-- Queens Native Meng Will Also Receive the Queens College President’s Medal in Recognition of Service to the Borough --
Queens, N.Y., April 21, 2017—Queens College President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez has announced that Congresswoman Grace Meng will be the main speaker for the school’s 93rd commencement ceremony, which will take place on Friday, May 26, at 9 am, on the college’s quad. During the ceremony, Matos Rodríguez will award Meng—the first female member of Congress from Queens since the late vice presidential nominee and former Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro—the Queens College President’s Medal in recognition of her service to the borough.
“It is my great pleasure to announce Grace Meng as this year’s commencement speaker. She is a Queens native who embodies so many of the aspirational qualities that Queens College hopes to inspire in our students,” said Matos Rodríguez. “We first came to know Congresswoman Meng when she represented the 22nd Assembly District—which encompasses Queens College—for two terms in the New York State Assembly. She was a consistent and powerful advocate for the college.”
Congresswoman Meng is serving her third term in the House of Representatives, representing the Sixth Congressional District of New York, which encompasses west, central, and northeast Queens. She is a member of the Appropriations Committee that 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.
“Queens College has a long history of distinguished speakers at its commencement ceremonies, and I am deeply honored to have been asked to address this year’s graduating class,” said Congresswoman Meng. “I look forward to joining the graduates on May 26, and sharing this special day with them.”
The congresswoman is also a Senior Whip and Regional Whip for New York, and a founder and Co-Chair of the Kids’ Safety Caucus, the first bipartisan coalition in the House that promotes child-safety issues. She helped create and serves as a founding member and former Co-Chair of the Quiet Skies Caucus, which works to mitigate excessive aircraft noise.
The several pieces of legislation that Meng has passed into law focus on religious freedom, making Queens historic sites part of the National Parks Service, striking “Oriental” from federal law, and protecting public housing residents from insufficient heat. Also signed into law were her measures that assist veterans and members of the military, as well as legislation to combat flood damage, strengthen anti-terror initiatives, and improve the safety of school buses and child car seats. In addition, she helped obtain increased funding for Israel’s defense systems, acquired more resources for small businesses, improved access to feminine hygiene products, and worked to create New York City school holidays for Lunar New Year and Eid. Further, she helped improve mail delivery, advocated for the new ban on African elephant ivory and the slaughter of “downer” calves, and obtained a probe that outlined needed improvements to local railroad safety.
Congresswoman Meng is the first Asian American member of Congress from New York State and the only member of Congress of Asian descent in the entire Northeast. Born in Elmhurst and raised in Bayside and Flushing, she graduated from Stuyvesant High School and the University of Michigan. Meng earned a law degree from Yeshiva University’s Benjamin Cardozo School of Law. Before entering public service, she worked as a public-interest lawyer.
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, conductors and 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.