Queensborough Community College – 2011 Commencement Exercises

– Thank you for your attention. At this time I invite Professor
Brumgnach to the podium. (audience cheering and applauding) – President Call, I
have the honor to report that there are now present
members of the graduating class, the staff and the 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 50th Commencement Exercises of Queensborough Community College of the City University of New York. (audience applauding) Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 50th 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 David Cronin, Jonathan Palmiotti, and Hasan Ozecan under the direction of their
professor Dr. Steven Dahlke will lead us in the singing of our anthem. ♪ 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 ♪ ♪ O say does that star spangled ♪ ♪ Banner yet wave ♪ ♪ O’er the land of the free ♪ ♪ And the home ♪ ♪ Of the brave ♪ (audience cheering and applauding) – The audience will please be seated. Ladies and gentlemen, the President of Queensborough
Community College of the City University of
New York, Dr. Diane B. Call. – Thank you. Thank you Grand Marshall Brumgnach. Good morning. – [Graduates] Good morning. – Welcome to this, the
50th Commencement Exercises of our college. On this very special day we
celebrate the accomplishments of you, our students,
who will receive degrees and certificates, and
you all look amazing. (audience cheering and applauding) This morning you will
be official graduates of Queensborough. Welcome to your families, your friends. Welcome to our elected
officials, to the representatives of the CUNY Board of
Trustees and the Chancellery, the Queensborough Community College Fund, our alumni association,
and our faculty and staff, who were such an important part
of your college experience. This year, almost 2000 students will have graduated from Queensborough. Some will go on to university study at one of CUNY’s
outstanding senior colleges. Perhaps Queens, Baruch, York, Hunter, City, Brooklyn, Medgar Evers. Some will go to the state university, Binghamton, Stony Brook. Some will go to private
colleges including NYU, the Cooper Union, MIT,
Columbia University, Hofstra, Adelphi, and St.
John’s among many others. Some of you will graduate
from rigorous career programs which have prepared you
to work in the health, business and technology fields. Students, you came to Queensborough from all parts of the world, representing over 100 countries,
speaking many languages. Each of you has a personal
story of courage, determination, and sacrifice to achieve
the dream of a better life for you and your families
through education. All of us salute your accomplishments. Among you are military veterans, who placed their lives in harm’s way to protect our way of life. (audience cheering and applauding) Thank you. Will Bruce Tush, Joel Durand, Olga Goldwurm, as well as
all others in the audience who have served our country,
please stand and be recognized. (audience cheering and applauding) Thank you. Thank you. As graduates you leave with knowledge, new and advanced skills, and most of all with personal values developed through the journey which brought you to this special day. Your experiences in and
outside of the classroom have changed you. Interactions with one another, with strangers who became friends, and with faculty and staff
who became your mentors. All of these people influenced your life. Now you will apply your
knowledge, your skills, and most of all the values you hold to better your life and that of others. This is your day, and many important people have
come to bring you greetings. Please welcome the senior
senator from New York, a tireless advocate for
access to a better life through education,
Senator Charles Schumer. (audience cheering and applauding) – Thanks President Call. You’re retired. Thank you very much President Call, and it’s great to be here today to address the members of the dais, the faculty, the friends and families, but most of all you, the
Class of 2011 Queensborough. (audience cheering and applauding) Congratulations. Now first I’d like to
announce my class gift. It’s money. It’s hard to pay for
college, you know that. And if you’re poor, the federal
government helps you out and we succeeded in
preventing the bad guys from cutting the Pell Grants this year. (audience cheering and applauding) But what about the middle class? So I wrote a law that says,
it’s on the books now, that says you or your family,
whoever paid for college, can take off your federal taxes a full $2,500 a year to help defray the cost
of tuition, provided, provided your family income is below $200,000 a year. So for those of you who make below 200,000 make sure you or mom or
dad takes that tax credit. Last year about half the people
who were entitled didn’t, and if you forgot to do it last year you can file a one page form with the IRS and get a $2500 check. (audience cheering) For those of you of course,
those are for those of you below 200,000, now for those
of you who come from families who make above $200,000 a year, God bless ya. (audience laughing) That’s none of the faculty, we know that. Second, I’d like to say a
word to the moms and dads. I know how you feel. Just a few years ago, my wife
Iris and I sat where you did, and watched our older daughter Jessica come up on the stage, take her diploma. We craned our neck to
watch her move the tassel from one side to the other, it was one of the great days of our life. And if you’re like us you think back. We thought back to when Jessica
was less than one year old, had a hundred six and a half fever. We rushed her to the hospital, we didn’t think she’d make
it, praise God she did. We remembered when we put
her on the kindergarten bus when she was five. She ran to the back of the bus, tears streaming down her cheek
crying and waved goodbye. And then at two o’clock, Iris met her, she bounded off the bus happy as could be, she said, “Mommy, I came back!” She thought we had put her
on the bus and that was it, family was gone for good. And then we remember Jessica as a teenager where she didn’t say much to us. When she did, we didn’t
understand a word she said. And then moms, dads, you
see your sons and daughters come up on the platform,
take that diploma, and become an adult before your very eyes. Congratulations to the moms and dads who did a great job here today as well. Now. To this great class of Queensborough 2011, you know, you’re graduating at
an amazing time in many ways. But one is all this technological change. In 1988, when some of you were
born, just a few years ago, that was the first time the word internet was ever seen in print. There were no cell phones, no textbooks, no Google, no e-mail. No Facebook, no LOL. In 1993, when some of you may
have started kindergarten, the World Wide Web had
just 12 websites on it, that’s it, 12. Now there are 13 billion. So that shows you how fast
technology is changing our world. And you know, your faculty, your parents, me, the older generation, we try to adjust to all this technology, but it’s hard for us. But you, you were born with
it, it’s in your bloodstream. Technology is to your generation
like water is to a fish. You been swimming in it since birth. And so that gives you a leg up. That and the wonderful education, the wonderful and practical education you have gotten here at Queensborough gives you a leg up on most of your peers, and what does that mean? It means that if you have a dream, now’s the time to reach for that dream. Then reach deep down inside yourself, see what you’re made of and see if you can achieve that dream. My advice to the class of 2011
