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UN Commander Romeo Dallaire, Who Tried to Stop Rwanda Genocide, to Speak at June 1 Commencement


Phyllis Cohen Stevens
Deputy Director of News Services

(718) 997-5597

Maria Matteo
News Assistant
(718) 997-5593

Commencement Advisory for Thursday, June 1, 2006


-- Lieutenant-General Dallaire Defied U.N. Orders to Withdraw From Rwanda in 1994
and Tried to Stop the Slaughter of 800,000 --

WHAT: The 82nd Commencement of Queens College (CUNY)
DATE: Thursday, June 1, 2006
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.

Lieutenant-General Romeo A. Dallaire, who commanded the United Nations Mission to Rwanda from 1993-94 and tried to stop the genocide that claimed 800,000 lives in 100 days, will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters and deliver the commencement address. His book about his experiences in Rwanda, Shake Hands with the Devil, was a best seller. In 1996 General Dallaire was made an Officer of the Legion of Merit of the United States, the highest military decoration for a foreigner, in recognition of his service in Rwanda. Now retired, Gen. Dallaire continues to write and speak out against human rights abuses, genocide and ethnic cleansing.

New York State Comptroller and Queens College alumnus Alan Hevesi will also speak. Congressman Anthony Weiner and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall will bring greetings to the graduates. We expect nearly 2,000 degree candidates, of the over 4,000 who have been invited, to attend commencement. (Invitees include graduates from September 2005 and February 2006.) The total audience, including graduates, will number more than 10,000.

The student commencement speaker is Jay Leb, who will graduate with a 4.0 GPA and earned his political science degree by attending school entirely at night and during the summer. During the day he pursued religious studies at the Yeshiva of Far Rockaway. Leb hopes to attend NYU Medical School.

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 100 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. In fact, it ranks #8 in the nation according to the 2006 edition of The Princeton Review America’s Best Value Colleges. Queens College’s nearly 17,000 students come from more than 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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