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Susan Issacs, Award-Winning Novelist, Essayist and Screenwriter, to Speak at Queens College commencement on May 31


Phyllis Cohen Stevens
Deputy Director of News Services

(718) 997-5597

Maria Matteo
News Assistant
(718) 997-5593


--Philanthropist and Alum Max Kupferberg to Receive Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters; Queens College Launches
70th Anniversary Year Celebration--

WHAT: The 83rd Commencement of Queens College (CUNY)
WHO: Over 2,000 degree candidates expected.
DATE: Thursday, May 31, 2007 rain or shine
TIME: 9 am
PLACE: Campus Quad, Queens College,
65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, New York
(LIE Exit 24 from points east; LIE Exit 23 from points west)

Media Sign in: tent to the right of the stage. Media seats will be clearly marked in the front, facing the stage.
Media Parking is Available: Please bring press ID. You must arrive at the main security gate on Kissena Boulevard before 8:30 am to receive on-campus parking.

Susan Isaacs, the award-winning novelist, essayist, screenwriter, political columnist and book reviewer whose fiction has been translated into 30 languages, will deliver the commencement address. All 10 of her novels have been New York Times bestsellers and main selections of the Literary Guild. Two of them, Compromising Positions and Shining Through, were turned into major feature films. Isaacs just published her 11th novel, Past Perfect.

Max Kupferberg will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters for his exceptional involvement in the religious, service, educational, and financial life of the borough. A generous alumnus of Queens College, Kupferberg provides annual scholarships to the physics department and is a long-time supporter of the performing arts.

After completing his BS in physics at Queens College in 1942, Kupferberg attended New York University. When World War II interrupted his schooling, he and two brothers became part of the Manhattan Project, conducting nuclear research at Los Alamos, New Mexico. After the war, the four Kupferberg brothers (Max, Ken, Jesse, and Jack) founded Kepco, Inc., specializing in electrical equipment. The Flushing firm has grown into a successful and respected international business that is involved in research and development, manufacturing, and sales. Today Kepco, with Max Kupferberg as chairman of the board, remains in Flushing and is still owned and operated by the Kupferberg family.

In February 2006, together with his wife, Selma, Max presented his alma mater with a $10 million gift, the largest single donation ever received by Queens College. In recognition of their generosity, the college established the Selma and Max Kupferberg Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, which encompasses Kupferberg Center Performances; the Godwin-Ternbach Museum; the Louis Armstrong House Museum; the Queens College Art Center; the Aaron Copland School of Music; the Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance and the Media Studies Department.

Senator Charles E. Schumer, Congressman Anthony Weiner and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and Council Members James F. Gennaro and David Weprin will bring greetings to the graduates. We expect over 2,000 degree candidates to attend (over 4,200 have been invited). Invitees include graduates from September 2006, February and May 2007, and prospective September 2007 graduates. The total audience, including graduates, will number more than 10,000.

The student commencement speaker is Chikodi E. Emerenini. A native of Nigeria who majored in psychology as a CUNY Macaulay Honors College scholar, Emerenini will begin studies at George Washington University Law School on a full scholarship this fall. She is also the recipient of the Geist Scholarship given annually to a Queens College pre-law student. The daughter of a Nigerian diplomat, Emerenini has worked as a peer advisor, volunteered at mental health facilities, served in student government and, last summer, had an internship in the Attorney General’s office in Washington, D.C. She lives in Queens Village.

Founded in 1937, Queens College marks the official kick-off of its 70th anniversary year at commencement. Over 70 members of the Golden Jubilee Class of 1957 and over 20 members of the sixtieth anniversary class of 1947 will march in the opening processional and be recognized during the ceremony. Representatives of seven decades of Queens College—two from each graduating class from the 1940s to the present—will also march, wearing anniversary sashes indicating their decades of attendance.

The entire commencement ceremony will be webcast live at

Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY) is dedicated to the idea that a first-rate education should be accessible to talented individuals of all backgrounds and financial means. Founded in 1937, the college offers an exceptional liberal arts curriculum, with over 115 undergraduate and graduate programs and a variety of specialized honors programs. Located on a beautiful, 77-acre campus in Flushing, Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. Once again, the Princeton Review features the school in its 2008 edition of America’s Best Value Colleges. Queens College’s more than 18,000 students come from 140 nations and speak scores of languages, creating an extraordinarily diverse and welcoming environment.

For directions to Queens College, please visit


 Office Information

Deputy Director of News Services
(Position vacant)

(718) 997- 5597

Maria Matteo
Assistant Director of News Services
Queens Hall, Room 270B
(718) 997-5593

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