is very simple, go for it. Now sometimes, you’ll
make the wrong choice, but if my life’s any indication
you’ll pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move forward. But if you make the right choice, with a lot of hard work and a little luck, and some prayer, your life
will be enriched forever. My experience reflects that. When I was graduating from
college a little while back, seated as you are here today, I learned that I had
just won a scholarship to travel all around the world all expenses paid, for a whole year. For me it was the
opportunity of a lifetime. I had never been out
of the country before. But at the same time, I had
met a girl and I fell in love. Ahh. I had to decide do I go around the world on the all expense paid scholarship? – [Students] Yes! – Or do I stay home with the girl? (students shouting) The class, President Call, is divided. I stayed home with the girl. (crowd calling out and booing) Who booed? I should have listened to you. That summer, she went on a short vacation and I met her at the airport
to greet her on her return. As soon as she got off the airplane I saw by the look on her
face something was wrong. She dumped me by Labor Day. There I was, no scholarship, no trip around the world, no girl. I said to myself, what a loser you are. You’ll never make anything of yourself. But somehow, I stayed
in my house for months, and moped around, but
somehow I picked myself up, dusted myself off and moved
forward, and a few years later, I found myself seated at
graduation once again. This time from law school. But on the way home from law school I broke the word to mom and
dad that I was not gonna join the fancy law firm like we had planned. I told them my dream was
to run for public office, I love politics. And I hated that working at that law firm. Well my parents were shocked. My mother was particularly disappointed, you see they had struggled to send me to college and law school. The law firm was paying $400 a week, which was more money than
my family had ever seen, my father was an exterminator,
never went to college. But I told them I wanted
to aspire to my dream. And so that fall I ran for
the New York State Assembly at the age of 23 in a long-shot race. 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’d get this dumb idea of
being a politician as she said, out of your big thick head. Well graduates, a few years
earlier I didn’t get that girl, but that November, I won the election. So, graduates, go for it. And when you have doubts,
and we all have doubts, that’s the human condition. Every stage of your life, no matter who or what
you are, you have doubts. But maybe you’ll remember a few lines from this poem by Rudyard Kipling. It’s called If, he wrote it
to his son over 120 years ago, but it’s relevant to every daughter and every son of this great class today. If you can dream and not
make dreams your master, if you can think and not
make thoughts your aim, if you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two
imposters just the same if you can bear to hear
the truth you’ve spoken twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools or watch the things you
gave your life to broken and stoop and pick ’em
up with worn out tools if you can make one heap
of all your winnings and risk it on a turn of pitch and toss and lose, and start
again at your beginnings and never breathe a word about your loss if you can force your
heart and nerve and sinew to serve your turn long
after they are gone and so hold on when
there is nothing in you except the will which
says to them hold on. If you can talk with
crowds and keep your virtue or walk with kings but
not lose the common touch if neither foes nor loving
friends can hurt you if all count with you but none too much if you can fill the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds worth of distance run yours is the Earth and
everything that’s in it and which is more,
you’ll be a man, my son. He wrote it to his son
over a 120 years ago, it’s relevant to every
daughter and every son today in this great class
of Queensborough 2011. To the class of Queensborough
2011, congratulations. Good luck. Godspeed, and don’t forget, go
for it, you’re the greatest. Thank you, President. Thanks, President Martí. Thanks for all your good work. – Thank you Senator Schumer. – [Senator Schumer] Thanks everybody. – Please join me in a special welcome to the Honorable Toby Ann
Stavisky, New York State senator and ranking member on the Senate
Higher Education Committee. Senator Stavisky is leading
the effort to maintain access to affordable and high quality education for all who seek it. Senator Stavisky. (audience applauding) – Thank you. President Call and honored guests. As I was standing outside
watching the students come in, I was listening to the different languages that they were speaking. And as I look around and I see faces from all over the world, you
can’t help but appreciate the mission of Queensborough
Community College, because we are obviously
a nation of immigrants who share a common vision. A vision for the future
but for the opportunity that Queensborough
Community College offers. And when you leave here later today you’re gonna be very
proud when you say that I am a graduate of
Queensborough Community College. A proud graduate. (audience applauding) And I am particularly proud to be here because some 40 years ago, my husband, Leonard Stavisky
was Assistant to the President of Queensborough Community College, and I have watched this college grow from Quonset huts and piles of mud to a thriving university,
part of the CUNY system for which we have such a
long and proud tradition. City College, the first
institution at CUNY, was founded in 1847. The purpose at that time, now
that’s before the Civil War. The purpose was to educate the sons and daughters of immigrants and today that mission
really hasn’t changed. We are continuing the mission of educating the sons and daughters of immigrants. So I too want to add, and with a comment by an abolitionist by the
name of Harriet Tubman. She said, before the Civil War, “Every great dream begins “with a dreamer. “Always remember you have
within you the strength “the patience and the passion
to reach for the stars “and to change the world.” And I say to you today,
continue the Rudyard Kipling and the Harriet Tubman
dreams for the future. Thank you all and congratulations. (audience applauding) Thanks. – Thank you Senator Stavisky. For many years an effective leader on the New York City Council and now a member of the
New York State Assembly, the Honorable David Weprin has
supported and made possible many programs and capital projects, which have benefited Queensborough and especially our students. Please welcome Assemblyman David Weprin. (audience applauding) – Thank you President Call
and it’s a great pleasure for me to join you on
this very very special commencement exercise,
being the 50th anniversary, 50th commencement. And if Dr. Call could come up I’d like to present an official
New York State Assembly proclamation on this very special occasion of the 50th commencement. Congratulations.
– Thank you very much. Thank you. – In the words of Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr., the function of education
is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of true education. Queensborough Community
College is one of the finest and most diverse community
colleges in the country. – Yes.
