Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch to Deliver 2010 Commencement Address
New York Knicks basketball legend Bernard King, best-selling author Walter Mosley and Pulitzer Prize
-winning playwright Lynn Nottage also to be recognized at May 13 ceremony
Brian Harmon,Director of Public Relations
Long Island University
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — On May 13, 2010, Richard Ravitch, lieutenant governor of the State of New York, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree during Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus commencement exercises.As the commencement speaker, Mr. Ravitch, a native of New York City, will address an audience that includes more than 1,600 graduating students, many of whom have benefited from his work in government.
Other honorees include New York Knicks basketball legend Bernard King, who will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree; best-selling author Walter Mosley, who will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters degree; and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage, who will be presented with an honorary Doctor of Letters degree.
University President David J. Steinberg will confer 791 undergraduate degrees, 34 advanced certificates, 722 graduate degrees and 64 doctoral degrees during the commencement ceremony at which lacrosse star Christie Wienckowski, 21, of Newtown Square, Pa., will be recognized as Brooklyn Campus valedictorian. Ms. Wienckowski, a highly accomplished scholar and athlete, will receive an undergraduate degree in marketing and business management.
“Being named valedictorian is definitely unlike anything else I’ve achieved at Long Island University,” said Ms. Wienckowski, who credits the competitive attitude she developed on the playing field for making her a top student.
“Ms. Wienckowski’s success in the classroom and on the lacrosse field is a testament to all of our dedicated student-athletes who fulfill heavy commitments to education and sports,” said Gale Stevens Haynes, provost of Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus. “Similarly, this year’s commencement exercises feature a group of honorary degree recipients whose commitment to excellence helped to enrich the lives and to boost the spirits of countless thousands of individuals.”
Honorary degree recipient Richard Ravitch has worked tirelessly for decades to improve the quality of life for New Yorkers. He was a partner in the law firm Ravitch, Rice & Co. and served as chairman of the Commission on MTA Financing prior to being appointed lieutenant governor of the State of New York by Gov. David Paterson in 2009. Lt. Gov. Ravitch, who graduated from Columbia College and earned an LL.B. from Yale University School of Law, began his career in 1959 as an attorney for the Government Operations Committee of the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. He then joined HRH Construction Corporation as a principal and supervised the development, financing and construction of over 45,000 units of affordable housing in New York; Washington, D.C.; Puerto Rico; and other locations. In 1975, Gov. Hugh Carey appointed him chairman of the New York State Urban Development Corporation, where Mr. Ravitch assisted New York City and State officials in resolving the City’s defaults. In 1979, Lt. Gov. Ravitch was appointed chairman and CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). In this role, he completely reorganized the MTA and its functions, and began to recruit operating officials from the private sector. For his work at the MTA, Lt. Gov. Ravitch was awarded the American Public Transit Association’s Individual of the Year Award in 1982. Following his MTA service, he led an effort to recapitalize The Bowery Savings Bank and helped to arrange for its acquisition from FDIC by an investor group. Lt. Gov. Ravitch helped to create the Corporation for Supportive Housing and served as its chairman for almost 10 years. He later served as co-chair of the U.S. Congress’ Millennial Housing Commission.
Honorary degree recipient Bernard King enjoyed a 16-year career in the NBA, including an MVP season with his hometown New York Knicks in 1983-84, before embarking on successful careers in broadcasting and business. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Mr. King enrolled at the University of Tennessee in 1974, majoring in communications and playing on the institution’s Division I basketball team. Mr. King was a three-time Southeast Conference (SEC) Player of the Year before leaving the University in 1977 to join the NBA. With the Knicks, Mr. King scored back-to-back 50-point games and led the league in scoring in 1983-84, averaging 32.9 points per game. Mr. King was the first player to return successfully from a torn ACL knee ligament, after spending two years rehabilitating his knee. He played for another six years, and in 1991, at the age of 34, he became the oldest starter ever to play in an NBA All-Star Game at that time. Upon retiring from basketball, Mr. King worked as a broadcaster for ESPN and WFAN radio in New York City. Mr. King went on to start several successful businesses in energy management and in real estate. In 2006, he collaborated with Ricky Thompson to launch his current venture, Bernard King and Thompson Energy Solutions.
