May 26, 2022
On Thursday, June 9, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) hosted its first in-person commencement since the COVID-19 global pandemic necessitated a quarantine and over two years of remote learning.
The college’s 57th Commencement ceremony was held at the Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn at the crossroads of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams — a CUNY alumnus with degrees from New York City Technical College and John Jay College of Criminal Justice — was the event’s special guest speaker.
“Congratulations to the more than 4,000 graduates of BMCC for a lifetime of hard work,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “As a proud CUNY alum, I know that the honor of earning this degree means the future is rife with opportunity. To all the graduates, know your path and keep steadfast, like you have throughout your academic career, and I am sure you will continue to do great things.”
CUNY Chancellor Felix V. Matos Rodríguez and BMCC President Anthony E. Munroe led the speaking agenda.
“This year is momentous for us as an institution, because it is the first time in two years that our college community is coming together in person to honor the achievements of our graduates,” said BMCC President Anthony E. Munroe. “We are especially honored to have our mayor and university Chancellor join us in this important celebration of student success.”
The BMCC Commencement Presidential Medalist is District 6 New York City Council member Gale A. Brewer, who served as Manhattan Borough President from 2014 to 2021, allocating $213 million in capital funds to non-profits, schools and parks. Former Borough President Brewer also secured a New York State competitive grant of $20 million for revitalization of Chinatown and succeeded in having criminal history questions removed from initial employment applications through the Fair Chance Act.
“I am grateful to have been selected to receive the Borough of Manhattan Community College Presidential Medal and look forward to joining graduates at the first in-person commencement since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Council Member Gale A. Brewer (D-06). “I am a longtime supporter of CUNY, and know that BMCC has prepared this class of students to tackle our city’s most pressing issues. I encourage each student to move forward with this excellent educational experience in a spirit of service to create and impact positive change.”
The 57th Commencement Valedictorian, Science major Mah Noor, is the first in her family to attend college and an aspiring pediatric surgeon who maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA at BMCC and participated in cellular biology research under the mentorship of BMCC Science Professor Alexander Gosslau. Mah, who remotely tutored lower-income Saudi children during the pandemic, just received a $77.5K scholarship to Yale University, where she will attend in the fall.
More than 4,000 BMCC graduates from over 50 majors were conferred their associate degrees. The highest numbers of graduates earned Liberal Arts, Business Administration, Criminal Justice and Psychology degrees.
This highly anticipated celebration of academic achievement recognized the hard work and belief in a better future that BMCC students demonstrated to gain their degrees. In addition to celebrating the 2022 graduates, BMCC also invited graduates from 2021 and 2020 to participate in the in-person ceremony since they were unable to participate due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the pandemic, BMCC quickly rallied to assist them by distributing free laptops and Chrome Books, as well as handing out hot meals in partnership with Feed the Frontlines to students experiencing hardship. Faculty swiftly adapted their course content to virtual platforms and provided new ways to create meaningful learning environments and provide mentorship in a remote classroom setting. Public Safety and Buildings and Grounds staff at the College powered through the creating of new standards of sanitizing and guarding public health in BMCC physical spaces — always with an eye toward the return to campus.
All the while, BMCC students, most of whom are from NYC neighborhoods hardest hit by the economic devastation of the pandemic held down front-line jobs as they completed their studies online. Many had entered BMCC in Fall 2019 — just before the pandemic hit — and completed much of their degree requirements online. The college provided two virtual commencements before scheduling the in-person, June 2022 graduation ceremony, which is as much a celebration of what it means to be “BMCC strong” as it means to have completed a degree.
If a member of the press would like to meet with a student whose achievement is emblematic of this unique historic moment, we would be happy to connect you. We will also provide photos at your request.
- This was BMCC’s 57th commencement ceremony
- NYC Mayor Eric Adams and CUNY Chancellor Felix V. Matos Rodríguez were special guests
- District 6 NYC Councilmember Gale A. Brewer receives BMCC’s Presidential Medal.