– Yes. (audience applauding) – You have received a
state of the art education here at QCC. You have been taught
how to think critically, and not be afraid to
ask the tough questions. Your education and the
skills you have acquired while studying here at QCC can be used in any given situation you find yourself in
from this point forward. Many of you have been prepared to go out into the working world, and others are headed to pursue
higher educational degrees. Your professors and the
faculty of Queensborough take great pride in the accomplishments you have achieved today. Your families are extremely proud of you. You can’t imagine the sense of
relief they are experiencing. This might be an opportune
time to ask for money. (audience laughing) But seriously, no matter what
your next course of action is you should always reflect on
the times you shared at QCC and be proud of the excellent educational and social recreational opportunities you have received here at QCC. I congratulate you and hope you’re all proud of your accomplishments. You have worked very
hard to get here today and this celebratory moment belongs to all of you. I wish you well on all
your future endeavors. Congratulations class of 2011. (audience applauding) – Thank you Assemblyman Weprin. We have another long-standing friend of Queensborough with us. He’s a staunch supporter
of higher education as a member of the city council, and now he champions for
all of us in New York City as the Controller of the
City of New York, John Liu. (audience cheering and applauding) – Thank you, President Call. Wow, what a good looking
bunch of graduates here. What a good looking bunch of graduates! (crowd cheering) Got to take some credit
for yourselves here. I consider it a true perk
of office to be able to join Trustee Chen and Chancellor Martí in thanking and congratulating President Call and all
of the faculty and staff here at Queensborough Community College for producing an incredible
class of graduates this year. Thank you for what you have
done, not only for the students but for our city of New York. I’m here to thank all
the family and friends of our graduates. It’s clear how much pride
you are exhibiting because these young men and women are
going on to the next stage of their lives and careers. And most of all, congratulations to the class of 2011 at
Queensborough Community College. (audience cheering and applauding) This is a day, this is a day that you have
worked long and hard for. And you surely deserve
all of the celebrations and salutations. And you graduate in a time that, yes, it is still an uncertain time. We are clawing our way out of a recession that is probably the harshest
since the Great Depression. And even here in New York City
there are people struggling. But you have seen that,
you have been through it, and through these difficult times you have been able to pursue your studies alongside working, alongside taking care of your families and you have made it. And that’s a remarkable achievement. (audience applauding) To achieve that in the city
of New York, a city where people from all over the world come to. You know that first hand. I know it first hand. My family immigrated here. I was born in Taiwan. People say I was made in Taiwan. (audience laughing) To be able to come here, get my education, and go on to work in the
private sector for many years. Then running for office. Actually getting elected. And now having the privilege to serve as New York City Comptroller,
the chief financial officer. I sign every single
check in New York City. (audience cheering and applauding) It’s a lot of checks. You gotta keep your elbow loose. $68 billion a year. It’s a great city. And if an immigrant like
myself could get to this point, let me tell you something,
the sky’s the limit for every single one
of our graduates today. (audience cheering and applauding) In the coming months and years there will be challenges
that come your way. Don’t ever look at them as obstacles. Think of every one as an opportunity. An opportunity to further develop your own skills,
foundation, and character. Some things that you have
got such a great start from right here at Queensborough. And I know that you’ll go
on, continue your careers, maybe pursue higher education. Or start your own business. So many opportunities lay ahead of you. So I bid you our best wishes. We know you’ll do well. We’re counting on you. Because when you succeed you succeed not only for yourselves, not only for your families, but you succeed for our city of New York, and indeed America itself. So congratulations to the faculty and staff and
our wonderful President Call for the great work that they have done. Congratulations to the family and friends. It is your support that
has brought our graduates to this fine day. And most of all congratulations, congratulations to the class of 2011 at Queensborough Community College. You’ve earned it, enjoy the day. (audience cheering and applauding) Thank you so much. – Thank you Comptroller Liu. I have a particular
privilege of introducing the Honorable Helen Marshall, President of the Borough of Queens. For many years, and in many ways, Helen Marshall has been a partner in building this wonderful campus we have. From the fencing to the art
gallery to the Holocaust Center to the MTA bus depot, which
is a story in and of itself. And coming soon, changes
for a new student cafeteria. I couldn’t imagine a graduation ceremony without Borough President Helen Marshall. (audience cheering and applauding) – Thank you Dr. Call. First of all, I have been
coming to Queensborough since I’ve been borough president, I have not missed one of your graduations. Yes, not one. Speakers are often asked to
speak but to limit their time. So I’m gonna be very brief
because we have a conflict here. Both Queensborough Community
College and York College have their graduation exercises
at exactly the same time. And so I’ve got to run there when I finish and if everybody will forgive
me for doing that, okay. And I am an alumni of the City University. I graduated from Queens
College, so did my daughter. My son graduated from the City College School of Engineering. Public colleges are the best
bargain you can get in town. (audience applauding) I’m sorry that it hasn’t
been free for you, but it was free for me, it
was free for both of my kids, and they’re both doing well. And I think I’m doing pretty well too. You’ve given me the privilege of being your borough president and one of the things that I
can do as borough president is exactly what Dr. Call described. And that is to build
our city institutions. Our colleges, our schools,
our parks, our museums, and our libraries. That’s very very much
a part of what we do. However, as a fellow
alumni, I know your elation. The joy of your family
who has supported you, the professors who have watched you grow and help you to grow and develop
your intellectual capacity. And as I bask in the aura of your day, I feel optimism, hope, confidence, that the world is in good hands, your hands, your hands, okay? And I believe that you’re
ready to take it on. You may ask how in this current climate of economic downturn, budgetary cuts, 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 and sometimes that takes very big steps. But it’s those small steps
that lead to the big steps. Abraham Lincoln said, “Struggle of today “is not altogether for today. “It is for the vast future also.” As I look at the campus
I marvel at the beautiful Harriet and Kenneth
Kupferberg Holocaust Museum, which opened last year. This year, this unique center is a living and breathing museum which not only perpetuates
the memory of all those who were lost in the Holocaust, but utilizes the experience to educate both the students and community in the consequences of hate,
bigotry and intolerance. And I know none of that is in here, is it? No! No, okay, thank you. I’m proud as your borough president, I’m the borough president
of the most diverse county in the entire United States of America, so we have to live in peace,
we have no alternative. And loving one another. And respecting one another. I was able to contribute
to the construction of this building, allocating
funding from your tax dollars. You have given me as borough president the privilege to spend your tax dollars. And I consider that a
