Welcome back to campus for what promises to be an exciting spring semester (although I hope it will be less exciting than the fall semester, when too much excitement was provided by Hurricane Sandy).
I am glad that quite a number of our students took advantage of the winter break to see more of the world—and earn credits toward their degrees at the same time. Students have just returned from Costa Rica, India, Italy, Japan, and South Africa, where they studied everything from architecture and photography to tropical marine biology and business. And for students who did not get away during the break, I encourage you to check out our many Education Abroad programs when you are making plans for the summer (which isn’t as far away as it seems right now).
I myself did not have the chance to get away for the winter break, but I will be traveling soon as my office is being relocated this February to Queens Hall on the far west of our campus. Until recently, Queens Hall was home to the CUNY Law School, which has now moved to Long Island City. This was a great piece of luck for us as we can now use this building for classes as well as to relocate many of the offices in Kiely Hall that have to move while the tower and lobby undergo a $30 million makeover. This yearlong rehab, scheduled to begin in March, includes double-paned, insulated windows on the outside of the building and high-efficiency heat pump systems and air-conditioning units on the inside. (To learn who else is now at Queens Hall, visit www.qc.cuny.edu/renovation.) We have also begun to update and expand many of our science labs so that they will be state-of-the-art for our student and faculty researchers.
If you too didn’t get away over the winter break, you can still get a taste of another country by attending the many events we will be presenting through our Year of India initiative. Amartya Sen, who won the Nobel Prize in economics and is well known for his interest in the problems of the poorest members of society, will be speaking here on Wednesday, March 6. We will also have a lecture by Indian ambassador Nirupama Rao as well as movies, dance presentations, and other programming. Check out the Year of India website at www.qc.cuny.edu/YOI for details on all these events.
Besides the Year of India there are many other exciting events occurring on campus this spring. Our Evening Readings series will feature America’s finest living playwright, Edward Albee, as well as Jamaica Kincaid, Junot Díaz, and Tom Wolfe. The Kupferberg Center will be hosting Grammy Award winner Donnie McClurkin, the Peking Acrobats, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and much more (kupferbergcenter.org). And don’t forget our special tribute to the great Marvin Hamlisch ’67 on Sunday, May 5.
I wish you all the best for the New Year and the new semester