Queensborough Community College – 2009 Commencement Exercises

Queensborough Community College – 2009 Commencement Exercises


– President Marti, I
have the honor to report that there are now present
members of the graduating class, the staff and faculty of
Queensborough Community College of the City University of New York, the governing bodies
of the city of New York and the state of New York all gathered to participate in these, the
48th commencement exercises of Queensborough Community College of the City University of New York. (audience cheers and applauds) Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 48th commencement exercises of Queensborough Community College of the City University of New York. Please remain standing
for the National Anthem which will follow immediately. Queensborough music students Andy Alvarez, Shanae
Campbell, Tristan Chrism, Maryvelle Gonzalez, Stefan
Johnson, Richard McMichael, Jennylyn Thomas, and
Letitia Smith will lead us in the singing of our anthem. (audience members shouting) – [Singer] Get closer, get
closer to the mic, closer, closer ♪ Oh say ♪ – [Singer] Go back. Oh say go, go. ♪ Oh say, can you see ♪ ♪ By the dawn’s early light ♪ ♪ What so proudly we hailed ♪ ♪ At the twilight’s last gleaming ♪ ♪ Whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪ ♪ Through the perilous fight ♪ ♪ O’er the ramparts we watched ♪ ♪ Were so gallantly streaming ♪ ♪ And the rocket’s red glare ♪ ♪ The bombs bursting in air ♪ ♪ Gave proof through the night ♪ ♪ That our flag was still there ♪ ♪ Oh, say does that
star-spanged banner yet wave ♪ ♪ O’er the land of the free ♪ ♪ And the home ♪ ♪ Of the ♪ ♪ Brave ♪ (audience cheers and applauds) – The audience will please be seated. (audience chattering) Ladies and gentlemen, the president of Queensborough Community
College of the City of New York, Dr. Eduardo J. Marti. (audience cheers and applauds) – Thank you, Grand Marshal Grack, and welcome to this 48th
commencement exercises of our college. It is a glorious day
and the sun is shining right here in this tent. (audience laughs) Doesn’t the campus look nice? – [Audience] Yeah! – Doesn’t the Holocaust
Resource Center look nice? – [Audience] Yes! – Please join me in thanking
not only the buildings and ground staff, but all of the faculty, and administrators, and staff members who have worked so hard to make this day as wonderful as it is. Thank you, thank you, thank you. (audience applauds) Everyone is dressed up, everyone is ready to
celebrate your accomplishment and so we will! There’s a palpable enthusiasm in the air, a sense that something significant is happening in Bayside, New York. 1,600 of you, 1,600 of you, (audience cheers and applauds) are leaving these grounds today or at the end of the summer. (audience laughs) And you know who I’m talking about, to go to another college to pursue the baccalaureate degree or
to enter into the workforce. Whatever your next step is, your work will make our
borough a better place in which to live and work. So let me be among the first to thank you for committing to excellence. Back in the old days in Athens, there was a college known,
The Ephebic College. The Ephebic College was
a place where young men and at that time, women were not allowed, had to go to become citizens, and at the end of their training, they had to have an oath, and let me just read you a little portion of that oath. It’s kinda long, so I’m
just gonna make it short. It says we will never
bring disgrace to our city by an act of dishonesty or cowardice. We will fight for the ideals and sacred things of the city
both alone and with many. We will revere and obey the city’s laws and we will do our best to
insight a like reverence and respect in those above us and those who are prone to annul
them and set ’em at naught. We will strive increasingly to quicken the public’s sense of civic duty. Thus, in all these ways, we
will transmit to this city not only less, but
greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us. You leave us at Queensborough
doing just that. You leave this place a
better place than it was when you entered it. I thank you for taking this first step. I thank you for overcoming the obstacles. I thank you for your perseverance and for maintaining your
eye on the prize today, graduating from our college. (audience cheers and applauds) In his book Outliers,
Malcolm Gladwell focuses on why some people
excel and others do not. And those who excel are
supposed to be high achievers. Let me tell you why he posits that people are high achievers. People who excel are individuals
who work very, very hard and become labeled as leaders. And let me ask you a question. How many of you here are super achievers? (audience cheers and applauds) How many of you are single parents? (audience cheers and applauds) Who juggled life and family to struggle to get this degree? How many of you are working full time and coming to school full time? (audience cheers and applauds) How many of you were told that
you did not belong in college and guess what? You’re here and you’re graduating. (audience cheers and applauds) Oh yes, ah, you’re super achievers. In his book, Maxwell Gladwell
says that super achievers choose their parents,
choose the right people, and choose the right period of time. I don’t know about your
parents, but from where I stand, I see a lot of parents who
look pretty good to me. I do know that you chose the right people with whom to study, and
for that and for certain, you chose the right
time to come to college. Community colleges are hot right now. One half, one half of all
undergraduates attending college in this country are attending
a community college. You are at the right place
and at the right time. (audience cheers and applauds) And finally, Mr. Gladwell posits that to be a super achiever,
not only do you choose the right parents, you
use the right place, you use the right time,
but you have to practice, practice, and practice. He posits that in order to
be a well-classed whatever, you have to put at least
10,000 hours of practice in what you’re doing. Well, I don’t know how
many hours you have clocked while attending Queensborough
Community College, but I do know that at least one of you needed cue cards of get
through the math class because he didn’t know
the multiplication tables. And after he finishes here
today, and he’s among you, he ended up explaining to his classmates how to calculate energy and
electromagnetic radiation to his chemistry classmate,
faculty member, students. Now this is an individual who comes to us with such difficulty in
math that he needs cue cards to remember the multiplication tables, and let me tell you, this
person had to practice, practice, practice, and
become a world-class student to be able to tell other
students what the energy of an electromagnetic
field in chemistry is like. This is a winner, ladies and gentlemen. (cheers and applause) Now let me tell you a
little bit about your class. There’s a difference of 48 years between the youngest and
the oldest in this class. I’m not gonna ask you to
stand and be recognized, but there’s one of you here that is 19 years of age, but, and there’s another
one who is 67 years of age. (audience cheers and applauds) We also among you,
there’s some that we owe a great debt of gratitude to. These are the student soldiers
who served our country in Afghanistan and Iraq. (audience cheers and applauds) We have Theodore Masaia,
David Vazconselos, and Jason Silar. Are they here? (audience cheers and applauds) Would you stand and be recognized? (audience cheers and applauds) And in case I missed anyone else who served in Iraq or Afghanistan, would you stand and be recognized? (audience cheers and applauds) Among you, there are many new Americans. People who have been
born in another country and came to the United
States to start a new life. As someone, myself, who
was born in another country and started a new life
in this country as well, I want to recognize your courage. I want to recognize your determination, and I want to recognize
all of the contributions that you will make to this
society as the years go by. Thank you for being here. (audience cheers and applauds) As you can probably tell, we’re very excited about you graduating from Queensborough Community College, so today, I want you
to do something for me. I want you to sit back and take in everything that is said to you. This is your day, this is your moment. Please sit back, enjoy it, because there are a lot of
people who have come here to give you greetings,
and let me start out by seeing, is the Senator here? We have a real surprise for you guys. We have Senator Chuck Schumer, who came to give you greetings. (audience cheers and applauds) – Thank you President Marti, hi Jay. Thank you very much President Marti and I’m so glad to be
here at Queensborough. I want to first thank (cheers and applause) Dr. Marti for the great job he does and all the faculty and staff,
from the full professors, to the administration, to
the people who come here late at night and clean the floors. Thank you all for making
Queensborough one of the best community colleges in our whole state! (cheers and applause) But most of all I want
to thank the graduates of the class of 2009,
congratulations to you. (cheers and applause) Now first I want to
announce my class gift. It’s a gift, it’s a gift. (laughter) It’s hard to pay for college. You know that? (agreement) And if you’re poor the federal government helps you out, that’s a good thing. But what about the middle class? So there he is, Mr.