very very important trust, and our borough is doing pretty
good even though we’ve been, staff has been cut and
other things have happened to our budget, but we’re
still kicking, okay? And as I look out and
I know that each of 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 altogether for today,
but for the vast future also. Sometimes it takes big steps but little steps lead to the big steps. If you see something that you
want to achieve, just do it. You have first of all got your,
you’ve got your equipment. You now have your associate degree, I’m sure that many of you
are gonna go on to your senior college degree, and I know some of you
will go into business. But wherever you go, education
will always help make you a better person, a smarter person, and a more critical thinking person. So congratulate to this
wonderful wonderful class, and I’ll see you next year, okay? All right, thanks. (audience applauding) – [Dr. Call] Thank you
Borough President Marshall. – I have to say this
publicly, I’m thrilled today to see Dr. Martí with us. There he is. We like him there. Thank you, okay Dr. Martí. Have a great summer. – Thank you. Thank you very much. I am pleased to introduce the
Honorable Wellington Chen, who will bring greetings as a member of the CUNY Board of Trustees. (audience applauding) – Thank you, President Call. State Senator Toby Stavisky,
State Assembly Member David Weprin, Borough
President Helen Marshall, New York State, New York
City Comptroller John Liu, CUNY Senior Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges Eduardo Martí, I gave you the senior extra, honored guests, distinguished
members of the faculty, families, and most importantly you, the graduating class of
Queensborough Community College 2011, congratulations. (audience applauding) It is my great pleasure
to be here with you to bring greetings and congratulations on behalf of the Board of Trustees of City University of New York. We honor the graduation of our
2000 college students today and you are the pride of CUNY and the pride of City of
New York and our future. So as a trustee, the commencement gave me two major memorable experiences here. One is once a year I get to
meet the families, the faculty, the students, that make
this great university. And also, as been alluded to earlier, you have the presence second
here of both Dr. Diane Call, who have took the helm
as the interim president having served the college and
community for over 30 years. And Eduardo Martí, a
fond and familiar face for many of here today,
who currently serves the university as the Vice
Chancellor for Community Colleges at the central office. There are many college graduates
here in the audience today who overcame many obstacles. Many of you are the first
in your family to graduate with a degree, and you have the support of your faculty, your
members, your family members. So we should give all of these
members a round of applause, the family members, your friends, your spouses, and the faculty. (audience applauding) I also want to take this
moment to think about what has comes before us
and what has come, you know, what lies ahead of you. And as those eloquent
speakers have said before, I think that, I just want to start with my favorite poet, Emily Dickinson. And it’s gonna be on my
medal that I’m gonna present to my Board of Directors next week. It’s about the quote is simply two words. “Dwell on possibility.” And actually it should be plural because the other person
I’m thinking of today is that great Renaissance
man, Leonardo da Vinci. I keep on thinking, wondering,
what he would be like today if we was sitting among you and he was a graduate of among you. The world really opened
up for you, exponentially. You know, Leonardo da Vinci was the first man to be so curious that he took human
cadaver into the basement and he as a sculptor, as
a painter, want to examine how the human veins are drawn, how human anatomy comes about, and he took it upon himself
to really examine it. Now with the internet,
the with social media, the World Wide Web is at your disposal. And so I hope that you
utilize this opportunity to really really expand
the human potential. But at the end of the core, as what the chancellor said all along, this university, this great university that’s on the second
Renaissance, that’s on the run, exists around only one thing, and that is center around the students. So we are here to serve
you, we are proud of you, today’s the day of harvest, but don’t forget you came from CUNY. One in two students in this college, in this city comes from a
public university like CUNY. So go out, make a difference,
makes a tremendous impact. In a few years come back here, donate to your foundation here, and let’s celebrate
together in a few years. Thank you very much. (audience applauding) – Thank you Trustee Chen. Bringing greetings from the Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges and our own Dr. Eduardo Martí. (audience cheering and applauding) – Good morning. – [Crowd] Morning. – Madam President, members of the dais, faculty, students and family, it is a great honor to stand before you and bring greetings from Matthew Goldstein the Chancellor of the City
University of New York, and the other vice chancellors
in the central office. Thank you for inviting me. (audience applauding) To tell you the truth
I’m a little nervous. And that’s rare for me, right? It is weird for me to stand here bringing greetings from the
central office to my family. And I miss you. I really, really miss you. (audience applauding) So thank you, thank you for
allowing me the privilege of bringing you greetings. I know that at this time,
greetings become a little old. A lot of people want to say hello to you and everybody want to wish you well, and I’ll try to be as brief as I can. But I do want to share
some things with you. Community colleges are egalitarian institutions of higher education. You see, we provide access to all who have a high school or a GED. To some, our admissions criteria may seem too low. To some, admitting everybody equates with low quality. But what they don’t know, is that the faculty that have taught you has the same credentials, and
sometimes better credentials, than those that are found at baccalaureate granting institutions. (audience cheering and applauding) What they don’t know is that the rigor of the curriculum at this institution is as difficult, as rigorous as you will find in any other institution. And what they really don’t know is that we have reversed the process. We admit everybody but we only graduate about
one quarter of those who come. And some people say that’s
bad, but you know something, think about it, if this was a selective admission college, we would only accept one
quarter of those who came. So we provide this access,
this opportunity to anybody that wants to try it. But we maintain the
rigor of our curriculum. So if anybody tells you that just the associate’s
degree from a community college is not the best thing that you can have, tell them to come here and to try it and see if they can be one
of the quarter that graduate. (audience cheering and applauding) So be proud of the degree
that you’re getting. Be proud of what you have gotten here because it’s a wonderful
wonderful education. And I know that you’re
gonna go to other places. I know that you’re gonna
do, reach greater heights. But as you go into the
next phase of your life I ask you to pursue your dreams vigorously with a sense of responsibility that comes from the understanding
that every choice you make affects the rest of us. Be sensitive to the needs of others. Balance the taking with the giving. Be fair in your pursuit of happiness. And as I have said at every graduation, and I have the honor of saying it again, as the famous and wonderful
poet Antonio Machado said in his poem Caminos de Castilla (speaking foreign language) “Traveler there is no road,
road are made as you walk.” Congratulations Class of 2011. (audience cheering and applauding) – Thank you Vice Chancellor Martí. Bringing greetings on
behalf of our faculty, Professor Alexandra Tarasko, Chair of the Faculty Executive Committee. (audience cheering and applauding) – Good morning everyone. As Chairperson of the
