Members of the Class of 1946 who attended the June 2 Commencement (clockwise from top left): Leonard Yohay, Estelle Gershman Fruchtman, President Félix Matos Rodríguez, Charlotte Meyrowitz Shapiro, Betty Senatore Cuccurullo, and Rosemarie Cantor Guercia.
Charlotte Meyrowitz Shapiro ’46 returned to campus on June 2 to help the college celebrate its 92nd Commencement and the platinum anniversary of her graduating class. The grateful alumna reflected on her college experience in a letter in which she credits QC with enabling her to become a teacher, a women’s rights activist, and an author.
A QUEENS COLLEGE MEMOIR . . . CLASS OF 1946
I am forever grateful for the superior and unique education I received at Queens College. Enrolled at the age of 16, academically qualified by an entrance exam, a protected only child of Eastern European immigrants, a commuter, a young adolescent.
My education was transformative, nurtured and challenged by an exceptional and brilliant faculty. President Paul Klapper, an esteemed educator, had hand-picked his faculty from a national roster, tempting each one with the offer of a ground-breaking, academically influential opportunity to mold CUNY’s new addition. The campus, in the “wilds” of suburbia, took root on the grounds of what had been a boys’ reformatory…a designation no longer recognizable. The original Spanish-style buildings testify to the College’s history.
The faculty who are most memorable and who had enormous influence on this impressionable and malleable student included John Goheen, philosopher and mentor; Kenneth Clark, psychologist, whose work became the foundation for the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education; Joe Machlis, musician and magician who made music penetrate body and soul; Hortense Powdermaker, pioneering anthropologist; William Ebenstein, whose book on political philosophers is still in publication; and Sidney Morgenbesser, Hillel Advisor and Rabbinical student, later renowned philosopher at Columbia University, who assisted many a student’s transition to adulthood. And there were so many others among Queens College’s faculty who transformed their students into knowledgeable and thoughtful adults.
Indeed, Queens College became the jewel in the crown of the City University of New York, proclaimed by so many of its prominent and famous alumni. This alumna became a Social Studies teacher, cofounder of Women on the Job in 1980, which worked for equality in women’s employment, activist in the League of Women Voters, author of Searching for Matilda: Portrait of a Forgotten Feminist (2003).
My friends and alumnae, who can no longer pay tribute to our College’s greatness, are remembered on this 70th anniversary of the Class of 1946 with admiration and affection.
They were esteemed in their respective fields: Lore Prausnitz Jarmul, Norma Oboler Shaeffer, Florence Jarmul Ross, Estelle Cooper Schneider, Estelle Rapport Friedman.