Middle Class right there. (laughter) So this year I wrote a
law, it’s now on the books. It’s law that says you can take off your federal taxes a full
$2,500 to pay for tuition. (cheers and applause) Provided – it’s a lot of money. Whoever paid, you or your parents provided your family income is
below $200,000 a year. (cheers and applause) They don’t pay you 200,000
to work that camera do they? No. So graduates if your family
income, you or your parents, whoever paid, make sure
you take off the $2,500. It’s a new tax credit. Most people don’t know. And if you come from a family
who makes above $200,000 God bless ya. (laughter) Now one word to the
parents sitting out there, I know how you feel ’cause two years ago my wife Iris and I watched
our daughter Jessica graduate. We saw her come up, take
her diploma, move her hand. We saw her hands move
the tassel from one side of the mortarboard to the other. It was one of the most
emotional and proudest days of our lives and we thought
back, as I’m sure you are. We thought about the time
Jessica had a 106 fever and we had to rush her to the hospital. We thought about putting
her on the kindergarten bus when she was five and waving
goodbye for the first time. We thought about when she was a teenager and she didn’t talk to us much, and when she did we didn’t
understand what she was saying. And then moms and dads you watch your son, you watch your daughter
come up and take the diploma and become an adult before your very eyes. Congratulations to the
moms and dads, great job. (applause) And now to you the graduates
of this great class of 2009. You know you’re growing
up in an amazing time. In 1988 before many of you were born many others of you were toddlers, was the first time the word
internet was ever used, first time it was in print. There was no Google,
no blogs, no Facebook, no cell phones, no email. In 1993 when some of you
started kindergarten there were 12 web sites on the world
wide web, that’s it, 12. Now there are 13 billion. So your parents, your
teachers, me, we try to grapple with this new technology. We’re not that good at it
but you it’s in your veins. It’s in your bloodstream. You were born with it. So the fact that you’re graduating
from a great institution of higher learning like Queensborough and the fact that you’re
the first generation to be totally immersed in this technology means you have a whole lot of choices. And my advice to you is very simple. It may take a while, you
may stumble at the beginning but try to find a job you love ’cause it’s worth it. And let me tell you my experiences. The first job I got I was
14 and I had to get a job. That’s when you get working papers and I got a job that
summer running something called a mimeo machine. Now none of you know
what a mimeo machine is but there was something
before Xerox machines. You type out a stencil, put smelly ink all over it,
put it on a big clunky machine and you turn the handle around. And every time you turned it
once one copy would come out. So that summer in a little
three foot by three foot windowless room I ran a mimeo machine. But my friends, they didn’t have jobs. They didn’t have to get a job
so they were at the beach. Manhattan Beach, Brighton
Beach in Brooklyn where I was raised, playing basketball. Our team wasn’t that good at Madison, our high school’s motto was
about our basketball team, we may be small, but we’re slow. (laughter) Or trying to pick up girls at 14 the operative word is
trying, didn’t have much luck. But while they were having
fun, there was I got to work at nine o’clock every morning and started cranking the machine in that small little windowless room. I’d look at my watch at
9:15, 9:30, a quarter to 10. By 10 o’clock I promised
myself every morning I’d find a job where I wasn’t bored. So I went to college but I
couldn’t quite find my way. I tried majoring in chemistry
but the solitary life of a scientist wasn’t for me. And I didn’t think I was smart
enough to be a good chemist. I tried english but I
wasn’t a good enough writer. So I didn’t know what I’d do. But I had one experience
that stuck with me I had tried out or the
freshman basketball team at college, that’s how I
thought I’d make it there. We had these tryouts the coach
calls me up we’re wearing these little numbers, number 27 he says. Yes sir, you’re Schumer? Yes sir. Oh, you went to Madison,
how’s coach so-and-so? He’s fine sir. Then he looks at me quizzically
he said you play forward? I said yes sir. He said how tall are you? I said I’m 6’1 sir. He said can you dribble? I said not very well sir. He said go home. (laughter) He didn’t watch me touch a ball. I was distraught, wrote
my mom a note saying I’m a flop here already at college. And that night someone
knocks on my door and says how would you like to join
the college Young Democrats? We are working on a political campaign. These political campaigns, well I didn’t have a
political bone in my body, but I said okay and I got bitten
by the bug, and I loved it. And so I figured well
I can’t be a politician as a profession so I’ll be a lawyer and I’ll do politics as sort of a hobby. But that summer between
your second and third year of law school you work for a big law firm and I was lucky I got
job at a big fancy firm. They were paying $400 a week more money than my family had ever
seen but I hated it. All summer long I was doing
deep, boring legal research to try and prevent some wealthy individual who could afford that firms
high fees from being indicted. I thought he was guilty
as sin and I didn’t think he was a nice guy to boot. I said I don’t want to
spend my life doing this. And I remembered my dad,
my dad was an exterminator. My sister once sent him a Father’s Day card that said
dad we’re the only family that associates the
smell of DDT with love. But Sunday nights my brother,
sister, and I would hear him pacing the floor in the
hallway of our house. We’d hear him (knocking on podium) ’cause he hated going
to work Monday morning. So I said I’m not gonna
repeat dad’s mistake. And on the way home from
graduation from law school I told my parents that I was gonna run for the New York State Assembly. They said the odds are long, you don’t have much of a chance. But I said this is what I love to do. I want to try it. My parents were gassed and my mother was particularly disappointed
you know they had struggled to send me to college and law school, they wanted the best for me. $400 a week that was their goal. But despite their disappointment
that summer and fall I ran and I had three opponents. There was the party machine candidate. There was a neighborhood
activist and then there was my mother who was telling all her friends not to vote for me so I get this dumb idea
of being a politician out of my big, thick head. Well despite the long odds and despite my mother’s
efforts against me, that fall I won the election. I’ve been an elected
official for 35 years since and I love my job. (applause) So graduates in conclusion, I’ve learned through the years that there are two tests in life. I call them the Monday morning test and the Friday afternoon test. And they’re more important than any tests you’ve taken here at Queensborough. Monday morning test when you wake up Monday morning do you feel
in the pit of your stomach? You want to go to work when
you go home Friday afternoon to your family or to whomever you go home, do you say I can’t wait to
go home for the weekend? If you can say yes to both those tests God has been good to you. Don’t complain. To this great class of 2009 it’s my hope, my prayer, and my confidence you’ll pass those two
tests with flying colors. Congratulations, good luck, and Godspeed to each and every one of you. (cheers and applause) Thank you, good job everybody. – I also see another surprise for you and that is US Congressman
Anthony Weiner, Congressman. (cheers and applause) – Congratulations, well hello, hello. Congratulations to the class of 2009. Hasn’t God given us a beautiful day today? (agreement) That’s right, God is good all the time. I am going to give just
some very brief remarks if that’s okay? Look, this is an exciting
day for you the graduates but before I begin by
expressing my thanks to you on behalf of the entire United States House of Representatives and the President of the
United States Barack Obama, (cheers and applause) I want to say a couple
of quick words of thanks. First, as Chuck Schumer mentioned to your parents, and grandparents,
and brothers and sisters, you know we come from different
places all around the world. We come from different backgrounds but at the end of the day
we have one thing in common and that is we all want our children to do a little bit better
than the way we did. We might say it in different
ways, we might communicate it in different ways, but that’s what the American dream comes down to. Today your parents, your
