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80th Anniversary

QC facts to count on and brag about
80 WOWs
1. Queens College is in the top 1% of colleges in helping students rise from poverty to prosperity.
2. Queens College students represent over 170 different countries and speak more than 110 languages and dialects; 32% of our current students were born outside the US mainland.
3. Close to 90% of our faculty have a doctorate or the terminal degree in their field, and 14 members have been designated Distinguished Professors, the City University’s highest ranking.
4. The Chaney-Goodman-Schwerner Clock Tower is named for the three young men who were murdered in Mississippi during the summer of 1964, including QC student Andrew Goodman. Paul Simon ’63 would later write a song about him, “He Was My Brother.”
5. The English Language Institute is the oldest English-language school in the CUNY system and the second oldest in the United States.
6. QC has more computer science students than any other university in NYC, has graduated more teachers, counselors, and principals than any other college in the metropolitan area, and has the third most accounting and business students in New York State.
7. In the last four years 13 QC students have been named Fulbright scholars; three recent QC graduates won National Science Foundation grants in 2017
8. Queens College was the first public college in New York State to receive a gift of $1 million from Give Something Back, a foundation established by philanthropist Robert Carr. The gift will allow 50 young women and men to attend QC without having to pay for tuition, fees, or room and board.
9. Townsend Harris High School, once one of the city’s most prestigious institutions but forced to close in 1942 due to budget restraints, reopened on the QC campus. It is consistently ranked among the nation’s 100 best high schools with a 100% graduation rate.
10. In September 2016 the college launched the first Tech Incubator in the borough of Queens with funding from the New York City Council Committee on Technology chaired by James Vacca ’01.
11. Victoria Media designated QC a Military-Friendly® School, and Military Advanced Education & Transition (MAE&T) selected Queens as a “Top School” in its MAE&T Guide to Colleges & Universities.
12. Kiplinger Personal Finance lists QC as a “best value college” and Money magazine ranked us in the top 5% of all U.S. colleges.
13. Queens College offers incoming students QC in 4—the only program of its kind in New York City—that guarantees students that they will graduate in four years.
14. For hosting the Army Specialized Training Program during World War II, a cargo ship was named Queens Victory in honor of the college.
15. The World War II Veterans Memorial Plaza on the quad—a gift from Arnold Franco ’43, who served in the war as a code breaker—is dedicated to the over 1,100 faculty, students, and staff who served in World War II.
16. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the first speaker in the college’s John F. Kennedy Memorial Lecture Series.
17. A Civil Rights Archive established at the Rosenthal Library documents the significant record of activism by Queens College students and teachers and includes the library collection of famed activist James R. Forman.
18. In 1979 President Jimmy Carter became the first president to visit Queens College, holding a Town Hall Meeting at Colden Center.
19. The college’s first residence hall, the Summit Apartments, has a long waiting list of students hoping to get in.
20. The Godwin-Ternbach Museum has the only comprehensive collection of art and artifacts in the borough, housing nearly 6,000 works that date from ancient to modern times.
21. Queens College administers the Louis Armstrong House Museum and Archives, which is a National Historic Landmark and a New York City Landmark.
22. The Kupferberg Center for the Arts, the largest multidisciplinary arts complex in Queens, has presented Yo-Yo Ma, the New York Philharmonic, the New York City Ballet, Jerry Seinfeld, Aziz Ansari, Trevor Noah, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, and Billy Joel.
23. The Queens College Evening Readings series has presented over a dozen Nobel laureates.
24. The Louis Armstrong Archives in Rosenthal Library provides a repository for Satchmo’s papers, private tape recordings, musical manuscripts, scrapbooks, photographs, gold records, trumpets, and more. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton visited campus in 1998 to support the preservation efforts for the Armstrong House and Archives.
25. The Queens College Speech-Language-­Hearing Center has served children and adults in the Queens community since 1942; the QC Psychological Center offers free/low-cost services to the community.
26. QC’s Costume Collection contains over 2,000 items, shoes, and accessories that date as far back as the 18th century.
27. Ken ’41 and Max ’42 Kupferberg both worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II.
28. Marie Maynard Daly ’42 was the first African American woman in the nation to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry.
