-- Philosopher, Financier and Alumnus Donald Brownstein and QC Foundation Board Member and Chair of the Kupferberg Center Arts Advisory Board Saul Kupferberg to Receive Honorary Doctorates --
Queens College’s 93rd commencement exercises
Over 3,000 degree candidates are expected to attend, including
students from the classes of September 2016, February and May 2017,
and prospective September 2017 graduates. Total audience expected,
including graduates, will number more than 10,000.
Friday, May 26, rain or shine
Campus Quadrangle, Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, NY
MEDIA SIGN-IN: Table located to right of the stage when facing it. Pick up press kits and programs here, and we will escort you to reserved seating.
MEDIA PARKING IS AVAILABLE: You must enter the campus at Gate 2 on Melbourne Avenue and 150th Street no later than 8 am (the Kissena Boulevard gate will be closed). Please bring press ID.
Flushing, Queens, May 22, 2017—Congresswoman Grace Meng—a Queens native and the first female member of Congress from Queens since the late vice presidential nominee and former Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro—is this year’s commencement speaker and President’s Medal recipient. Described as “a consistent and powerful advocate for the college” by President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, Meng began her association with QC when she represented the 22nd Assembly District for two terms in the New York State Assembly. Now serving her third term in the House of Representatives, representing the Sixth Congressional District of New York, which encompasses west, central, and northeast Queens, Meng is a member of the Appropriations Committee, which is responsible for funding every agency, program, and project within the federal government. Previously, she served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Small Business Committee.
Donald Brownstein ’65, whose career has spanned academia to Wall Street, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Brownstein enrolled at age sixteen at Queens College, where he earned a BA in philosophy in 1965, and went on to earn a PhD in philosophy from the University of Minnesota in 1969. After teaching philosophy at two universities, he moved into the financial realm, becoming chief investment officer and CEO of Structured Portfolio Management. An innovative hedge fund, the company is known for its mix of traders, academics, and researchers who bring theory to bear on markets and investments. Under Brownstein, it is reliably one of the best-performing hedge funds in the country. In 2012 he established a scholarship fund in the name of one of his most influential teachers, Professor John J. McDermott.
Saul Kupferberg, devoted member of the Queens College Foundation and a founding member and current chair of the Kupferberg Center Arts Advisory Board at Queens College, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Kupferberg is the son of the late Max and Selma Kupferberg—in whose honor Colden Center was renamed the Kupferberg Center for the Arts—and former vice president of sales and marketing for Kepco, a family-founded and -owned global power supply and electrical equipment company, based in Flushing. As a businessman, philanthropist, and working trustee, Kupferberg has offered extensive service to the college and the community—from keeping good jobs in the borough to supporting the arts and education.
The student speaker is Nina Bakoyiannis, who is graduating summa cum laude with majors in psychology and English. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she also served as the president of her sorority and editor of Utopia Parkway, the college’s literary journal. Bakoyiannis worked as a research assistant for Professor Renee Goodwin’s study on the psychological impact of smoking during pregnancy, and is a coauthor of a forthcoming article on the findings. She intends to pursue graduate study in clinical psychology.
This year’s outstanding graduates include White House intern Naomi Ducat; U.S. Fulbright recipient Alexander Alvarado; Jeannette K. Watson Fellow Kaitlin McDermott; and two record-setting members—who also happen to be sisters—of the historic 2017 Queens College Knights Women’s Basketball team.
A media studies and psychology major who minored in business, Naomi Ducat served as a White House intern for the Obama administration, working in Vice President Joseph Biden’s Office of Foreign Affairs. Among her duties were conducting background research on subjects assigned by her supervisors, who were advisors to Biden; prioritizing news for Biden’s daily update; and writing arrival reports he would read when he traveled overseas.
Alexander Alvarado will teach English in Malaysia this fall as a recipient of a U.S. Fulbright award. Alvarado is the latest representative of the college’s legacy as a Top Fulbright-producing Institution: Queens College has had multiple Fulbright winners, with a total of 12 graduates receiving the honor in the past three years alone.
Kaitlin McDermott, a history major who attended the Macaulay Honors College at Queens College, recorded oral histories in immigrant communities as part of her research. McDermott will intern with Broadway Housing Communities, a New York City non-profit housing developer committed to providing innovative permanent housing for individuals and families in the greatest need.
Madison Rowland, a media studies major, is the only player in NCAA history (DI, DII or DIII) to officially record career totals of 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 500 steals, 400 assists, and 100 blocks. She finishes her career as first in Queens College Athletics Program history in career points, single-season points and single-season steals, as well as second in assists and fourth in rebounds. Rowland was also named the 2017 NCAA Division II Conference Commissioners Association Ron Lenz National Player of the Year, while earning All-America honors from both the D2CCA and WBCA.
MacKenzie Rowland, a sociology major, exceeded 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds for her career this season, and was second in the East Coast Conference (ECC) in scoring, first in rebounds, second in blocks and fifth in steals. She finished the season as the DII leader in double-doubles and was named ECC Defensive Player of the Year, while earning first team all-conference, first team All-Met and second team all-region honors.
About Queens College
Queens College graduates the most teachers, counselors, and principals in the metropolitan area. The college contributes to the local talent pool as a powerful economic engine and a leader in tech education, with more computer science majors than any college in New York City. Queens College also has the third-highest number of accounting and business students in all of New York State. Students from across the country and around the world are attracted to study at the Aaron Copland School of Music. Its renowned faculty and alumni include nationally recognized composers, conductorsand performers who have received nearly 40 Grammy Awards and nominations over the past 40 years.
Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. With its graduate and undergraduate degrees, honors programs, and research and internship opportunities, the college helps its nearly 19,000 students realize their potential in countless ways, assisted by an accessible, award-winning faculty. Located on a beautiful, 80-acre campus in Flushing, the college is cited each year in the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s 100 “Best Value” colleges, as well as being ranked a U.S. News and World Report Best College and Forbes Magazine Best Value College thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. Visit our homepage to learn more.