grandparents, your aunts, and uncles, they’re
seeing in a some small way that their dream is coming true. They are graduating with you
and I want to say to them congratulations to you. You’ve done good with the class of 2009. (cheers and applause) I also want to express my
great gratitude on behalf of our whole community to
the faculty and staff here at Queensborough Community College. There is going to be a moment
in the not-too-distant future where you the graduates have
someone put a microphone to your face and say how
did you win this Nobel Prize or how did you win this Academy Award? Or how do you become
the CEO of this company? And you’re gonna think
and you’re gonna realize that some of the most influential people that you’ve ever met are gonna be some of the professors, some of the staff, some of the colleagues that
you’ve had here at Queensborough and I know this might get me in trouble, but we don’t pay them like
they’re from the Ivy League. But they are smart enough, erudite enough, and committed enough
that we really should. And I don’t know if
anyone is here from CUNY that’ll pass that message along. (applause) And finally I want to say a
word of thanks and gratitude on behalf of you and behalf of me to the 160,000 American men
and women that fight for us today in Iraq and Afghanistan. May God bless them and
bring them home to us as quickly as possible. (applause) But let me conclude by
saying congratulations to you the graduates, many of you
had to take jobs in order to help yourselves get through school. Many of you are raising children. Many of you have had to split time between school and other things. You really have made a
great deal of sacrifice and I want to thank you for doing it. You would represent what’s
best about New York City and you’re gonna get
some great advice today Chuck Schumer just gave
you some great advice, my colleagues and government
are gonna offer you some. Let me just offer you a piece of advice I think that’s gonna come natural to you. There is gonna be a time
and it’s gonna come up soon in this tough economy, you’re
gonna really have a job that you’re gonna want to get and you’re gonna go for an interview. You’re gonna put on your best outfit, and you’re gonna be sitting
and waiting for that interview. And you’re gonna see
in that reception area you’re gonna strike up some
conversations with other people applying for that same job. And you might say to
someone tell me a little bit about where you went to college. And they’ll say well I went to
a Harvard or I went to Yale, or I went to Dartmouth. And then they’re gonna look to
you and they’re gonna ask you where did you get your education? And you’re gonna button yourself up. You’re gonna put your
shoulders back your chest out and your head up and you’re
gonna say in the year 2009 I went to Queensborough Community College in Queens, New York, in the
United States of America and I take a back seat to no one. May God bless you and
congratulations to the class of 2009. (cheers and applause) – Well US Senate, US Congress and now the president of our borough,
a real good friend of Queensborough Community
College, Helen Marshall. (applause) – Dr. Marti, Vice Chancellor Hershenson and all the faculty members
that are up on the dais today to the faculty members in the audience, thank you, thank you for your service to these wonderful young people today. And to the students, most
importantly our graduates, the class of 2009, let’s hear it. (cheers and applause) I want you to know that
I consider it an honor, a real honor to be able to
address the graduating classes. I’ve been doing it for the longest time. I’ve actually been in office since now I’m in my 27th year. I was in the assembly,
I was in the council, and now I have the privilege
of being a borough president and I’m running again. (chuckles) (applause) And since I’ve been borough
president I have not missed one single graduation of Queensborough Community College. (applause) Actually the community college
concept grew out of something that was for people who
had a lot more money. It was it was always the
fashion to send your child to a junior college but
most of us we didn’t even know what a junior college was because we didn’t have
the money to go to it. But our great city and
this great country said we got to do something about that. And they created the
community college level. And it’s been a fantastic success. And we’re fortunate here in our borough to have two of the greatest
community colleges in the entire city so I’m very very proud of it. (applause) As a fellow CUNY Graduate I
graduated from Queens College and I wasn’t able to go to college when I first graduated from high school. I had to go to work and take
care of my younger sister. We didn’t have any parents at that point, but I knew I was going to
get that degree some way. And certainly I did, I went back to school with a full-time job raising a family and taking care of the
house and all of that. And I never have regretted it. I’ve never looked back. Your college degree is
your guarantee of a future. I am so proud of you
that are pursuing this, and for some of you it has
been much harder than others. It’s hard for everybody, if it’s not hard, you’re not really working hard enough. Because working hard means
that you’ve studied long. You’ve absorbed as much as
you can from your education and I know that is true of
everyone sitting here today. You may ask in this current downturn, economic bank bailouts, swine flu, and multiple wars around the
world, I can be optimistic. We must live with ambivalence. The hope is that you will change
what you see needs fixing, sometimes in big steps. But change in small steps
is more than normal. As Abraham Lincoln said,
the struggle of today is not altogether for today,
it is for the vast future also. I think of myself who as a young mother, when we first moved to Queens
taking my two small children and looking for the library in Corona, and I could not find it because it was a little, tiny storefront. Well now as borough
president 60 years later, I put more money into
libraries and over this, over the 60 years that
I have lived in Queens I’ve been able to allocate
millions of dollars and provide all Queens residents with
new and modern facility. It is truly an honor to
be in public service. I want you to know that I
didn’t choose to be a politician in fact I fought it off and
fought off as long as I could, ’cause when they see a
community activist I too, I encourage them to go into government. Well I want to tell you, I was a teacher and that was my major. And I began to teach and I loved teaching. But then I got pulled into
working for the library system. And then people start talking
to me about Helen you know, you should get into politics. My own councilman kept prodding me and I fought it all the way. Then somebody said you
know Helen you know what would you do now if you
became the politician? You could do 10 times
more, and you know what? They were right. And today it’s my privilege
to spend your tax dollars for institutions like our
college, for the Holocaust Center, the libraries, for parks, and all the things that
make up our borough and our city a better place to live. I hope that some of you will
consider public service. You don’t always have to
be an elected official, but that you will choose public service. It’s really a very warming experience. I look forward of course
to the grand opening of the Harriet and Kenneth
Kupferberg Holocaust Center. It’s right up the hill, right
up no, it’s on that side. I’m like I had it right the first time. I think of myself as a child growing up and not such a long time ago in the Bronx and experiencing bigotry and
injustice from time to time, this unique center is a
living and breathing museum. It will not be a place
where you go around, you will look at things that are pictures and objects that are
replicas of the Holocaust. But it’s going to be a place
where we’re going to work our removing bigotry with
involving high school students right now, the rows are filled with them. I’ve had the privilege
of helping to develop a curriculum to teach our young
people on how to get along better with one another. But for Queens people we are
the world, we are the world. You go to school with children
from all over the world, You go to college with people
from all over the world. We live with people
from all over the world. Queens is best. (cheers and applause) I am very proud to be
the borough president of this unique borough of Queens. As I look out at each of you you will take on challenges
and make them your own. I know you will succeed in
whatever field you choose and make a difference. Not all together for today but for the vast future of tomorrow. So go forth into the world, make it a better place for us. You have been given the
