Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and African-American Explorer & Activist Barbara Hillary to receive Honorary Degrees
NEW YORK, NY- JUNE 06, 2012 – On June 9, 2012, Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) will host its 35th annual Commencement Ceremony at 4pm at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. This year, more than 500 undergraduate and graduate students will receive degrees from MCNY. Dr. Pedro Noguera, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education and one of the nation’s foremost authorities on urban schools, will deliver the keynote address. Dr. Noguera is the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University and appears as a regular commentator on CNN and other national news outlets. Other Doctor of Humane Letters honors will be conferred upon Barbara Hillary, activist, former nurse, explorer and the first African‑American to reach the North and South Poles, and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. for their accomplishments as agents of change in education and politics.
“MCNY has carved a unique position allowing us to serve students with unique needs, who overcome extraordinary obstacles to do great things,” said Dr. Vinton Thompson, President of Metropolitan College of New York. “This year’s keynote speaker and honorees are visionaries of strength and courage and leaders our graduates can proudly emulate.”
This year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Pedro Noguera, holds tenured faculty appointments in the departments of Teaching and Learning and Humanities and Social Sciences at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Development at NYU. He is also the co-Director of the Institute for the Study of Globalization and Education in Metropolitan Settings (IGEMS). Dr. Noguera is the author of seven books and over 150 articles and monographs. His most recent books are “Creating the Opportunity to Learn” with A. Wade Boykin (ASCD, 2011) and “Invisible No More: Understanding and Responding to the Disenfranchisement of Latino Males” with A. Hurtado and E. Fergus (Routledge, 2011).
The 2012 Honorees Include:
Barbara Hillary After retiring as a professional nurse, Harlem-born Barbara Hillary found new challenges in learning snowmobiling and dog sledding in the U.S. and Canada. During this time she became aware that no African-American woman had reached the North Pole. On April 23, 2007, after overcoming many obstacles Hillary reached the North Pole. Hillary has maintained an active role as an advocate for community improvement and was the founder of the Arverne Action Association, Inc.
One of her primary goals was to improve the quality of life in Arverne, New York and the Rockaway Peninsula community. She has received many awards and honors including the “Individual of Inspiration and Dedication” award from the Office of the Borough President, the Honorable Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn, New York. In addition, Hillary received a “Special Citation” from The United States House of Representatives, a Resolution honoring and recognizing her achievements introduced by Representative Gregory W. Meeks. She has also been honored by Sri Chinmoy, a noted visionary and spiritual leader, as an “Individual of Inspiration and Dedication.”
Ruben Diaz, Jr. Elected Bronx Borough President in the Special Election on April 21st, 2009, Ruben Diaz, Jr., previously served in the New York State Assembly since 1997, representing the 85th Assembly District. Throughout his seven terms in the State Legislature, Ruben Diaz, Jr. was a champion for working families in the Bronx. He demonstrated passion for constituent service, social advocacy and community empowerment balanced with support for sensible, green economic development and job creation programs. He sponsored and secured passage of important and innovative laws to address the consequences of the intolerable levels of asthma in the South Bronx, healthcare insurance fraud, and quality of life concerns. Borough President Diaz has proven himself to be a fearless and tireless advocate for justice and equality for all. A staunch defender of the environment, he is a leading voice against environmental racism and injustice and helped lead the fight to restore the Bronx River. Due to his tireless and relentless advocacy in the case of his constituent, Amadou Diallo – a law-abiding young African Bronx resident who was wrongly killed by four NYPD officers in a hail of 41 bullets – Ruben Diaz, Jr. is known around the world for his advocacy for civil and human rights. In the State Assembly, Ruben Diaz, Jr. served as Chair of the Committee on Election Law and on the Assembly’s Standing Committees on Education, Ways & Means, Children and Families, Environmental Conservation and Transportation. He is also a member of the Assembly’s Puerto Rican and Hispanic Task Force and the Black/Puerto Rican and Asian Legislative Caucus.
Metropolitan College thanks the Edwin Gould Foundation for their support of this year’s Commencement.
President Vinton Thompson (second from right) of Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY), stands with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., Barbara Hillary, activist, former nurse, explorer and the first African American woman to reach the North and South Poles, and, Dr. Pedro Noguera, executive director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education. Dr. Noguera, one of the nation’s foremost authorities on urban schools, delivered the keynote address and along with Diaz and Hillary received Doctor of Humane Letters honors during Metropolitan College of New York’s (MCNY) 35th annual Commencement Ceremony at the Jacob Javits Convention Center Saturday, June 9. More than 500 undergraduate and graduate students received degrees from MCNY.
More photos at: Facebook for MCNY Alumni
Teresa Lyles Holmes