Sign In

Login to ...

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

Ford Foundation's Darren Walker, One of TIME's 100 Most Influential People of the Year, to Speak at 92 Commencement Ceremony June 2

-- Noted Social Scientist Ira Katznelson to Receive Honorary Doctorate; Over 3,100 Degree Candidates are Expected to Attend as Part of a Total Audience to Number More Than 10,000 -- 

Queens College 92nd commencement exercises

Over 3,100 degree candidates are expected to attend, including
students from the classes of September 2015, February and May 2016,
and prospective September 2016 graduates. Total audience expected,
including graduates, will number more than 10,000.
Thursday, June 2, 2016, rain or shine
9 am
Campus Quadrangle, Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, NY
MEDIA SIGN-IN: Table will be located to the right of the stage when facing it. Pick up press kits and programs here; 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 (the Kissena Boulevard gate will be closed). Please bring press ID and arrive no later than 8 am to receive on-campus parking.
Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation Ford, the nation’s second largest philanthropic organization, is this year’s commencement speaker. Recently named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, Walker will be awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters degree. For two decades he has been a leader in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, working on an array of social justice issues including education, human rights, urban development, and free expression. Prior to his work at the Ford Foundation, he had a decade-long career in international law and finance at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and UBS. As COO of Harlem’s leading community development organization, the Abyssinian Development Corporation, Walker oversaw the creation of over 1,000 new units of low-income housing and Harlem's first commercial development in twenty years. He is a member of the boards of Carnegie Hall, New York City Ballet, the High Line, and the Arcus Foundation. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the recipient of several honorary degrees. Walker graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts in government and a Bachelor of Science in speech communication, and from the University of Texas School of Law, in 1986, with a Juris Doctor. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Texas at Austin, its highest honor.
Dr. Ira Katznelson, co-founder of Politics and Society, one of the foremost journals of the social sciences and humanities, will be awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters. Katznelson was president of the American Political Science Association, and is currently president of the Social Science Research Council and Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History at Columbia University. Among his many distinctions is having been a Guggenheim Fellow as well as having been elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Philosophical Society. One of his first teaching jobs was serving as an adjunct at Queens College.
The student speaker is Willnide Lindor, who is graduating summa cum laude and is the recipient of the Paul Klapper Scholarship, the Paul Zweig Award in Comparative Literature, and the Silverstein-Peiser Award in nonfiction from the English Department.
Outstanding graduates include three Fulbright recipients and two Salk Scholars: Linda Mathew (MSEd), who specializes in English as a Second Language, will head to Thailand for a year through Fulbright’s English Teaching Assistant program. Her Fulbright will not be her first educational assignment in Asia; in July 2014 she went to Vietnam on a paid QC internship to work with children studying English. Mathew, who grew up in New Hyde Park, is a native speaker of Malayalam (her family immigrated to New York from South India). Yvette Deane’s destination is Israel, where she will spend nine months conducting research with a sociology professor at Hebrew University. Her topic—How Israeli education addresses Middle East conflict—was prompted by issues she tackled in college. Deane, who majored in sociology and political science, was raised and educated within the Orthodox Jewish community of Midwood, Brooklyn. Shani Small will use her Fulbright grant to study global justice at the University of Sheffield in England. Small’s Fulbright will fund her interdisciplinary research within Sheffield’s Department of Politics, where she can draw on sociological and psychological perspectives. A Queens resident, Small graduated last year with a major in psychology and a minor in political science.
Salk awardee Danielle Cohen majored in neuroscience and minored in chemistry, with a concentration in Honors in Math and Natural Sciences. Her research examined how emotional states interact with the ability to function cognitively. As a certified personal trainer, Cohen worked at fitness centers at the college and a New Jersey hospital, as well as with private clients. Bound for Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, she hopes to practice medicine in the New York area. Christos Mouzakitis, the son of Greek immigrants, will soon be studying at SUNY Upstate Medical University, thanks to his Salk scholarship. He set his sights on becoming a cardiovascular surgeon after having been deeply influenced by his experience with his father’s stroke and open-heart surgery and his mother’s coronary artery disease. A major in neuroscience-biology and a double minor in chemistry and psychology, Mouzakitis also chose to study anthropology to better understand cultural behaviors that influence health. 
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 20,000 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, thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. Learn more at


 Office Information

Deputy Director of News Services
(Position vacant)

(718) 997- 5597

Maria Matteo
Assistant Director of News Services
Kiely Hall, Room 809
(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-