Sign In

Login to ...

A-Z Index
Home > Office of Communications > News Services > News Releases
News Releases

John Bryant, Who Serves on Obama's Financial Capability Advisory Council to Speak at Queens College's 87th Commencement

-- Ceremony Will Also Honor Harold Rosenbaum, Award-winning Conductor and Educator, and Prominent Neuroscientist Leo Chalupa; Nine Alumni of the Class of 1941 – QC’s First Graduating Class -- Will Celebrate 70th Anniversary --


The 87th Commencement of Queens College of the City University of New York"

WHO: Over 2,500 degree candidates are expected to attend, including students from the classes of September 2010, February and May 2011, and prospective September 2011 graduates. Total audience, including graduates, will number more than 10,000.
Nine alumni of the Class of 1941, QC’s first graduating class who’ll be celebrating their 70th anniversary, will also attend.
DATE: Thursday, June 2, 2011, rain or shine
TIME: 9 am
PLACE: Campus Quadrangle, Queens College
65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, New York
Directions: For directions to Queens College, please visit For a campus map, go to

John Hope Bryant, the founder, chairman and chief executive of Operation HOPE, who was tapped last year to be a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, will address the graduates. Operation HOPE is a non-profit organization offering residents of Los Angeles’ poorest neighborhoods a way out of poverty -- “a hand-up, not a hand-out,” or what Bryant terms the “silver rights movement.” The organization now operates throughout the U.S., Haiti and South Africa and has served more than one million people.

Bryant has been cited by the past five sitting U.S. presidents for his work to financially empower low-income communities across the country. He has received more than 400 awards for his work, including Oprah Winfrey’s “Use Your Life Award.” Bryant was also named a “Community Hero” by People magazine on the 10th anniversary of the Rodney King riots and selected by TIME for a cover story, “America’s 50 Most Promising Leaders of the Future.”

Maestro Harold Rosenbaum, SUNY, Buffalo, considered one of the most accomplished and critically acclaimed choral conductors of our time, will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters. "Not just an expert music director, but a bracing performer" (New York Times), Maestro Rosenbaum has collaborated with leading orchestras, composers, actors and stage directors throughout the U.S. and Europe and has appeared countless times on radio and television. The award-winning conductor and educator has also taught at four universities including The Julliard School. Maestro Rosenbaum received his undergraduate and master’s degrees at Queens College.

Dr. Leo Chalupa, a prominent neuroscientist and currently the chief research officer at George Washington University, will receive an honorary doctorate of science. World-renowned for his research on the retina and the development of vision, Dr. Chalupa earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Queens College in neuropsychology (then called physiological psychology).

The student commencement speaker is Anita Sonawane, a Fresh Meadows, Queens, resident and Macaulay Honors College student who is graduating summa cum laude. Sonawane’s road to success has included internships in the office of then-New York State Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Brookings Institution, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. She also won a place at President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration.

Majoring in Economics, Sonawane started a chapter at the college of the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, a nationwide student public policy think tank. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, at graduation Sonawane will receive the Paul Klapper scholarship, QC’s highest academic honor. Included among her many other achievements are the CUNY Chancellor’s Award for Academic Excellence, the Queens College Business Forum Scholarship awarded by the NYS Comptroller – both received in 2010 – and the Barham, Nash and Kenan scholarships. Sonawane aspires to a career formulating economic policy.

MEDIA SIGN-IN tent will be to the right of the stage. Media seats will be clearly marked in VIP section on the right-hand side, near the front, of the middle section. MEDIA PARKING IS AVAILABLE: You must enter the campus at Melbourne Avenue and 150th Street (the Kissena Boulevard gate will be closed). Please bring press ID and arrive no later than 8:15 am—8 am is preferable—to receive on-campus parking.


 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

Contact Us
Stay Social at QC YouTube Facebook Twitter Gray Bar Calendar MyQC QC Mobile CUNY first Blackboard QC Bookstore

Click each division to view a complete list of its departments

Adult Collegiate Education | English Language Institute | Professional & Continuing Studies
Summer Session | Weekend College | Winter Session

Resources for Combating Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault (Title IX)

Queens College is CUNY
DirectionsMap/Directions  |  Emergency Preparedness  |  Working at QC  |  Student Consumer Info  |  A-Z Index  | 
Queens College, CUNY | 65-30 Kissena Blvd. | Queens, NY 11367-1597 | Phone: (718) 997-5000 Copyright © 2004-