Faculty Executive Committee of Queensborough Community College, I would like to congratulate
you on this very special day. On a more personal note,
I congratulate you. I know first hand the
difficulties and hardships that many of you and your
families have overcome to reach this important day of your life. Like many of you, I was
not born in this country. In fact, when I started school, I couldn’t speak a word of English and my family struggled financially. But like all of you graduating here today, I was given the opportunity
to pursue my dreams at the City University of New York. And I stand here today addressing you as a professor and also
as a governance leader, representing our dedicated faculty. Again, it was only made possible for me because of the City
University of New York. At this time, tuition is expected to rise for the CUNY colleges, and the budget for New York City calls for millions of
dollars less in support for CUNY’s community colleges. We cannot allow this to happen. Some of you will continue on to CUNY’s four-year colleges. Some members of your families will be enrolling in our colleges. I urge you graduates, family members, and friends, to stand up the for City
University of New York, stand up for higher education. No one pursuing their college dream should be priced out or short-changed. (audience applauding) Horace Mann, a great American
educator of the 19th century said, “Education, “beyond all other devices of human origin “is the great equalizer
of the conditions of men, “the balance wheel of
the social machinery.” That is just as true today as it was then. Never underestimate the value of what you have learned here at Queensborough Community College. Go forward with confidence. We faculty are all very proud of you. Thank you. (audience applauding) – Thank you Professor Tarasko. Bringing greetings from the
college’s academic senate is the Chair of the Academic
Senate Steering Committee, Dr. Emily Tai. (audience cheering and applauding) – [Woman] Yeah. – Good morning. – [Woman] Morning. – Those of you who’ve worked with me in my Western Civilization History 111, remember the historical
motto of shared governance. What touches all must be approved by all. 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. Five of your colleagues
who are graduating today have done a superlative
job of representing you in the Academic Senate. And I want to begin by thanking
them for their service, and inviting them to be recognized. Stephanie Sandson. (audience cheering and applauding) Victoria Brown. Arnab Tarafder. Alina Gulfraz. Roberto Lo Bianco. Class of 2011, please give these student
governance leaders your thanks. (audience cheering and applauding) 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 work tirelessly to make your time at
Queensborough special. Whether it was my mentoring
you through a research project, helping you find a book
or locate a website, helping you navigate the
financial aid system, or fixing your computer when it crashed. What we all have in common is how hard we work to help you succeed. How much pleasure we take today in sharing this happy occasion 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. (audience cheering and applauding) – Thank you Dr. Tai. Bringing greetings from
your fellow students, Ms. Leilani Blira-Koessler, President of our Student Government. (audience cheering and applauding) – Good morning Interim
President Call, administrators, professors, staff, friends and
family, distinguished guests, but most importantly the class of 2011. (audience applauding) For the past year it has been
a privilege and a pleasure to serve you in two capacities. First, as your Executive Vice President and currently as your
Student Government President. Today is a day to honor
your hard work, sacrifice, and dedication that has
brought you to this point. On behalf of the entire
student government board, we congratulate you on
your accomplishment. Looking for inspiration
to write this speech, I came across a quote by John Dewey, a great American philosopher. He says, “Education is
not preparation for life. “Education is life itself.” These words underscore true
importance of education. It is not something that we simply get before going on with
the rest of our lives. Instead, it is part of our life itself. Your education does not end here today. Even after school becomes a
distant memory for all of you we should never end the
pursuit of knowledge, whether it is through
traveling, learning a new skill, or keeping up with current events. The wonderful thing about a human mind is that it has no limits. We can fill it with as much
knowledge as we want to and we do not have to be
a in a classroom to do it. Furthermore I encourage
you to stay in touch with all your graduates. All too often we lose contact
with those we went to school. Look around you and make no mistake, you are looking at the future of the city, of this nation, and of this world. You are the peers that will
lead us in the years to come. You are the people that will
drive our economy forward and discover new things. You are the individuals that
will demonstrate the power of an educated mind. Contribute to each
other’s life and growth. Just as I know you will contribute
to the world around you. Finally, never forget
your time here at QCC. We are all so privileged to attend such a culturally diverse college, situated in the most
fabulous city in the world. Embrace this diversity
for it has much to teach. Only by becoming aware of our differences can we come to appreciate
and learn from them. In closing, I want again
to congratulate you on this very special day. Congratulations class of 2011. (audience cheering and applauding) Thank you. – Thank you Ms. Koessler. With us on the platform are
many distinguished guests. Please hold your applause until I have finished recognizing them. From the college, Vice
Presidents Karen Steele, Ellen Hartigan, and Sherri Newcomb. Dean Paul Jean-Pierre, Arthur Corradetti, William Faulkner, Liza
Larios, Denise Ward, Paul Marchese, Michele
Cuomo, and Arthur Perkins. Representing our own Queensborough
Community College Fund Board of Directors are Mr. Stephen Levine, and Mr. Gary Schulze. There’s also the President of our Queensborough Alumni Association and recipient of the
President’s Medal last year, Mrs. Cheryl Levine. And I couldn’t not
acknowledge the great work of our academic department chair people representing our 18 academic departments. Thank you all. (audience applauding) With us also is Mr. Peter Tu, Executive Director of the Flushing Chinese Business Association and a founding member of Queensborough’s Asian Community Advisory Board. Thank you Mr. Tu. (audience applauding) Okay, we now move to the
portion of these ceremonies where we recognize members
of the graduating class who are receiving special honors. It is now my pleasure to
present the college awards. And those students are
up here on the stage. So will the recipients please come forward as I call your name? The John F. Kennedy Memorial Award goes to the student
demonstrating outstanding college and community
leadership, Ms. Denise Sanchez. Is Denise with us yet? The Martin Luther King, Jr.
Award presented to a student who has demonstrated
exceptional leadership in promoting racial harmony and appreciation of cultural diversity, Ms. Hia Abdelqader. (audience applauding) That’s for you, I’m gonna keep it together so you don’t lose it, and
I want to congratulate you. Congratulations. The Thomas R. Jennings Memorial Award is presented to an
outstanding graduating student in the Liberal Arts and Sciences. Mr. Zachari Yoder. (audience applauding) – Thank you very much. – That’s wonderful. Congratulations. The Joseph McMurray Award,
presented each year at this time to an outstanding graduating student achieving the second
highest scholastic average. Mr. Andre Simms. (audience cheering and applauding) Let’s do this. I think it’s easier to
take pictures this way. And you hold this up. Congratulations. – [Man] That’s my brother right there. (audience cheering and applauding) – And finally, the President’s Award. This is sponsored by the Queensborough Community College Fund and it is given to the graduating student
achieving the highest scholastic average in the class of 2011. This year we have two students with a perfect 4.0 GPA and completing all
