The College of Staten Island (CSI) will recognize 2,277 degree candidates at the college’s 31st annual commencement exercise on Thursday, May 31 at 10:00am, rain or shine, on the Great Lawn of the Willowbrook campus. The graduating class includes master’s, baccalaureate, and associate’s degree candidates, as well as Graduate Advanced Certificates.

This year’s speaker is New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the 108th Mayor of the City of New York. Mayor Bloomberg graduated from Johns Hopkins University, earned an MBA from Harvard, and in the summer of 1966, was hired by Salomon Brothers to work on Wall Street.

He quickly advanced through the ranks, and became a partner in 1972. Soon after, he was supervising all of Salomon’s stock trading, sales, and later, its information systems.

In 1982 he created a financial information computer that would collect and analyze different combinations of past and present securities data and deliver it immediately to the user. That year, Bloomberg L.P. sold 20 subscriptions to its service; 20 years later, Bloomberg LP has over 165,000 subscribers worldwide.

As the business proved its viability, the company branched out and in 1990 Bloomberg LP entered the media business, launching a news service, and then radio, television, Internet, and publishing operations.

As the company enjoyed tremendous growth, the Mayor dedicated more of his time and energy to philanthropy and civic affairs. His desire to improve education, advance medical research, and increase access to the arts has provided the motivation for much of his philanthropy.

In 1997, Michael Bloomberg published his autobiography, “Bloomberg by Bloomberg.” All of the royalties from sales of the book are donated to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

“We are honored that Mayor Bloomberg, a highly accomplished, self-made businessman, and a visionary leader of our city, who has set new benchmarks and implemented numerous reforms, will bring commencement greetings to our graduating class this year,” commented Marlene Springer, president of CSI.

President Springer will also present President’s Medals to Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

The student speaker is Carliann Costanzo. Graduating with a double major in biochemistry and mathematics, her research on campus has included synthesizing a molecular chaperone to deliver a natural anti-cancer agent into cancer cells. She is the founder and president of Colleges Against Cancer, chartered with CSI, and nationally with the American Cancer Society. Upon graduation, she will enter a one-year research fellowship at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) before beginning her MD/PhD program at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Representing an alumni association with more than 52,000 members and several regional councils, Richard Prinzi, class of 1993 and president of the alumni association board of directors, will also address the gathering.

La Shon Stockton is receiving the CSI Alumni Association’s Outstanding Student Leadership Award. She was also recognized by the Mayor’s office as the March recipient of Snapple’s “Best People in NYC” award. She has earned these awards by organizing gift drives at CSI and as a volunteer at Safe Horizon, the nation’s leading victim assistance organization that serves over 350,000 people each year who have been touched by violence.

“I am always proud to hear about the lives and accomplishments of our students and alumni,” said President Springer. “Commencement is yet another important step forward in their continuing journeys.”

The commencement’s invocation will be by the Reverend Terry Troia.

Honorary Degrees recipients include: Alison R. Bernstein, vice president for the Education, Media, Arts and Culture Program at the Ford Foundation, Doctor of Humane Letters; Amy Goodman, host of “Democracy Now!” a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on over 450 stations in North America, Doctor of Humane Letters; and Frances Hesselbein, chairman of the board of governors of the Leader to Leader Institute (formerly the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management), and former CEO, the Girl Scouts of the USA, Doctor of Humane Letters.

Departmental exercises begin immediately after the college-wide commencement. A reception in the Campus Center for graduates, their guests, and the college community will follow the departmental exercises.

For more information visit:

The College of Staten Island is a senior college of The City University of New York, the nation’s leading urban university. CSI offers 36 academic programs, 20 graduate degree programs, and challenging doctoral programs to 12,500 students. The 204-acre landscaped campus of CSI, the largest in NYC, is fully accessible and contains an advanced, networked infrastructure to support technology-based teaching, learning, and research. For more information, visit

# # #

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you plan to attend or send a representative, you must contact Ken Bach at 718-982-2328 to arrange access and parking.