best equipment you can and that is a public college education. The City University created
at first, not for the wealthy, because it was considered that
the children of the wealthy would automatically inherit
their parents wealth. But for the ordinary people. That has been the mission of the City University from its inception. I know ’cause when I went
into the City Council there was no Higher Education Committee, there was one committee from kindergarten all the way through graduate school. And so Jay Hershenson and at the time the chancellor Ann Reynolds
came to me and said, ’cause I served on the
Higher Education Committee prior to that for nine
years in the State Assembly, Helen you’ve got to establish
a higher ed committee. I said look I just got here and they gave me a full committee because of my previous experience. I said just give me time. I got to get the lay of the land. Two years later I went to Peter Valone who was
our speaker and I said Peter thank you so much for
giving me a full committee. I said but I want to do something that makes a difference in
the lives of New Yorkers. He said Helen I went
from 35 members to 50. I’ve run out of ideas. I said I have one, a
subcommittee on higher education. Well guess what? He made it a full committee
and I’ll tell you I learned about this universe even though I’m a graduate of the university. I learned so much about it. I learned about professors
who are profound there were some attacks
on the City University during those days, the
faculty was profound. We mobilized students
and we came out on top. And today we have the first chancellor
of the City University who actually graduated
from the City University Dr. Matthew Goldstein. He’s not here with us today
but he’s well represented. (cheers and applause) He has New York smarts. We’re looking all over
the world for talent. He was the president of Baruch College and helped to put that on the map. So we are very, very fortunate. Congratulations, go forth help the world. I know that you can. You’ve received a great education here at the college and keep on climbing. Thank you. (cheers and applause) – Thank you Madam President. Do you realize how important you are? Do you realize that you
have people from the Senate, from the Congress, borough president, and now from the council coming to give you greetings and to tell
you all the important things that you do and you will
do, right now let me introduce you to a gentleman
who not only is our councilman. But he’s also the chairman of the Fiscal Affairs Committee of the New York City Council. So in other words he controls
the money, so be nice to him. David has been a real friend
of the college and everybody on this stage has been a
good friend of the college from capital projects to operating monies. The things that we have
that make this college feel like a private college
environment in a public setting is due to the commitment
of these public officials. So please and give them your attention. And help me welcome David Weprin. (cheers and applause) – Thank you President Marti. Good morning and congratulations Queensborough class of 2009. (applause) As I look out at this diverse student body I think of one of the wonderful
things about our borough and in particular
Queensborough Community College and that is the diversity
of the student body. And I want to tell you our
strength is in our diversity. We get along with each other. People come from hundreds
of different countries to come here to Queens
and we all get along. Many of you have may have
heard that you are our future. That is true, but more than that you are also our present and our past too. Your graduation today
represents the culmination of hard work both for you and by you. We have all needed some help along the way and the best way to repay
that debt is to work hard and be the type of adults
we all know we can be. You also represent our present. No one here has to wait for tomorrow to start making a difference today. From this day forward all of you share the responsibility of
living up to the demands of being the next in line. So today I urge you to celebrate because today is a day for celebration. I want you to be happy
because happiness spreads. I would like you to enjoy
yourselves because we should make the most of every fleeting moment. I leave you with the words and wisdom a former Israeli Prime
Minister Golda Meir, trust yourself, create the
kind of self that you will be happy with all your life. Make the most of yourself
by fanning the tiny in its box of possibility into
the flames of achievement. May you all be blessed
with health and happiness. The best of luck whether
you go on to another school, a new job or wherever else your next journey will
be, congratulations. (cheers and applause) – And now let me introduce
to you Councilman Eric Gioia. (applause) – Thank you very much and let’s hear it for President Marti. (cheers and applause) President Marti is the
embodiment of what this city and this country is all about. Somebody who came here from humble roots, who worked hard, who believes
in himself and his dreams and has achieved great
heights but continues to give back and change other people’s lives. So I’m honored. I don’t know where you went, here you are. I’m honored to call you
my friend and thank you for having me, what a
beautiful day for graduation. (laughter) I will say it rained on my wedding day and I’m happily married. It’s been five years, we’ve got
a three year old little baby and another baby on the way. So sometimes great things
start on a rainy day and I want you to remember that forever. Don’t let this get you down, although I will say it
might be appropriate as you’re graduating into
a bit of a mixed-up world, to a bit of a crazy economy,
it might be a good idea to look out at a rainy
day and begin to learn how to see silver linings. Because the truth is
this graduating class, boy oh boy do you have
your work cut out for you. It’s really tough, the world
you’re graduating out into. But what’s so wonderful is that I know that each and every one of
you worked hard to get here. I know many of you are the
first members of your family to graduate from college. I know something about that. I’m the first member of my family to graduate from university. (applause) Thank you. I know many of you
worked your way through, working so hard, looking
at your tuition bills, looking at how much your textbooks costs. I know, I worked my way through. I worked nights as a janitor to pay my way through, through
NYU and there were times when I’d be asked to work a double shift. And I’d know if I work the
second shift I’d miss class and I didn’t want to miss class
but I knew if I didn’t work the second shift I couldn’t
afford the textbooks to go to the class. So I’m sure that is anybody
who worked a double shift to pay for the textbooks in this room? (cheers) Yeah, I know how hard it is,
and you know how hard it is. And so I ask you to remember that because there’ll be times
over the next few years when you go into the workforce, when you’re trying to pay
the rent, or your mortgage, or you’re putting your health insurance on your credit card,
and you’re worried about what you’re facing. Remember always what you’ve
been through because nobody has handed you this, you
have earned this degree. And no one can ever take it away from you. (applause) And I’d also ask you to
remember the incredible idealism you have today, because that is what this country is all about. The world has changed dramatically
since you began school. We’ve elected a new president. President Obama. (cheers and applause) He showed us what happens when
good people come together. He showed us what happens when people overcome superficial differences to see common values and common goals. He showed us what is possible when you believe that you could make change. And I ask all the graduates
in this room to remember that you are the change you want to see. You are what we have been waiting for. You see it is time for a
new generation of Americans to step up to look at
the injustice we have even in New York City, in
this year, in this century, and say that we can do better. That working together
we can improve schools. Working together we can make college more affordable for all. Working together we can fight the economic and environmental injustice
that still plagues even great cities like New York. Working together the graduates of 2009 we could make New York a
better, more just place. It is up to us to lead this country. And I’m so proud to look at you, not only does President Marti inspire me but each and every one of you inspires me. So thank you, God bless
you, and congratulations. (cheers and applause) – Thank you, oh and you see