29. Doris L. Wethers ’48, a well-known researcher on sickle cell disease, became the first black attending physician at Saint Luke's Hospital in 1958.
30. Albert Kapikian ’52 is known as the father of human gastroenteritis virus research for his work developing the first licensed vaccine against rotavirus, a breakthrough for which he received the Sabin Gold Medal.
31. Charles Hennekens ’63 discovered that by taking aspirin every day, people could reduce their risk of having a heart attack.
32. Stanley Milgram ’55 was a social psychologist best known for his controversial experiments on obedience and his concept of Six Degrees of Separation.
33. Since 1981 Queens College has been the home of environmentalist Barry Commoner’s Center for the Biology of Natural Systems, which was recently renamed in his honor; the center received a $40.5 million grant from the Department of Energy to screen the health of nuclear weapons workers.
34. QC scientist Stephen Pekar ’86 was part of the first major expedition to explore the lost continent of Zealandia (near Australia).
35. Dennis Liotta ’70 is the co-discoverer of Emtricitabine, a breakthrough HIV drug that is now used by 94% of HIV-positive patients in the United States.
36. Biologist John Waldman is the author of 100 Weird Ways to Catch Fish.
37. Charles Wang ’67 and Russell Artzt ’68 are the cofounders of Computer Associates (now known as CA), one of the largest independent software corporations in the world.
38. Forbes named Olivier Noel ’11 to its annual “30 Under 30” list of outstanding young entrepreneurs in the sciences. Olivier founded the company DNAsimple, which banks DNA samples from people all over the world for use by researchers.
39. Teams of QC students finished first and second in the statewide coding contest, “Making College Possible Coding Challenge,” to promote the new Excelsior Scholarships; a team of QC faculty and students won the 2017 CUNY Sustainability Competition; and QC student teams finished first, second, and third in the City University’s Hack-a-Thon.
40. Geneticist Elizabeth Neufeld ’48 received the National Medal of Science for her research on the genetic basis of metabolic disease in humans.
41. Queens College offers the only master of science education degree in New York State for teaching both math and computer science.
42. Jane Breskin Zalben ’71 is the author of over 50 children’s books; Else Holemund Minarik ’42 was the author of the popular children’s book series Little Bear, which was illustrated by Maurice Sendak; David A. Adler ’68 has written close to 200 books for children and young adults, including the popular Cam Jensen series.
43. Carol Fredericks Jantzen ’67, ’70 has won national recognition in the fields of glass chemistry and the safe disposal of high-level nuclear waste.
44. Researchers in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences have conducted projects on all seven continents and all five oceans; no wonder QC has more earth and environmental science majors than any other CUNY college.
45. Gail Marquis ’73 won a silver medal as part of the U.S. women’s 1976 basketball team; Marjorie Larney ’64 competed in the javelin at the 1952 and 1956 Olympics.
46. According to the Learfield Directors’ Cup ranking of Division II teams, QC ranks among the nation’s top 100 Collegiate Athletics Programs.
47. The 2017 women’s basketball team brought home QC’s first NCAA Division II East Regional Championship. Team star Madison Rowland is the first NCAA player to record career totals of 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 400 steals, 400 assists, and 100 blocks.
48. In 1975 QC’s women’s basketball team played in the first women’s basketball game held in Madison Square Garden. The college’s basketball court has been named the Lucille Kyvallos Court in honor of the legendary QC coach and pioneer in women’s basketball.
49. QC President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez is one of the few presidents in the country to have led both a community college and a four-year college.
50. Among the many notable speakers to have appeared at the college are Muhammad Ali, Eleanor Roosevelt, Malcolm X, and Marshall McLuhan.
51. Jill Barad ’73 was one of the first women to head a Fortune 500 company (Mattel)
52. Donna Orender ’78 was commissioner of the Women’s National Basketball Association.
53. Juliet Papa ’78 (1010 WINS Radio) received the national Gracie Award as Outstanding Reporter/Correspondent; Mary Murphy ’81 has won Emmys for her reporting on WCBS Channel 2 News and WPIX News.
54. QC has had more graduates serve in the U.S. House of Representatives than any other CUNY college: Joseph Crowley (14th District), Adriano Espaillat (13th District), and Gary Ackerman ’65 (5th District, retired).
