Queens College To Hold October 27 Ribbon-Cutting to Dedicate Billion-Year-Old Boulder in Honor of Wilson Rantus (1807-1861), Prominent African American Civil Rights Leader, Educator, and Businessman, Whose Farm and Family Cemetery Bordered What is Now the Campus

—The approximately 13-ton boulder—deposited on site of the campus thousands of years ago from a melting glacier near what became the Rantus family cemetery—marks a space for contemplation and garden to come—

Flushing, New York, October 25, 2022—Queens College President Frank H. Wu will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of the college’s Science Building at 12 pm, Thursday, October 27, to dedicate “Rantus Rock” in tribute to Wilson Rantus, a prominent African American civil rights leader, educator, and businessman who lived from 1807 to 1861. The more than a billion-year-old approximately 13-ton gneiss boulder sits close to what was the Rantus farm and family cemetery, bordered by what is now the southwest edge of campus at Melbourne Avenue, 149th Street, and Gravett Road in Flushing. Wu will also recognize the contributions of the Queens College Community Advisory Board and the Rantus Rock Sub-Committee for their efforts on this project. A reception in the college’s Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library will follow the ceremony.

“This is an extraordinary moment for the college and the wider Flushing community, with whom we’ve worked to highlight and preserve Rantus’s legacy,” says Wu. “Because of his contributions to Queens and his family’s connections to this neighborhood, we are commemorating Rantus with a place on campus close to his family’s property. Change is slow, but its impact is lasting. That’s why we’re marking this site with a more than billion-year old rock excavated in the construction of the Science Building in 1982. Perhaps in another 40 years we will be able to say, ‘Look how far we have come since we dedicated this site to Wilson Rantus.’”

Invited speakers are Deputy Queens Borough President Ebony Young; Robbie Garrison, Olde Town of Flushing Burial Ground Conservancy; Jeff Gottlieb, founder of the Central Queens Historical Association; and Carmine Couloute, former president, Queens College Student Association.

About Queens CollegeQueens 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 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 has been cited by Princeton Review as one of America’s Best Value Colleges for five consecutive years, 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​.

Maria Matteo

Media and College Relations