again how important you are? You have had all of these individuals bringing you greetings. And frankly they have very busy schedules, they really do and to
make time to be here, it’s really special for all of us. You all know that we are
governed by a Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees
are individuals who are appointed by the governor and the mayor of the city of New York to ensure that the University CUNY is
managed appropriately. They pass all of the resolutions, they approve all of the appointments. They in truth are the true
real bosses of the university. And representing the
Board of Trustees to come and bring you greetings
is trustee Rita DiMartino. And before she comes to
the podium I need to say a few words about her. She’s one of those really active trustees. She’s at every function especially when there are students around and she is truly committed to the principles of equality. The principles of access,
and the principles of quality that CUNY is well known for. So Trustee DiMartino would
you please come to the podium? (applause) – Queens borough President Helen Marshall, New York City Councilman David Weprin, and I believe councilman
Eric Gioia had to leave. President Eduardo Marti,
Senior Vice Chancellor and Board Secretary Jay Hershenson, honored guests, distinguished members of the faculty, families, friends, and most importantly you the
Queensborough Community College graduating class, it is my
great pleasure to be here with you to bring greetings
and congratulations on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York. As we honor the graduation of over 1600 Queensborough Community College students. (cheers and applause) You are the pride of
Queensborough Community College, the pride of CUNY, and the
pride of Queens, and New York. As a trustee my participation
at this commencement exercise is an extremely uplifting experience as I have an opportunity to
meet firsthand the students who contribute to the greatness
of the City University. There are many more graduates
in the audience today who are also inspiring examples of
how to overcome obstacles. Many of you have come from other countries to pursue your dreams. Also many of you are
the first in your family to earn a college degree,
all of you have arrived here the old-fashioned way, you earned it. A good measure of your success at Queensborough Community
College is due to dedicated faculty who
over the years have added so much to your learning experience. Without their help and support some of the obstacles you have faced from time to time might
have seemed insurmountable. You have attained your degree because of your hard work
dedication and perseverance. You have overcome many
challenges to achieve your goal. And today the taste of your
achievement is indeed sweet. We especially thank all the
family members here today for your enduring support. Be proud of yourselves. Celebrate yourselves as your college, your president, your professors, your families and friends celebrate you. Always remember that learning is a lifelong enterprise,
so keep on learning. Congratulations. (cheers and applause) – Thank you, thank you Trustee DiMartino. In 1999 the trustees
of the City University attracted an individual who
sat in the graduation class. And I don’t know what class that was but in the class of City College and then became president
of Baruch College and attracted Chancellor
Goldstein from another university to become the chancellor
of the university. I don’t know how many of you have been following what has
happened to the university but this university has had a renewal. This university has had a renaissance, and frankly the work
of Chancellor Goldstein and the work of the
trustees to make that happen has been truly remarkable. To bring greetings from the
Chancellor it is my pleasure to ask to the podium someone
who really wanted to be here because at one time he sat right there. A Queensborough alum, the
vice chancellor for relations and secretary to the Board of Trustees, Senior Vice Chancellor,
my friend, Jay Hershenson. (applause) – Good morning! – [Audience] Good morning. – Esteemed President Eduardo J. Marti, one of the finest college presidents in the United States of America! (cheers and applause) And he paid for the tent today. (laughter) Trustee Rita DiMartino, Queens borough President extraordinaire, and yes the founding
chair of the City Council, Higher Education Committee,
Borough President Helen Marshall let’s give her another
great round of applause. (applause) Faculty, families,
distinguished award recipients, and you the great
Queensborough Community College graduating class of 2009. (cheers and applause) Today you finally put all those general education requirements behind you. (cheers and applause) Today you finally put Math 120, (cheers and applause) History 110 and 112, (cheers and applause) and Sociology 310 behind you. (cheers and applause) And today you finally put
the Q27 bus behind you. (cheers and applause) Now yes Mr. President I stand before you as a grateful Queensboro
Community College alumnus. In 1968 I took the number seven
train from Jackson Heights to the Q27 bus at Main
Street and Roosevelt Avenue at all hours of the day and
all hours of the evening, in the icy cold of winter and
the hot humid days of summer. Now I was only 12 years old at the time. (laughter) I studied on that bus, I
did my homework on that bus, I slept on that bus, I left
my umbrella on that bus. But today on my way to your graduation I drove past that bus. (cheers and applause) Tomorrow you begin a new journey building on your great success as you plan for even greater heights. Whether it is further
educational advancement at a CUNY senior college
or career advancement in your chosen field, you now have an excellent educational credential from Queensborough Community
College that belongs to you. (cheers and applause) And yes you did it with
the help of your faculty. You did it with the help of your families, and you know they deserve your thanks. Ladies and gentlemen all
across our university there is excitement and pride over the nomination by
President Barack Obama of the first Latina to serve as a Justice of the United States Supreme Court! (cheers and applause) And all over our university
there is a tremendous sense of satisfaction in knowing
that Salina the mother of Judge Sonia Sotomayor graduated from a CUNY Community College. (cheers and applause) Yes Judge Sotomayor’s brother
Juan graduated from the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical
Education at City College. That is the CUNY story. CUNY creates options for its students, and the sons and daughters of its alumni. And you are now a part of
that CUNY success story. (cheers and applause) So when you receive alumni mailings (laughter) keep this in mind, there are only two kinds
of people in this world. Those who cannot remember
where they came from and those who cannot forget. Always remember Queensborough
Community College. Congratulations and God bless you. (cheers and applause) – Was that wonderful? (agreement) He’s a Queensborough
Community College graduate, someday you’ll be here. Now to bring you
greetings from the faculty and the Faculty Executive Committee represents the entire
faculty of the college, and it is my pleasure
to bring to the podium the chairman of the
Faculty Executive Committee and my friend Sheena Gillespie. (cheers and applause) – I’d like the faculty and
the graduates to stand. (cheers) On behalf of the faculty
I would like to thank all of you the graduates
for what you have brought to each of our lives. You have been told today what a very special
generation you represent. You come with so many talents. Many of you are bilingual,
some of you are trilingual. You have taught us about your
cultures, your traditions, your values, you have
inspired us and we have been in many instances driven
back to be students. Which is the most important task that all of us perform here together. My words are few. Please choose a profession as we have done for which you have a passion. Try to share your life with someone who is a friend of your mind. Cherish your children. We have heard many responses,
enthusiastic responses today at the mention of President Obama’s name, let me leave you with this thought. Follow his example, ideas have legs. Help him to change the
culture and the country, and be responsible citizens. Congratulations, and
thanks to your families all of whom made it possible
for you to be here today. (cheers and applause) – Now let’s do some calisthenics. (cheers) To bring you greetings
from the Academic Senate of Queensborough Community College. Let me ask the chairman
of the Steering Committee of the Academic Senate Dr. Emily Tai. (cheers and applause) – Good morning. (greetings) Those of you who’ve worked with me in Western Civilization 111, remember the historical
