in honor of Jimmy Heath. Please join us on May 21 at what will surely be a joyous celebration of his life.
Of course, the event on everyone’s minds is Commencement, just a few weeks away. After two years of remote ceremonies, it will be liberating to give the class of 2022 an in-person sendoff on the Quad on June 2. We will be conferring distinctions on three outstanding alumni. Danny Burstein ’86, a highly accomplished Tony Award-winning actor, and Arturo Casadevall ’79, a world-renowned physician and scientist, will receive honorary doctorates in their respective fields. Christopher Rosa, a longtime champion for students with disabilities at CUNY and now the president and CEO of the Viscardi Center, will receive the President’s Medal, QC’s highest administrative award. I look forward to being with these inspiring individuals. Consistent with CUNY’s protocols, all attendees have to be vaccinated; members of this year’s graduating class will each be limited to bringing two guests. For the benefit of those who can’t be there, the proceedings will be livestreamed.
Christopher Rosa
Arturo Casadevall
Danny Burstein
This is my last newsletter of the spring semester. I wish our hard-working students the best of luck on their exams and again thank the faculty and staff of Queens College for your devotion to their academic success. I look forward to seeing many of you at Commencement on June 2.
Stay safe and well.
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