As the author of more than 34 critically acclaimed books, honorary degree recipient Walter Mosley is one of the most versatile and admired writers in America today. His work has been translated into 21 languages and includes literary fiction, science fiction, political monographs and a young adult novel. Mr. Mosley, who earned a degree in political science from Johnson State College and studied creative writing at City College, City University of New York, is perhaps most identified with his best-selling “Easy Rawlins Mysteries” series, which includes “Cinnamon Kiss,” “Black Betty,” “A Red Death,” “Gone Fishin’,” “Devil in a Blue Dress” and the most recent installment, “Blonde Faith.” His other works of fiction include “The Tempest Tales,” “The Man in My Basement,” “Fear of the Dark,” “Fortunate Son,” “The Wave,” “Walkin’ the Dog,” “47” and “The Right Mistake.” His nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and The Nation, among other publications, and he has produced several full-length nonfiction books, including “What Next: A Memoir Toward World Peace.” His first book, “Devil in a Blue Dress,” was turned into a major motion picture. Using “The Tempest Tales” as source material, Mr. Mosley wrote a play, “The Fall of Heaven,” which was opened at Cincinnati’s Playhouse in the Park in January 2010. Mr. Mosley and Academy Award-winning director Jonathan Demme are adapting Mr. Mosley’s latest novel, “Known to Evil,” for an HBO pilot. Mr. Mosley, who delivered the 2008 “Starting from Paumanok” lecture at the Brooklyn Campus, has earned numerous honors, including an O. Henry Award, a Grammy Award, an NAACP Image Award and a Risktaker Award from the Sundance Institute.
Honorary degree recipient Lynn Nottage earned a 2009 Pulitzer Prize for her play “Ruined.” The Brooklyn playwright has seen a number of her plays — including “Intimate Apparel,” “Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine,” “Crumbs from the Table of Joy” and “Las Meninas”—developed and produced at theaters both nationally and internationally. Her work has been performed at the Manhattan Theatre Club, the Goodman Theatre, the Roundabout Theatre Company, Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, Steppenwolf, and Yale Repertory Theatre, among many others. Ms. Nottage has been honored with a MacArthur Genius Award, an OBIE Award, a New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, two Outer Critics Circle Awards and an American Theatre Critics/Steinberg New Play Award. Ms. Nottage, who delivered the 2010 “Starting from Paumanok” lecture at the Brooklyn Campus, has also earned a Lucille Lortel Foundation Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the National Black Theatre Festival’s August Wilson Playwriting Award. She co-wrote the feature film “Side Streets,” which was an official selection at the Venice and Sundance Film Festivals, and she is now working on an adaptation of “Ruined” for HBO. Ms. Nottage worked in the press office at Amnesty International before bursting onto the theater scene in the early 1990s. A graduate of New York's High School of Music and Art, Ms. Nottage holds a B.A. in English from Brown University and an M.F.A. in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama, where she serves as a visiting lecturer.
In addition to the honorary degree recipients, distinguished alumni awards will be presented to two highly accomplished Brooklyn Campus graduates, Judith Korek Amorosa ’65, a prominent radiologist and a clinical professor of radiology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical Schools, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; and Mark Paul Steingard ’61, founder and owner of the investment art company, International Fine Arts.
Carwen Dublin, a math teacher at Medgar Evers College Preparatory School in Brooklyn, N.Y., will be recognized by the Campus as the New York City Secondary School Teacher of the Year. The Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Service will be presented to Rose Iannicelli, dean of student financial services; and Harry E. Stucke, director of the Campus’ M.B.A. program and a professor of management. Danielle Konopka, a 37-year-old nursing student from Park Slope, Brooklyn, will be recognized as the Brooklyn Campus salutatorian.
The commencement ceremony will take place on Thursday, May 13, 2010, at 10:15 a.m. on the Campus athletic field near Flatbush and DeKalb Avenues in downtown Brooklyn, N.Y. It will be followed by the traditional Campus celebration of a commencement barbecue that is open to graduates, their family members and friends.
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