motto of shared governance. What touches all must be approved by all. (cheers and applause) At Queensborough honoring that motto begins with the Academic Senate. A governing body that
involves the participation of many constituencies of the college including student government, four of your colleagues
who are graduating today. Mr. Anthony Angulo could you stand up? (cheers and applause) Eva Santos Tejada. (cheers and applause) Marvin Young. (cheers and applause) Angel Garcia. (cheers and applause) Graduating class of 2009 these four members of
your student government did a superlative job of representing you in the Academic Senate this year, please give them your thanks. (applause) But I’m also here on
behalf of my colleagues, the faculty, administrators,
lab technicians, and higher education officers
who are also represented in the Academic Senate, all
of whom who work tirelessly to make your time at
Queensborough special. Whether it was by mentoring
you through a research project. Helping you find a book,
or locate a website, or finish a problem set. Helping you navigate
the financial aid system or fixing your computer when it crashed. What all of us have in
common is how hard we work to help you succeed and
how much pleasure we take in sharing this happy day with you. We wish you success as
you leave Queensborough to take on new challenges. We expect to hear great things
about every single one of you and we hope you will
accept our warmest wishes for many, many happy days
ahead, congratulations. (applause) – And now to bring you
greetings from one of your own, your president Anthony Angulo. (cheers and applause) – Good morning, good
morning President Marti. (cheers and applause) I love you too guys. I’ll start over, good
morning President Marti, esteemed faculty, staff,
family, honored guests, and most importantly
graduating class of 2009. (cheers and applause) For the past year it has
been my pleasure to serve you as student government president on behalf of the Student Government Executive Board I extend my congratulations
for your accomplishments. So today we celebrate our
achievement and our successes but most of all we celebrate a significant chapter in our lives. I need to admit that while
looking for inspiration to write my speech I started
looking in the wrong places. Mostly it was fortune cookies, there’s a box of them in my office. In reality I was looking
beyond the borders of QCC for inspiration when in
reality all of the inspiration I needed was here on campus. Being the first to go
to college in my family meant learning many
lessons from my mistakes. Even though QCC was not my first choice it became my second chance for success. Through this institution
I learned the true meaning of community college and its commitment to the success of individual students. I look at you today and I see
all those long committed hours right before midterms and finals. And I’m definitely inspired
by the hard working mother trying to finalize a project while attending to her children. I’m inspired by those people
who come here after work, after a 9:00 to 5:00 to take
a class from 6:00 to 8:00. I’m inspired by those
international students who are far away from
their family, friends. English not being their first language and they still make it,
and they’re still committed to one common dream, that tomorrow we build a better future for
our families and ourselves. This yes we can attitude is all around us. If we need inspiration
look to America’s first African-American president, or look to the first Latina who is nominated. She’s run the Bronx by the
way and she’s nominated to the Supreme Court. Don’t be scared of your dreams
but know that they come with a lot of hard work and dedication. It only takes a walk down the quad to see all the different cultures, religions, and views about the world. But we all have one thing in common. We all want a better future, it’s our dreams of a better
future and I’m saying that accomplishing your goals will not be easy but the joy of making it
will be worth your wild. It is better to attempt
something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed. Dear friends today we
come closer to our dreams. We have demonstrated to our community that we are dreamers and fighters but we have not gotten here on our own. For their support we must thank our excellent faculty, our staff, the dedicated staff, the friendly tutors. (cheers and applause) Thank you Ms. Cook for everything. The kind librarians and all
the other people who have assisted us in the pursuit of our dreams. But to all today we also
celebrate our parents, our husbands, our wives, and our children who have supported us in our journey. So right now I want to thank them a round of applause please. (applause) In closing because I know you guys are, – [Student] Yeah. – Yeah. (laughter) In closing I urge you to
remember the good times at QCC. Remember the struggles and
the late night studying. Remember the quad filled
with people during rush hour. Never forget your friends,
especially if they owe you money. (laughter) I don’t know anyone money do I? Don’t ever forget your start here at Queensborough Community College. Thank you for allowing me to serve as your president, and
again congratulations. (cheers and applause) – Now you see all of
the people on the stage, they all want to bring you
greetings but I said no. (cheers and applause) But at least I have to recognize them. So let me just tell you about the people who are sitting here. On the platform we have from the college the Senior Vice President and
acting Provost Dr. Diane Call. Vice President Ellen Hardigan and Vice President Rosemary Zins. Dean Karen Steel. Dean Paul Jean-Pierre. Dean Sherri Newcomb. Dean Arthur Corradetti. Dean William Faulkner. Dean Liza Larios. Dean Denise Ward. Dean Paul Marchese. And Dean Michele Cuomo. And representing our Queensborough Community
College College Fund Board it’s chairman and an alum of Queensborough Community
College Mr. Ira Futterman. And his Vice Chairman and Queensborough Community
College alum Norman Bigman. And Mr. Steven Levine. And as President and an alum of the Queensborough Community
College Alumni Association. Mr. Levine’s wife Cheryl Levine. And the department chair persons please stand and be recognized. (cheers and applause) And least but not last
or last but not least the faculty of this college. Would you please stand and be recognized? (cheers and applause) Thank you. Now you’re all winners but some of you are a little bit better than others. (laughter) And therefore it is with great
pleasure that we move into the portion of the ceremony
that will recognize those outstanding
graduates from this year. As you all know we have had cases of the H1N1 virus in the
area and you all know that hygiene is extremely important. So if as you’re coming to the podium or to receive the diploma or your gift you do not want to shake
hands just simply tip your hat and that will give me a signal that I will not shake your hand. If you want to shake
hands extend your hand and I will be very happy to shake it. But as you go out there will be a dispenser for you to
wash your hands with. (cheers and applause) So it is with great pleasure
that I present to you the college awards. Will the recipients
please come to the podium as I call your name? The first award is the John
F. Kennedy Memorial Award and it goes to a student demonstrating outstanding college and
community leadership. I don’t have to tell you that
the person that is going to get that award is none
other but Anthony Angulo. Anthony please come forward. (cheers and applause) The Martin Luther King Jr.
award is presented to a student who has demonstrated exceptional
leadership in promoting racial harmony and appreciation
of cultural diversity. That award goes to none
other than Champion Nichols. (cheers and applause) Additionally Mr. Nichols is receiving, I’m sorry, Champion you come back. The Joseph McMurray award that is presented each
year to an outstanding graduating student achieving the second highest scholastic average. (cheers and applause) The Thomas R. Jennings Memorial award is presented to an
outstanding graduate student in the liberal arts and sciences. And by the way Mr. Jennings’
widow is right here, Mary Brice Jennings thank you. And the award goes to Miss Lisa Phelps. (cheers and applause) – Thank you. – Will Renata Zelechowski
please come forward? (cheers and applause) Miss Zelechowski is the recipient of the Associate in
Science Achievement award given to the graduating student achieving the highest, the
highest scholastic average in an Associate in Science
degree program, congratulations. (cheers and applause) – Thank you. Thank you. – Thank you. The Colonel John C.