credits at Queensborough. Ms. Yasmin Obriwala, and Mr. Sanh Kha. (audience applauding and cheering) Ms. Obriwala, Ms. Obriwala is also the recipient of the Associate in
Science Achievement Award, given to the graduating student achieving the highest scholastic average in the Associate in
Science degree program. And Mr. Kha receives the
Colonel John C. Lackas Award given to the graduating student achieving the highest scholastic average in Associate in Applied
Science degree programs. Congratulations. We’re gonna do this. And you take this. And you take this. I don’t want to rip your check. We’ll do it this way. – Thank you. – Congratulations. – Thank you. – Good for you. – Thank you. – Okay. (audience applauding) – We shall now proceed with the conferring of degrees and certificates. (audience cheering and applauding) The candidates will be
presented by the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Karen Steele. Will the audience please
refrain from applauding until the degrees for each
group have been conferred and the certificates granted? Will the candidates for the degree of Associate in Arts please rise? (muffled chatter and shouts) – [Man] What? I’m okay. – President Call, these candidates have met all the requirements
for their degrees. I’m pleased to present them to you and I respectfully request
that you confer upon them the degree of Associate in Arts. – [Reader] Zachari Yoder. – Upon the recommendation
of the Vice President 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, immunities, and honors thereunto appertaining. – [Reader] Zachari Yoder. Hia Abdelqader. – [Woman] Go Hia! – [Reader] Cassandra Pierre. – [Woman] Whoo! – [Reader] Fabienne Charles. Destiny Wages. Rufus Babb. – [Woman] Yay! – [Reader] Steven Zeberan. Michelle Heckel. Amanda Singh. Adria Merchant. Vanessa Torres. Peter Mrakovcic. Shanice Friday. (whooping cheers) Tonesia Thomas. Kayan Rhodes. Carlos Toalongo. You need it louder? – [Man] Yes. – [Reader] I’ve never needed to be louder. Antoinette Subaxon. – [Man] Yo. Throw your hat in the air. – [Reader] Amparo Echeverri-Mejia. Jamie Wickers. (whooping cheers) David Buckner. – [Woman] Whoo! – [Reader] Jagoda Sovulj. – [Woman] Try to pick it up. – [Reader] Oo-peel Ee-ahn. Margaret Zappitielli. Kristin Martinosky. Kate Montero. Keanna Lightburn. Bernice Niles. Sasha Diaz. Orellee Smith. Vanessa Piquant. (whooping cheers) Jannathara Chowdhury. (muffled shouting) Brad Colombi. Shante West. Amanda Torres. Andrew Ramos. Naleeni Narain. Jess Dunn. – [Men] Yeah Jess! – [Reader] Denisse Monegro. Mayerly Rosso. Natalie Martinez. Ivan John Lugtu. Angelica Rodriguez. – [Man] Yeah. – [Reader] Tricia Kellowan. Amanda Richards. (whooping cheers) Marie Plantin. Tracey Camilleri. Tannia Vasquez. Chen Yo Chi. – [Man] Yeah. – [Man] Yeah. – [Reader] Rebecca Castro. – [Man] Rebecca Castro. – [Reader] Boris Figueroa. Felicita Velasquez. Yvonne Sin. Ksee Robles. Ryan Beharry. Christina Ksiez. – [Man] Christina! – [Reader] Martin Alexander. Tina Robinson. Jose Santana. (whooping cheers) Christian Velez. – [Man] Yeah. – [Reader] Evelyn Vivar. Ramdai Sagar. Christian Flores. Elizabeth Gutierrez. Shantaya Johnson. (muffled shouts) Laura Zaffos. Leen Feliciano. – [Woman] Yay! – [Reader] Amira Alsayadi. Migdalia Hernandez. (whooping cheers) Dabney Hunt. Montee Tarpeh. Steffon Dunlop. Zaconja Bethea. (whooping cheer) Sarah Asamoah. Marvene Baker. Oops. Got it. Meagan Lynch. (muffled shout) Raquel Asonye. (whooping cheers) Theresa Johnson. Monique Montgomery. Sameera Akhtar. Loraine Guzman. Bobby Glavan. Jazmine Tavarez. Edwin Martinez. James Alonso. Wendy Aparicio. Kenia Herrera. – [Man] Yeah! – [Reader] Steven Cinturati. Samantha Svezia. Michelle Jadan. Kiva Brown. Chanel Stokes. Martyn Mikhail. Michael. Estephanie Pachucho. Patsy Leyva. Candice Mayne. (shouting and cheering) Kenisha Locke. Zivia Ackerman. – [Woman] Yes! – [Reader] Roma Jakhu. Marline Farquharson. Philip Campbell. Michelle Asciote. Daphney Autry. Guy Martie Benoit. Or Guy Martie Benoit. Yannique Shaw. – [Woman] Whoo, Ya-Yannique! – [Reader] Cerez Grant. – Yeah!
– Yay! – [Reader] Victoria Brown. Cindy Castillo. – [Woman] Whoo! – [Reader] Aisha Rodriguez-Perez. Stephanie Taveras. (shouts and cheering) Adriana Racines. Niyoka Bryan. Alyssa Famiglietti. – [Man] Whoo! – [Reader] Nikita Kapridis. Abraham Yohananov. Robert Joseph. You taking over? – [Reader] Jillian Washburn. Angel Boyce. Sonia Hernandez Rivera. Milana Abramova. Harout Mashavejian. Diahann Shipley. Christopher Pamesa. – [Man] Yeah Chris, whoo! – [Reader] Danielle Calabrese. Shalice Morton. Mary Ellen Erickson. (bright whistling) Graig Adamo. Scott Haimowitz. (whooping cheers) Eliana Hernandez. Jerlyn Ramirez. – [Woman] Whoo! – [Reader] Brittany Tabb. (audience whooping) Maria Carmona. (audience whooping) – [Olaide] Olaide Ojekunle. – [Reader] Olaide Ojekunle. (women whooping) Cicely Scott. (women whooping and screaming) Brittany Haynes. – [Woman] Yeah, Brittany. – [Reader] Kesha Conner. – [Woman] Go on Kesha! – [Reader] Gary Hernandez. – [Woman] Try to pick it up. Okay? – [Reader] Shakima Davis. – [Woman] Yeah Shakima! – [Woman] Pick up the pace. – [Reader] Grandal Glasgow. Doris Almonte. (women screaming) Rafael Otero. Peta-gaye Clarke. Kayann Watson. Denissa Gonzalez. Julia Costa. – [Woman] Yay! – [Reader] Alicia Martinez. – [Woman] Go Alicia, whoo! – [Reader] Bhumawattie Singh. Kaycee Alston. Cynthia Castro. Vanessa Griffiths. – [Woman] Yay! – [Reader] Cassandra Polycarpe. (women whooping and shouting) Renee Joseph. Thomas Cipriano. – [Man] Yay, Thomas! – [Woman] Yay, Thomas. – [Reader] Martin Miranda. Pei Low. Christy Gell. Natalie Madera. – [Woman] Yeah! – [Reader] Dario Guzman. Marsha Bacchus. Jessica Adams. – [Man] Yay, Jessica! – [Reader] Veronica Leon. (whooping cheers) Nora McDonnell. Karen Ramos. Sherlyne Lubin. (whooping cheers) Ricki Johnson. Kerry Taylor. (whooping cheers) Maria Cancemi. Nina Rivera. – [Man] Yeah! – [Reader] Joanne Moreno. (muffled shouting) Stephanie Riso. Roberto Lo Bianco. (cheering and applauding) Ruben Garcia. Jeffrey Brown. (enthusiastic cheering) Sandra Arguello. Monica Roman. – [Man] Whoo! – [Man] Whoo! – [Reader] Victor Gomez. (distant cheers) Christina Crosby. (whooping cheers) Charmaine Nero. (whooping cheers) Fausto Batista. Karol Medina. Joyce Bencose, Bencosme. – [Woman] Whoo! – [Reader] Vinuya? John Vinuya. – [Man] Yay. – [Reader] Marko Budija. Faron Hunter. Keyla Bravo. Jacqueline Colina. Keith Swiader. (whooping cheers) Yanira Bone. Kadian Weir. (whooping cheers) Whatever. – Will the candidates for the degree of Associate in Science please rise? (audience whooping and applauding) (muffled shouts) – The candidates for the
degree of Associate in Science are assembled. President Call, 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 Science. – Upon the recommendation
of the Vice President 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, immunities, and honors thereunto appertaining. Please note that the students
who come across the stage wearing a yellow stole are
member of Phi Theta Kappa, the national Honor Society. – [Reader] Yasmin Obriwala. Andre Simms. (whooping cheers) Michelle Mateus. (shouted cheers) Shayan Ansari. (whooping cheer) Ashley Brissett. Kelly Bravo. (whooping cheers) Janet Le. Kadiatou Sow. Xiao Lin. Jose Espinosa. Maria Jairam. – [Woman] Go Maria, whoo! – [Reader] Lydia Cunningham. Miriahm Paloma. (enthusiastic cheering) Reiko Omae. Piotr Hreska. Milana Tolmasova. Shebell Murray. Catherine Pimentel. – [Woman] Catherine! – [Reader] Michel Williams. (cheering and applause) Mina Shin. Serigne Gueye. Robert Ruiz. Jasmin Molina. Shawna Benjamin. – [Man] Yeah! – [Reader] Indra Singh. Stephanie Sandson. Robin Wills. Orbin Brown. Alina Gulfraz. (enthusiastic cheers) Vour Clarke. Rebecca Tannis. Mario Del Moral. Fransheska Schwartz. (piercing whistle) Natalie Zorrilla. (whooping cheers) Ilia Barabadze. Lorik Jakupi. Louis Lee. Jason Shaw. Bibi Kamalodeen. Jennifer Belance. Patrice Ricks. Shania Charles. Shalia Watts. (enthusiastic cheers) – [Reader] Danielle Ramos. (whooping cheers) Linda Vallejo. Edwin Vidal. Esin Singer. – [Woman] Yay! – [Reader] Saima Khan. Baljit Kaur. Chanpreet Kaur. Alayne Duncan. Devindra Singh. Claudio Simba. Rodlyne Gregoire. – Rodlyne!
