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Rain Fails to Dampen Spirits of City Tech’s 2,100 Graduates

The rain did not dampen the spirits of the City Tech class of 2012 and their guests. As their names were announced, the graduating seniors proudly marched down the aisles of the Javits Center North as thousands of loved ones cheered them on.

Before witnessing the graduates move the tassels hanging from their mortarboard from the right to the left to signify the completion of their studies, everyone in attendance at the College’s 72nd commencement exercises on June 4 heard New York State Senator Eric Adams, a City Tech alumnus, give the commencement address.

Adams, who was re-elected to the 20th Senatorial District in 2008, was co-founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care in 1995. Like many of the graduates, his story was one of having to overcome great obstacles to success and learning from one’s mistakes.

Salutatorian Jimenez with valedictorian Fisher.

A powerful speaker who spoke without benefit of a script, he mentioned that when he was a boy he had some brushes with the law. After one of them, the police told his mother that her young son wasn’t likely to amount to much.

“But my mother never gave up on me,” he related. She saw me graduate from City Tech and later from John Jay College. She saw me go from someone who broke the law, to someone who enforced the law and to someone who now writes the law in Albany.”

Senator Adams encouraged the graduates to be active participants on the global stage. “As City Tech graduates, you have the opportunity to make the world a better place. “Take your diploma and blow this globe in whatever direction you want it to take you,” he said. “You can make a difference.”

Valedictorian Richard Fisher quoted Martin Luther King, Jr., President John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln in his speech. A Purple Heart recipient, Fisher related how being injured by an explosion while he served in Iraq changed many things in his life, developing in him the lifelong goal of self-improvement, especially through education. (Click Here to read his speech.)

Commencement speaker Adams.

City Tech’s 2012 salutatorian, Keila Joann Jimenez, who majored in hospitality management and was the first in her family to graduate from college, was acknowledged by the College’s President Russell K. Hotzler for her fine academic achievement.

The graduates and their guests also heard greetings from the City University of New York (CUNY) Board of Trustees brought by The Honorable Philip A. Berry and from Chancellor Matthew Goldstein by Dr. Gillian Small, Vice Chancellor for Research at CUNY. Student Government Association President Zeeshan Saroya, a member of the Class of 2012, and City Tech Alumni Association President Yvonne Riley-Tepie also spoke.

Rabbi Ellen Lipmann gave the invocation and City Tech’s Director of Testing, Teresa Palmer, sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” to open the program and graduates exited to Chuck Mangione’s “Feels So Good”. Professor Mary Alice Browne, chairperson of the Department Radiologic Technology & Medical Imaging, was the grand marshal.

Photo gallery of the 72nd commencement exercises:

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Photos by Alberto Vargas.



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