Lacus award is given to the graduating student achieving the highest scholastic average in an Associate in Applied
Science degree program. Mr. James Finnerty please come forward. (cheers and applause) – Thank you. – And the President’s Award sponsored by the Queensborough Community College Fund, and it’s given to the
graduate student achieving the highest scholastic
average in the class of 2009. This year’s recipient
is Mr. Michael Lawrence. (cheers and applause) Mr. Lawrence is going
to say a few remarks. – Hello, I’m Mike. (laughter) And I’ll try to keep this short because with all this rain and you know, no bathrooms to go to, I’m sure everybody’s jittery by now. So I’ll keep it short. When first coming here I was a D student. I almost dropped out of
high school at one point so this was a real second chance for me. And for me to receive this award
and to say that I did this, it would be a crime, because
it was really the community of this whole entire
environment where we are that really pushed me
and I enjoyed it so much. It’s almost the equivalent
to how the world is working right now because we’re in a very troublesome time. The economics and, and the
politics are all messed up. I mean when it comes to globalization the economics are ahead of the politics. And this school really represents
something very special. Because not only are we
ethnically and culturally diverse, but we also see different
social statuses working all for the same common goal and that is to increase our knowledge. To increase our vocational prosperity, and also most important,
to increase our livelihood. And I really appreciate
everybody in this school for making my time here and
hopefully your time here too to be as successful and as
happy as I experienced it. So thank you class of 2009
and Godspeed, thank you. (cheers and applause) – By the way Mr. Lawrence has
graduated with a 4.0 average. (cheers and applause) And remember the name because Mr. Lawrence is going on a scholarship to American University
pursuing political science. Is gonna then get a law
degree and who knows? Senator, president, congressman? (cheers and applause) – We shall now proceed with the conferring of
degrees and certificates. (cheers and applause) Finally! The candidates will be presented by acting Provost Dr. Diane Call. Will the audience please
refrain from applauding until degrees for each
group have been conferred and certificates granted? Will the candidates for the
degree of Associate in Arts please rise? – Thank you. President Marti these candidates have met all the requirements for their degrees. I am pleased to present them to you and I respectfully request
that you confer upon them the degree of Associate in Arts. – Upon the recommendation of the Provost and the
faculty of the college. And by the authority vested in me by the Board of Trustees of the
City University of New York I hereby confer upon you the degree of Associate in Arts with all
the rights, privileges, and immunities, and honors
there unto appertaining. (cheers and applause) – [Announcer] Stephanie Renault Paul Cavallari Melissa Maldonado Jessica Arias Christian Bermudez Jennifer Roy Taisha Glover Nachama Pryor Crystal Hucksul Jasmine Torres Narima Peshad Lauren Bear Kashia Relam Jessica Martinez Karen Triana Giselle Dominich Amy Schwartz Salani Gesine Bebe Kahn Satwati Singh Benella Palteram Jennifer Simonson Nadia Habib Christopher Rai Alicia Henry Samantha Millington Evelisse Rodriguez Melissa Aquilani Mario Noble Mushiya Crawford Ophelia Green Lena Wright Fabian Delman Yadira Smith Grazia Avaramo Wilma Caroga Nicole Worrell Manisha Hozier Sandra Medina Gioia Kaualga Jose Henriquez Victor Pena Andres Gomez Karonica Grant Maryam Isabella Kelly Eileen Ortega Kristen Reed Liz Marbrosnan Enid Espina Maria Gabaldon Jason Beltran Benjamin Star Anumu Iyucutu Nicole Castro James Santos Chancellor Ramirez Christina Lloyd Remy France Erica Reyes Yosinia Tolentino Jonathan Espinosa Christina Guevara Andriana Caban Angelica Gonzalez Clara Gomez Phyllis Hamblin Angelo Fernandez Rocio Zamora Theresa Odato Sharon Valenzuela Denise Stapleton Vinny Mano Aulata Osaka Antonia Achoku Nicole Sanchez Lauren Bond Natasha Davis Keith Ostrike Michael John Saucney Roll Rodriguez Florence Payan Betsy Diaz Jillian Guytes Camille Solomon Shoyan Gordon Thomas Bostick Susan Jones Jennifer Clark Jasmin Gonzalez Laura Ann Herder Maja Hussein Jelena Syria Cruz Sunang Wong Karina Pooja Philippe Pierre Tamika Phil Jennifer Cruz Andrea Reed Florence Silvia Walsh Abigail Capers Brandon Jean Pierre Tarek Robin Stephanie Diaz Ebony Moyet Shanae Campbell Leon Holden Joann Sing Ruth Gutierrez Alejandro Kyoto Fatima Ali Kenoth Polinduran Aisha Farouk Chandrika Prasad Sibyl Ortiz Sofia Ruiz Ricardo Falcone Winnie Tsai Sabrina Wins Jesse L Zambrano Ivan Contreras Champion Nichols Lisa Phelps Michael John Lorenz Anthony Angulo (cheers) – Will the candidates for the degree of Associate in Science please rise? (cheers and applause) – The candidates for the degree of Associate in Science are
assembled President Marti. These candidates have met all the requirements for their degrees. I am pleased to present them to you and I respectfully request that you confer upon them degree
of Associate in Science. – Upon the recommendation of the Provost and the faculty of the college. And by the authority vested in me by the Board of Trustees of the
City University of New York I hereby confer upon you the degree of Associate in Science with all the rights, privileges, amenities,
honors thereto appertaining. (cheers and applause) – [Announcer] Michael Samuel Brandy Portwood Margaret Petrocelli Myesha Campbell Chillon Wong Chebusey Laws Chenille Dixon Cressida Souvenir Way Yow Simon Chung Adrian Singh Akeelah Akian Forbes Stacey Cameron Edwin Jacqome Shawn Vincent Janella Naranjo Yvonne Becerra Tabitha Scala Ishmael Keith Khunell Singh Jeanette Cordova Grace Agudo Ritchie Roddick Ronson Anita Jagan Karima Rita Bianca de Mars Tina Truong Bruna Loha Rabia Kamar Jaffar Syed Mohammad Khan Joseph Roscoe Kushina Grant Vincent King Shawn Williams Lockni Bastian Dorothy Ao Sheila Yocharles Ramona Brown Unique Thomas Alisa Honey Francois Octavian Shawad Sharif Aqsa Donnell Luz Echeverra Sara Schwager Stephen Sawbwelu Nidia Suazo Randall Evans Deena Maude Mangy Millicent Santana Waldo Robles Un-seok Chong Bomi Kim Joanna Lee Denise Porran Jennifer Harrinouse Jing Li Zichon Niel Jubeta Ahmed Daniel Hirsch Garrick Purano Jessica Torres Cesar Ceballos Garcia Edwin Diaz Michelle Rivera Nahid Baram Sadhika Sultana Candace Wilkins Selena Shawn Gisele Gonzalez Jessica Rosa Angelica Seles Edwin Rojas Tabata Espinosa Odit Rambharose Yee-hua Quang Cena Limboo Christina Badal Eve Sbadu Mishgat Ashan Deanna Drummonds Loy Lindo Y Manchu Xiao Xiao Lu Bryan Chang Nguyen Fay Fu Nguyen C Or Tracy Lamb Kit Ho Bebet Long Long Asan Wada Ali Mehar Rohini Gupta Cawawatty Succourdean Maria Rivera Margaret Valencia Ruth Moreno Siddiqui Dieokati Kasim Gushgear Susie Lino Montez Linda Egem Keisha Montgomery Joel Simon Crystal Ghraham Justin Diamond Hiroshi Okimoto Callamati Singh Shandrawatti Singh Renata Zelikowski Susanna Hyun Jose Miguel Cataluna Samantha Aiello Raman Bukhari Amanda Horton Luis Imez Batista Sarah Winningham Gita Aurora Fauna Garrick Amanda Deobrega Sandy Villadares Melissa Dindayal Michael Yee Troyann Bailey Davina Newsome Juliana Wang Chantal McDuffie Eva Maria Santos Tejada Evelyn Gonzalez Roya Rada Sayed Imani L. Hondo Darrell Williams Kevin Brightgal Bebe Embagwe Donald Pagano Francie Carron – Will the candidates for the degree of Associate in Applied Science