– Rodlyne! – [Reader] Sarah Denard. (enthusiastic cheers) Tricia Hylton. Monique Croft. Shaquarah Hampton. (whooping cheers) Shaunesha Crawford. Beverly Marte. Michael Lanzieri. Theresa Marino. Krystal Ramos. Annamarie Dipinto. Kristina Miceli. (whooping and whistling) Selena Campbell. (loud cheering) Darrell Simeon. Alexandra Cadena. – [Woman] Go Lena! – [Reader] Stefania Luz. Karina Medina. Kazi Islam. Sakatu Siteran. Monisha Stewart. – [Man] Yeah. – [Reader] Ratan Saha. – [Man] Whoo! – [Reader] Annu Gupta. Noni Webb. – [Woman] Yeah Noni! – [Reader] Aradhna Persaud. (muffled shouts) Alliah Mohamed. Kadar Stapleton. Artur Niazov. Eliran Gilstron. (whooping cheers) Wjeewani Boteju. Vincent Del Greco. (whooping cheers) Paola Marin. Monica Baez. (whooping cheers) Carmen Belandria. Carlos Zapata. Maryam Yalleez. – [Woman] Whoo, go Maryam. – [Woman] Whoo! – [Reader] Mingxiu Sun. – [Woman] Whoo! – [Reader] Lynevarda Dade. Luckner Payen. Adriana Narain. Yuji Hotta. Manouchka Leandre. (whooping cheers) Zwei Pe. Lisa Kurner. Yehnny Mendez. – [Woman] Whoo, go Yehnny! – [Reader] Randy Ortiz. – [Woman] Go Randy! – [Reader] Justin Goring. Xia Xi Dong. Samantha Teixeira. Sorry. Lakeram Ramlochan. Kenya Rodriguez. (whooping cheers) Kiara Miranda. – [Woman] It’s pronounced Shay-nah. – [Man] Shayna. – [Reader] Lindsay Evans. – [Man] Shayna, Shayna. – [Reader] Shayna Wheatley. (screams and cheers) Antoinette Glasgow. (whooping cheers) Adriana Fajardo. Arlenjoy Caranay. Yi Chiu. Pei Zhong. Luyi Dai. Rebecca Mentor. Laquasha Hunter. Nataly Gonzalez. (whooping cheers) Victor Georgi. Andrew Contrera. Chang Liu. Margarette Llego. (enthusiastic cheers) Fiorella Bennett. Yi Jiang. Matthew Henderson. Adrian La Cruz. (shouts and cheers) Joseph Saur. Thomas O’Brien. Jeffrey Smith. (whooping cheers) Sohaib Zulfiqar. Itai Matute. LiLixuan Li. Amber Pyne. Arturo Rodriguez. Christopher Weiss. Andre Smithson. (screaming cheers) Robens Bien Aime. John Bostic. Katrina Robinson. Hu-yi Lee. Zhanpeng Li. – [Man] Nice to see you again– – [Reader] Cheuk Shum. – [Man] One’s telling her go fast, the other one’s saying go slow. No, no. – [Reader] Bingjian Huang. Amanda Varricchio. Maryam Khan. Maryam Yourish. Capri Oestricher. Jetarshi Evans. Thercy Olivert. Andy Foo. Nakyoung Lee. Jungeun Jang. Scott Brandi. Stephanie Diaz. Erin Mendez. – [Woman] Yeah Erin, whoo! – [Reader] Demi Roberts. Suresh Sookhoo. Raymond Batista. (whooping cheers) Vincent Wheeler. (whooping cheers) Reday Tusant. Vanessa Araujo. (enthusiastic cheering) Nabeel Shafqat. David Hwang. David Cronin. Li Wang. – [Woman] Yeah. Right. Okay. Okay. – Will the candidates for the degree of Associate in Applied
Science, and the certificates (audience cheering and applauding) please rise. – The candidates for the degree of Associate in Applied
Science are assembled. As are the candidates for certificates. President Call, these candidates have met all the requirements for their degrees and for their certificates. I am pleased to present them
to you and respectfully request that you confer upon them
the degree of Associate in Applied Science, and grant
them their certificates. – [Reader] San Ka, I got it. – Upon the recommendation
of the Vice President, 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 thereunto appertaining, and I grant you your certificates. – [Reader] San Ka. Bibi Khan. (whooping cheers) Mubina Nawaz. (cheering and applause) Fabiola Elvir. Milagros Hidalgo. Kevin Rawls. Chioma Nwogu. (muffled shouting) Miguel Torres. Keith Yeung. Jennyfer Montoya. (whooping cheers) Andres Escobar. Karenkeith Costes. Sally Sooknanan. Princess Dimalibot. – [Man] I-tya? Ichiya. – [Reader] Ichiya Stewart. Shoufei Chi. Adel Nikocevic. Ashley Grant. – [Woman] Ashley! – [Reader] Arnab Tarafder. Janmichael Esteban. – [Woman] Try to pick it up a bit. Okay, let them– – [Reader] Michelle James. – [Woman] Keep going, go (mumbles) go. – [Reader] Jocelaine Dorelus. (whooping cheers) Shannon Gordon. (whooping cheers) Donna Murray-Venzen. Shellyann Wheeler. Moise Fleurimond. Zakir Hasildar. Maria Palmer. Sharon Steadman. Shayeda Jahan. Michael Grevaris. Jose Galeano. Thea Valerie. Amanda Mohan. Gemma Nzeze. Muibi Akadri. – [Man] Thank you. – [Reader] Nigel Chamblin. Gloria Reaves. Bruce Tush. Nagatheepan Mahalin. Mohammad Islam. Taejung Yang. Edgard Belefanti. – [Man] Yeah. – [Reader] Cadauni Sapp. Xavier Prowell. Elaine Talbott. George Grullon. John Ryan. (whooping cheers) Kenneth Rogers. (whooping cheers) Gary Dyer. Ah-de-ma-deme Milagros Lopez. – [Man] Yeah. – [Reader] Agnies Czerniawska. Kadiesha Louden. Harold Alverez. Jessica Migia. That was (mumbles). Steven Mendoza. Ganming Luo. Lucas Gomez. Anette Jesurasa. Jena Beckett. Tasia Lawrence. Tara Pineiro. In a moment. Shawana Briggs. Adrienne Greene. Danny Ali. Marco Salto. – [Man] I can take over. – [Reader] Joel Durand. Want to take over? Whoop. – [Reader] Derek Lee. Johnathan Cardenas. Jennifer Vargas. Tavena Jainarine. Lilly Cipriana. Erika Ospina. Khristine Zapanta. Paula Salazar. Giselle Ferreira. Mayra