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.’”
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