and certificates please rise? (cheers and applause) – The candidates for the degree of Associate in applied
Science are assembled as are the candidates for certificates. President Marti these candidates have met all the requirements for their degrees. I am pleased to present them to you and I respectfully request
that you confer upon them the degree of Associate in Applied Science and grant their certificates. – Upon the recommendation of the Provost and the faculty of the college. And by the authority vested in me by the Board of Trustees of
the City University of New York I hereby confer upon you the degree of Associate in Applied Science with all the rights, privileges,
immunities, and honors thereon to appertaining. and I also grant you the certificates, – [Announcer] Sophie Bentak Edwin Oralano Denise Viselli Tinting Wang Frances Sardone Christopher Thompson Laura Szymanski Dina Marie Sharp Mawho Rabbani Ximen Xhao Grace Duran Wahida Grutan Tasmia Rahman Kimmerly Madden Sharma Cadet Sally Ann Edwards Maria Miranda Aaron Accor Sabrina Brown Christopher Johnson Ruthlynn Josephs Virginia Medrano Jasmine Scott Janell Foster Grace Stofan Anthony Rosario Kimberly Walters Sezchuan Feng Gary Moulet Miriam Emkafin Nadine Blair Christian Torres Kay Diane Stewart Gary Chinn Carter Lynn Natalia Maldonado Ron Zalya Vanessa Castagno Joshua Davis Oscar Monaco Jr. Maria Hernandez Scylla Zeya Sundeep Kazria Joshawn Bahadur Ingrid Jarmahio Soon-In Lee Matthias Paradis Kazu Uzaka Anca Linares Esther Ma Robert Brocksti Nakaya Harrison Veronica Campuzano Devash Bashita Miyan Ane Thomas Amoroso Eduardo Jinkas Justin Sanchez Andrell Lightborn Jenifer Reynolds Anne Daysiislong Alice Filbert Acca Leftin Joesph Dean Diana Wilson Carlos Suarez David Baskin Ellis Marvin Young Angelica Cordero Carolina Delgado Samantha Goodman Innocent Acorah Angela Palandro Robert Stevens Asfeara Sheramontapacha Nan Bao Amy Chen Josette Goodridge Elisa Proshea Mildred Subarain Angela Bellarecur Jarunjuan Fooviraiaccu Daniel Varios Rasheed Belleville – [Announcer] Marsha Grant Abigail Hughes Lisa Wiles Brandon Anderson Maria Martinez Kenroy Ricknorth Dralon Ferguson Fine with me, you should
all have a little more time. Andre Roman Andre Forbes Jason Spurling Dennis Moore Fabian Jean Jacques Jin Koi Hu Kenkuhn Joanne McCants Gordon Diane Anderson Martha Fixa Angelina Rockitsra Adler Colene Reynaldo Diaz Christian Nino Stephen Govaya Hogan Miller KB Lopez Luis Fernando Sarmiento Frank Molina Yesenia German Feuse Taylor Sudot Niranjan Diane Nunes Saheil Singh Eric Schwimmer Let’s take some time. Let’s get the wheelchairs moved,
and then we’ll let you go. Oscar Mendez Susannah Rubnareen Edward Hun San Woo Divani Singh Mary Vega Dianal Lorenza Jose Freeas Tiada David Orale Okaabah Jimmy Saw Crystal Castillo Carolina Cardona Calvin Williams Jr. Lydia Bellfair Raynal de Rosie Mickdun Ie Celestino Monclova Andrew Deurrow Donald Bartolo William Godwin Hang Chan Kevin McHugh Brian Turner James Hopper Alfa Simwilla James Finnerty, that’s you Saud Sand Gina Woods Anthony Miller Fanyan Chen Christopher Farrier Natalia Gonzalez Joy Arreba Nicole Levescue Mary Elena Piranyo Raya Navarro We can move again. I need the name. That’s okay. Hina Jelani (applause) Amina Yaseen Hakim I always talk two beats before we move. Francine Falice Natifa Edwards Kumar Dingdow Raya Marie Alcalde Sandra Green Keisha Light Camille Macpherson Vasiliki Chiapas Ruth Maldonado Millie Hoodia Aaron Gibbs Benny Velazquez Jason Perez Ruben Rivera Luke Smith Francisco Guampa Vivica Valdez Nicole Lunardis Balberto Mejia Theodore Messiah Barbara Valino Gunparti Nerine Malgorzata Drygock Michelle Antiju Divona Fletcher Lamar Williams He used to be. He’s got it now. – Ladies and gentlemen the class of 2009! (cheers and applause) Now you are transitioning
from candidates to graduates, so will the graduates
please move the tassels from the right side of
your head to the left hand. (cheers and applause) And I know the hour is late
but I have to say something. You saw one of our students
go through the stage with an egg, that egg has
traveled throughout the world. It was done as a gift to
us, as a nursing student who gave that egg to a child
that is dying and as a gift was given that egg was
painted and then that egg has traveled literally
throughout the world. Has been in Egypt, in China,
and every time that anyone goes anywhere with that egg
there’s a picture taken. And here’s the egg. (cheers and applause) In my mind this demonstrates
the civic commitment of our students and I really appreciate the Nursing department
for having done this. So the egg! (cheers and applause) Now will the following students please join me at the podium. Rana Sayeed. Eva Santos Tejada. Kimani el Hammoud. Renata Zelechowski. Winnie Tsai. Fabians Jean Jacques, Soon-In
Lee, and Abraham Davidoff. Now it is my privilege to
give you the last lesson that anyone will give you at Queensborough Community College. I ask you to remember that
the horizon is not a limit but an invitation, pursue your dreams with a sense of the
responsibility that comes from the privilege of understanding
that every choice you make affects the rest of us. And as you move forward in your
accomplishments be sensitive to the needs of others, balance
the taking with the giving, and be fair in your pursuit of happiness. And as a Spanish poet Antonio Machado said in his poem Caminos de Castilla. (speaking foreign language) Traveler there is no road,
roads are made as you walk. (cheers and applause) And in Arabic. – It’s my pleasure to say it in Arabic (speaking foreign language) Thank you. – And in Spanish. (speaking foreign language) And in French. (speaking foreign language) (cheers and applause) And in Polish. (speaking foreign language) And in Mandarin. (speaking foreign language) – Thank you. (cheers and applause) – And in Korean. (speaking foreign language) And in Creole. (speaking foreign language) There is a diversity that
exists in this college, thank you very, very much. (cheers and applause) Now the class of 2009, all of you, all of you will sing the alma mater. It’s in your books. The singing of the alma mater will be led by Damian Sneed instructor
in the Department of Music with the following students. Andy Alvarez, Chinni
Campbell, Tristan Grisham, Marybell Gonzalez, Stefan
Johnson, Richard McMichael, Jennalynn Thomas and Leticia Smith. Following the alma mater
the audience is requested to remain standing for the processional. As your ceremonies come
to a close please remain in your places until all the
members of the platform party and the students have
exited from the tent. And afterwards you’re invited,
if you are brave enough to brave the weather to meet
the faculty in the tents that are indicated by the departments at the back of the field or
just mingle with your faculty. Mr. Sneed, would you please all stand up? ♪ Far beyond Manhattan’s clatter ♪ ♪ Stands a hilltop crowned ♪ ♪ Where a queen, our alma mater ♪ ♪ Overlooks the Sound ♪ ♪ Queensborough, Queensborough ♪ ♪ We will always sing your praise ♪ ♪ Come what may of joy or sorrow ♪ ♪ We’ll remember college days ♪ ♪ Born of city, state and borough ♪ ♪ Proud to serve their need ♪ ♪ Building toward a bright tomorrow ♪ ♪ For every race and creed ♪ ♪ Queeensborough, Queensborough ♪ ♪ We will always sing your praise ♪ ♪ Come what may of joy or sorrow ♪ ♪ We’ll remember college days ♪ (cheers and applause) – [Marti] Congratulations. (cheers and applause) (upbeat music) (drumbeat music)

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