Apuango. Eric Dimitriadis. Thomas Hogan. – [Man] Yeah, all right Thomas! – [Reader] Ping Liu. Jorge Rodriguez. Andrew Karim. Marcus Villegas. Javier Mercado. – [Woman] Go Javi! – [Reader] Justin Rivera. Shamila Kadim. Kirt St. Louis. Richard Rosario. Eric Haskins. Panpaphat Khemsuwan. Michael McDonnell. Vernon Rogers. (whooping cheers) Reina Harris. Savitri Resal. Frances Kittrell. Susan Brustmann. Nicholas Letterese. Noel Madlangbayan. Lisa Sankat. Benjamin Diaz. Everoy Scarlett. Byron Tannehill Jr. Stefan Jacques. Collin Gayle. John Garcia. Carmine Indelicato. Jean-Nixon Bertrand. Ryan Ahee. Ashwini Chopra. Terrence Smith. Shannon James. Mariela Collasso. (whooping cheers) Gloria Vulgares. Olga Goldwurm. Brentie Boucher-Best. – We’re gonna wait a minute.
– Okay. – [Man] The photographer
wants to slow down. She wants us to slow down. – [Reader] Well there’s
too many of them up there. – [Man] See, (mumbles) keeps
telling me to make ’em go. – [Reader] Eunice Baiden. Latchmi Cipriana. Marjorie Chambers. Irean Nhan. Yadira Chuchuca. Silvia Kock. Felicia Shuler. – [Woman] Felicia! – [Reader] George Fontanilla. Cammie Mohan. Alexander Jervis. William Satizabal. Leanna Fourniotis. Delisha Santiago. – [Woman] Whoo! – [Reader] Amy Almeida. Marisel Collado. (enthusiastic shouts and cheering) Mandi Finkel. Joanne Michelle Makatura. Sun-Lung Lee. Agustin Baez. Jeremy Lorenzi. Julius Peart. Donald Franklin. Barbara Tejeda. Kaseem Brown. Bernard Byer. Andrew Gutierrez. God Wright. Kuljeet Kaur. – [Man] Just wait for a minute. – [Reader] Andrea Mercado. (whooping cheers) Felicia Thornton. Yun Zhang. – [Woman] Do be aware of the certificates. – [Reader] Deneille Joseph. Kathleen O’Connell. – [Woman] You’ve got the flowers? – [Reader] Trisha Mayorga. Techia Benjamin. Yolanne Green McDonald. Kimberly Green. Sophia Smith. Lovleen Kaur. Ranjit Kaur. Rajnish Kaur. Tristan Crishom. Is she coming up? – [Man] Yep. In a second, yep. – [Reader] It’s Sadie. – The final graduate to be honored today, is an inspiration to all of us. – There are still a few others. – We have more students.
– I know Sadie and I was– – We have more graduates.
– Wondering where in the hell she was.
– Right. – [Reader] ‘Cause that’s
the certificate group. (speaker muffled by
distance from microphone) I’ve met her once. Before Sadie. Samantha Sierra. (enthusiastic cheers) Sultana Hafizi. And I’ll wait. I understand. I got it. They’re doing it, they’re
making a big deal. Well I think she’s gonna
say something, isn’t she? – All right, the final
graduate to be honored today is an inspiration to all of us. When she graduated high
school with honors, in a school in North Carolina, she could not attend
college because at that time African Americans were not allowed to attend the public university. 60 years later, after raising her family, and seeing to their college educations, she enrolled at Queensborough. Today, at the age of 85 (audience cheering and applauding) I give you Mrs. Sadie Fields. – [Reader] Should I say the name? No, it’s not necessary. Not necessary. – Knowing Mrs. Fields and her
life story of disappointment, and her triumphs, I offer all
of you this final thought, expressed by Senator Robert F. Kennedy in his 1968 presidential campaign. And this was during a time of great national
struggle for civil rights. He said, “There are those who look
at things the way they are, “and ask why. “I dream of things that never were “and ask why not?” Graduates, dream. Will the class of 2011 please stand. (audience cheering and applauding) In recognition of the, in recognition of the
conferment of your degree, please move the tassel of your cap from the right to the left side. (audience cheering and applauding) Congratulations. The class of 2011 will
now sing the alma mater led by music students David
Cronin, Jonathan Palmiotti, and Hasan Ozecan, under the direction of their music professor,
Dr. Steven Dahlke. Please remain standing
for the recessional. As these ceremonies come to a close, please remain in your
places until all the members of the platform party and
the students have exited. Afterward you’re invited
to meet the faculty at the tables where you may
take photographs with them, catch up with them, and
introduce them to your families. Because certainly our faculty and staff have played an important
role in your lives. Students. ♪ Far ♪ ♪ 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 and 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 ♪ ♪ Queensborough, Queensborough ♪ ♪ We will always sing your praise ♪ ♪ Come what may of joy or sorrow ♪ ♪ We’ll remember college days ♪ (audience cheering and applauding) – [Man] That was good. Thank you. Thank you very much. – [Dr. Call] All right, we’re ready to go. (stately recessional music) (staccato snare drum riff) – [Conductor] One more. Two-four. One, two, three. (stately recessional music) Four. And four. And four. Nightwatch. One, two. Honie-Suckle, first one, one, two three. (“Honie-Suckle” by Anthony Holborne)

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