BMCC Hosts 52nd Commencement with Largest Graduating Class in the College's History

April 19, 2017

Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) will confer just under 4,300 associate degrees during morning and afternoon Commencement ceremonies at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza in Manhattan, on June 2, 2017. Surpassing last year's record number of graduates, this will be the largest graduating class in the college's history. 

The morning ceremony will begin at 11:00 a.m. and the afternoon ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Each ceremony will feature remarks by members of BMCC’s administration and speeches by the 2017 BMCC valedictorians.

BMCC offers associate degree programs in more than 45 disciplines, ranging from engineering to art history and from computer science to criminal justice. Crossing the stage in June will be a number of students who are the first to graduate from one of BMCC’s new majors.

These include Sociology graduates Lissette Maliza, Degdra Perez,T ercara Pogue, Hope Vaughn, Lilibeth Beltre, Lizanne Chaparro and Thalia Cipriano; Psychology graduates Charles Gyamfi, Claudia Chan, Elianne Decimus, Perla Hernandez, Paulina Malinowska, Brenda Martinez, Joshua Pestano, Florencia Skorput Lazur and Daisy Crispin, and Gerontology graduate Franiana Sanchez. 


The morning Commencement Valedictorian will be announced soon.

BMCC President Antonio Pérez will present the 2017 BMCC President’s Medal to U.S. Congressman Adriano Espaillat, who represents New York’s Thirteenth Congressional District.


Sworn into office on January 3, 2017, Congressman Espaillat was born in the Dominican Republic and grew up in the Washington Heights neighborhood of upper Manhattan. The first Dominican-American to serve in the U.S. Congress, he is a member of the influential U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and the House Select Committee on Small Business. He is also a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and was appointed Chairman of the CHC Task Force for Transportation, Infrastructure and Housing.

Congressman Espaillat is a steadfast champion for working- and middle-class New Yorkers, and has advocated for a fair living wage, affordable housing, criminal justice reform, youth programs and educational opportunity. Prior to coming to Congress, he served as a New York State Senator representing the Manhattan neighborhoods of Marble Hill, Inwood, Washington Heights, Hamilton Heights, West Harlem, the Upper West Side, Hell's Kitchen, Clinton and Chelsea.

Espaillat became the first Dominican-American elected to a state legislature, and served in the New York State Assembly. In 2002, he was elected Chair of the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus. Before entering elected office, he served as Coordinator of Manhattan Court Services for the NYC Criminal Justice Agency, Director of the Washington Heights Victims Services Community Office, and Director of Project Right Start. 


The afternoon Commencement Valedictorian will be announced soon.

During the afternoon Commencement, President Pérez will present the President’s Medal to Jane Rosenthal, co-founder of Tribeca Productions.


Jane Rosenthal co-founded the Tribeca Film Festival and Tribeca Film Institute in 2002 with Robert De Niro and Craig Hatkoff, in a response to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the impact of those events on the economy and vibrancy of Tribeca and lower Manhattan. In 2008, Ms. Rosenthal and her co-founders received the inaugural "Notes of Hope Award" for Distinction in Rebuilding, from the September 11 National Museum and Memorial Foundation.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Rosenthal served as an Executive at CBS-TV and The Walt Disney Company, and has distinguished herself as a leading film producer of critically acclaimed and commercially successful films including "Wag the Dog," "A Bronx Tale," "Marvin’s Room," "Analyze This," "Meet the Fockers," "Rent," "Meet the Parents" and "About a Boy."



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  • BMCC will host 52nd Commencement in Madison Square Garden on June 2
  • Just under 4,300 graduates will be conferred their degrees, the largest class in the history of the College
  • Presidential Honorees will be U.S. Congressman Adriano Espaillat and Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Jane Rosenthal

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