NYC Mayor Eric Adams Surprised Queensborough Community College Graduating Class of 2022 at the College's Sixty-First Commencement Exercises

Published: June 06, 2022

This year, nearly 2,000 students graduated from Queensborough

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NYC Mayor Eric Adams, a CUNY graduate who attended Queensborough Community College, made a surprise visit to address the College’s 2022 graduating class on Friday, June 3.

His participation in the installation ceremony of the sixth president of Queensborough Community College was a special surprise to Dr. Christine Mangino. When he arrived, he thanked her for leading the school through the pandemic and presented her with a bouquet of roses in appreciation for her care and support of “my fellow Queensborough alumni.”

The graduating class was inspired to hear his story of resilience and determination and how he discovered that he was dyslexic one afternoon in the college’s Library.

“Queensborough is significant for me, almost on an emotional level,” said Mayor Adams. “I had learning challenges from K-12, but it was right here at Queensborough in the library where I noticed someone in the next aisle watching a documentary on learning disabilities. It was then that I realized—I’m dyslexic! After learning how to learn differently I went from a “D” to Dean’s list! When I walk on this campus, I see such possibilities!

Among the academic and special award winners were:

Ms. Perla Espinosa, a resident of Queens, graduated with an Associate in Arts degree (A.A.), Liberal Arts & Sciences (Education Concentration). She received The Incentive Award for Two Day and Two Evening Students who have Demonstrated Outstanding Academic Performance and are Working Parents.

Espinosa has two children, ages one and twelve. She works part-time during the day in customer service at a parking facility at JFK airport and then takes evening classes at Queensborough from 2:00pm-8:00pm. “I am an aspiring educator in large part because of my inspiring professors.”

Espinosa will continue in the Dual/Joint program in Early Childhood at Queens College where she will double major in Hispanic literature.

Mr. Tyrone Kalu, a resident of Queens, graduated with an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.), Mechanical Engineering Technology. He received The Martin Luther King, Jr. Award to A Graduating Student Who Has Demonstrated Exceptional Leadership in Promoting Racial Harmony and Appreciation of Cultural Diversity. “Queensborough helped me grow in many ways as a student and encouraged me to be assertive. You can’t always wait to receive direction. That lesson helped me develop leadership skills.”

Kalu will transfer to the City College of New York (CUNY) to obtain his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and then pursue a career in the design field.

CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez also joined the College’s sixty-first commencement exercises, the first to be held in person since 2019. The ceremony began with the formal installation of Dr. Mangino as the college’s sixth president.

“It is my deep honor and privilege to present Dr. Christine Mangino for her investiture as the sixth president of Queensborough Community College,” said Chancellor Matos Rodríguez. “I know how much she cares about students; the long hours she works, and her no-nonsense attitude toward getting the job done. She is a great educator; she understands exactly what you go through because she came from a similar place in her education. I knew she was the right person for the job.”

Council Member Linda Lee, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and CUNY Board of Trustees Vice Chairperson Sandra Wilkin also offered remarks.

President Mangino addressed the graduates. “You should all be very proud. This morning, you will be official graduates of Queensborough Community College! This is also a very significant moment for me. It’s my first in-person commencement as Queensborough’s President. I am so honored to share this momentous occasion with you. Two years ago, when I was appointed as President, many of you attended the College’s virtual orientation. I remember saying how I couldn’t wait to see you walk across the stage at graduation. Well, here we are—you did it! Congratulations!

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