55. Helen Marshall ’70, ’73 was borough president of Queens from 2002 to 2013.
56. Sociology Professor Andrew Beveridge, who has been a consultant to the New York Times since 1993, is the president and CEO of Social Explorer, which received a Webby Award for Best Law Website.
57. Joel Benenson ’79 was the lead pollster and senior strategist for Barack Obama’s historic race for president in 2008, and a senior strategist for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
58. Raymond Paretzky ’83 is the first CUNY student to receive a Rhodes Scholarship. He is currently a partner in the law firm of McDermott, Will & Emery.
59. While studying at QC to be a teacher, Carole King met her future husband and songwriting partner Gerry Goffin on campus. (John Lennon said in 1963 that he wanted Paul McCartney and himself to become “the Goffin-King of England.”) Carole received the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Award for Popular Music in 2012.
60. Actor Danny Burstein ’86—whose father Harvey is a long-time member of the college’s Philosophy Department—has won two Drama Desk Awards and three Outer Critics Circle Awards, and has been nominated for six Tony Awards.
61. Distinguished Professor of English Kimiko Hahn is president of the Poetry Society of America; her collection of poems, The Unbearable Heart, received an American Book Award.
62. In the last 40 years Queens College faculty and alumni have been nominated for or won over 100 Grammy Awards.
63. Music Professor Joseph Machlis’s textbook, The Enjoyment of Music, is one of the most popular music appreciation books published in English, having sold over two million copies.
64. Jon Favreau, who left QC a few credits short of a degree, is an actor, the director of the popular Iron Man movies, and recipient of the Harold Lloyd Award for Filmmaking. Also a few credits short of a degree is Lidia Bastianich, the award-winning Italian cookbook author and TV host.
65. Poet and long-time English Professor Stephen Stepanchev (1915–2017) was named the first poet laureate of the borough of Queens; Maria Lisella ’79 was named poet laureate in 2015.
66. Three QC graduates have won Pulitzer Prizes: Dorothy Rabinowitz ’56 (2001, for Commentary), Lloyd Schwartz ’62 (1994, for Criticism), and Marvin Hamlisch ’68 (for A Chorus Line). A fourth graduate, Richard Ofshe ’63, contributed articles to a series exposing the Synanon movement, for which the newspaper the Point Reyes Light received a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1979.
67. Paul Simon ’63 received a Grammy Award for his album Graceland (one of 12 Grammys he has won). He is also the first recipient of the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Award for Popular Music.
68. Novels by Susan Isaacs ’65 have been translated into 30 different languages.
69. Alums Fran Drescher, Ray Romano, and Jerry Seinfeld ’76 all starred in hit comedy series that ran for years. Carol Leifer ’78 won four Emmy Awards for her scripts for Seinfeld.
70. Fran Capo ’81 was proclaimed the World’s Fastest Talking Female by the Guinness Book of World Records.
71. Luciano Pavarotti sang at a special concert celebrating Colden Center’s twentieth anniversary season. QC of course has produced its own opera stars, including Reri Grist ’54, Frank Lopardo, and Erika Sunnergardh ’99.
72. Legendary musician Jimmy Heath was the first head of QC’s jazz program.
73. Distinguished Professor of Hispanic Languages Gregory Rabassa, the translator of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, was awarded the National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence.
74. Brothers Vincent ’72 and Chris ’76 Misiano have directed hundreds of TV shows, including ER, West Wing, Law & Order, Ally McBeal, The Blacklist, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
75. The Moog synthesizer, one of the first widely used electronic instruments, was created by two-time Grammy Award winner Robert Moog ’57.
76. Joy Behar ’64 is the Emmy Award-winning cohost of The View.
77. Michael Weisman ’71, who helped to reshape how sports are presented on TV, has won 24 Emmys for his work at NBC and FOX; popular sportscaster
78. Howie Rose ’77, the radio voice of the New York Mets, has won two Emmy Awards for excellence in broadcasting.
79. Marvin Hamlisch ’68 was only the second person to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony, and Pulitzer Prize (Richard Rodgers was the first).
80. Jerry Seinfeld ’76 claims that the only time he found a parking spot in Queens was when he returned to QC to receive an honorary degree.



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