QUEENS COLLEGE COUPLE GETS ENGAGED
IN THE SCHOOL’S ROSENTHAL LIBRARY CLOCK TOWER
FLUSHING, NY, July 5, 2011—“Hey, mom, guess who just got engaged?!” exclaimed Queens College student Rachel M. Stern, 20, on the phone to her mother moments after Yitzchak Lockerman, 23, her boyfriend of just over a year and a Queens College alum, proposed in the clock tower of the college’s Rosenthal Library. “It’s a place that we’ve both always wanted to see but it was off-limits to students,” said Lockerman, who gained permission from college officials to use the location for the June 30 proposal. “It means a lot to have this happen here because it’s where we met and went to school,” added Stern. “We are so appreciative to the school that has not only served as our college, but our home away from home.” The couple’s Queens College roots run deep—they met at the school’s chapter of Hillel, both lived in the school’s residence hall, The Summit, and both of their mothers were also students here.
A team of administrators, buildings and grounds crewmembers, and security officers worked secretly to coordinate the event. Told that she was needed in the clock tower for a campus publication photo shoot, Stern initially suspected Lockerman might be behind it but thought, “there is no way he could have managed to arrange this.” Lockerman hid at the top of the tower staircase. As Stern exclaimed in surprise, Lockerman, holding a single rose, stepped forward and proposed. “It was charming, romantic, and just lovely—a great Queens College moment. There are a lot of wonderful things we do here at the college. Today was another example of how all of us, in every department, make a difference in the lives of our students,” said Joseph Bertolino, Queens College Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.
Stern is majoring in political science and psychology at Queens College and is a resident assistant in the Summit Residence Hall. She expects to graduate in June 2012. Lockerman, a Goldwater Scholar and 2010 graduate of Queens College, is pursuing a Ph.D. in computer science on a full scholarship at Yale. The couple both served on the Queens College Chabad E-Board, Stern as public relations co-chair and Lockerman as treasurer.