The College of Staten Island will recognize the Class of 2011’s 2,534 degree candidates on Thursday, June 2 at 10:00am on the College’s Great Lawn.
Commencement will begin with welcoming remarks from College President Dr. Tomás D. Morales, as well as greetings from CUNY Trustee Kay Pesile ’73 and CUNY Vice Chancellor for Labor Relations Pamela Silverblatt, on behalf of CUNY Chancellor Dr. Matthew Goldstein.
The class valedictorian, Melissa Horne, will be graduating Summa Cum Laude with a BA in English and a concentration in Writing. She is a Verrazano School student with a 3.98 grade point average. Ms. Horne has received numerous scholarships and is a Dean’s List student. During her time at CSI, Ms. Horne worked extensively with the Bertha Harris Women’s Center and the Campus Activities Board,she has won several awards for writing, and she is the founder of the Heads Up Awareness Program, a community service effort.
This year’s honorary degree recipients will be Dr. Diane Kelder, Dr. John Noble Wilford, and Denis Hughes who will each receive a Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
Dr. Diane Kelder, who received her BA from Queens College and went on to earn her doctorate at Bryn Mawr College (1966). Her research interests include the art of the French Revolution, 19th and 20th century French painting, the history of graphic art, and early American modernism. She taught at the College of Staten Island from 1971-2000, and at the Graduate Center from 1980-2000. Dr. Kelder served as the long-time editor of Art Journal, the journal of the College Art Association. She chaired the committee that selected the paintings and sculptures at CSI. She has presented at numerous professional events and participated in panels, lectures, and symposia. Dr. Kelder is a prolific and accomplished author and curator who was the founding director for Art Gallery of the CUNY Graduate Center.
Dr. John Noble Wilford, winner of two Pulitzer prizes who earned a BS in Journalism from the University of Tennessee in 1955 and an MA in Political Science from Syracuse University. Dr. Wilford’s career in journalism began in 1956 with a job as a general assignment writer for The Wall Street Journal, and later as a medical writer. He spent a year at Columbia University under a Ford Foundation Fellowship, subsequently taking a job with Time magazine as a contributing science editor, then onward to The New York Times as a science reporter in 1965. Dr. Wilford eventually became The New York Times‘ best-known science reporter and was instrumental in creating the “Science News” section that elevated the quality of science coverage in the newspaper. He has been honored with numerous awards for his writing; held visiting professorships at several universities, including Princeton, Syracuse, Duke, Yale, and the University of Tennessee; and he has been author, coauthor, or editor of eight books. Dr. Wilford has been called the preeminent space reporter in the United States.
Denis Hughes has been the President of the 2.5 million member New York State AFL-CIO since 1999. A top priority of his presidency has been creating a more mobile, active, and aggressive statewide labor movement. Accomplishments include coordination of labor’s successful efforts to secure $20 billion in federal funding to help rebuild New York City and New York State in the aftermath of 9/11, and passage of legislation that provides necessary funding for treatment and medical care for 9/11?s heroes and first responders. Mr. Hughes serves on Cornell University’s Board of Trustees and was chairperson of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Board of Directors from 2009 to 2010.
The keynote speaker this year will be New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
President Morales will also recognize the recent recipients of the President’s Award, Ms. Dolores N. Morris, Distinguished Professor Fred Naider, and Fire Commissioner Cassano, as well as other dignitaries in the audience.
The ceremony will then focus on the 2011 graduates with greetings on behalf of the faculty from Professor Michal Kruk and induction of the new alumni by CSI Alumni Association President Vullnet Kolari ’98.
This year’s class of degree candidates will then be presented by Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. William Fritz to Dr. Morales, who will confer their degrees.
Immediately following the Commencement ceremony, Departmental Exercises will be held at various locations on campus. A reception for graduates and guests will follow in the Campus Center at 12:30pm.