Brooklyn College | Brooklyn College Celebrates Class of 2022
Today, Brooklyn College celebrated the achievement of more than 4,000 students when it launched in 2022 at the Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn. The high-energy ceremony marked the first in-person debut in two years.
College President Michelle J. Anderson, Provost, and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Anne Lopes and Vice President for Student Affairs Ron Jackson helped lead the awarding of degrees from the School of Natural and Behavioral Sciences, School of Visual, Media, and Performing Arts, Murray Koppelman School of Business, School of Education, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as the CUNY bachelor’s degree for single and interdisciplinary studies.
Anderson praised the determination of the Class of 2022, saying that despite everything they faced throughout the difficult times of the pandemic, they stayed the course.
“The graduates sitting here at Barclays today needed extraordinary commitment to get into these seats,” Anderson said. “They had to tackle rigorous academic work. In doing so, they have been transformed by the power of critical thinking, the scientific method, creativity, and advanced analysis that are the foundations of higher education. They explored new ideas that shaped their values and beliefs for the future. They studied with classmates who would become lifelong friends, and they learned from exceptional faculty members who became their invaluable mentors.
The college also hosted several distinguished guests, including Mayor Eric Adams; U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer; New York City Public Attorney Jumaane Williams; Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso; and the president of the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation, Dr. Guillermo Linares.
Mayor Adams emphasized the importance of timing and the impact the Class of 2022 will have on society. “Now is the time to make this country what you want it to be.”
The CUNY was also well represented, as CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez; Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs Denise Maybank; and CUNY board members Una ST Clarke and Brian D. Obergfell also attended.
Chancellor Rodríguez called the day “pure celebration” that validated the genius, courage and tenacity of the graduates and congratulated them for overcoming such an extraordinary set of obstacles to ultimately succeed.
Specifically, Brooklyn College awarded 3,195 bachelor’s degrees and 966 master’s degrees, as well as 96 advanced certificates. The Class of 2022 included 10 veterans and service members. A total of 4,257 graduates have joined Brooklyn College’s prestigious family of more than 160,000 proud graduates from around the world.
Valedictorian for the Class of 2022 was Carina D’Urso. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the CUNY Bachelor of Single and Interdisciplinary Studies. D’Urso achieved a perfect grade point average of 4.00 and graduated summa cum laude. After her debut, she will pursue graduate studies in human development and education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she plans to focus on the arts and learning. The salutatorian was Hafsa Fatima, a graduate of Macaulay Honors College and a minor in chemistry who will receive a bachelor of science in psychology and a bachelor of arts. She will attend the University of Pennsylvania School of Dentistry.
Class of 2022 members celebrate during the 97th launch event at Barclays Center on May 31.
Brooklyn College President Michelle J. Anderson addresses the class of 2022.
Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez of the City University of New York congratulates the class of 2022 from Brooklyn College.
New York Mayor Eric Adams addresses the class of 2022 at Brooklyn College.
Brooklyn College’s class of 2022, Carina D’Urso, congratulates her fellow graduates.
Leonard Tow ’50, who won the Distinguished Alumnus Award, is presented with a birthday cake for his 94th birthday by Brooklyn College President Michelle J. Anderson (left) and CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez.
Recipient of the Presidential Medal of Honor and one of the world’s most renowned scholars of law and jurisprudence, Jules Coleman addresses the Class of 2022. A first-generation student, Coleman earned his Bachelor of Arts in philosophy, magna cum laude, from Brooklyn College in 1968.
Leymah Roberta Gbowee, who was an honorary degree recipient and keynote speaker, shares her story that culminated in her nomination as the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. who worked to end Liberia’s 14-year civil war.
The Class of 2022 enjoy confetti as they fall from the top of Barclays Center to close Brooklyn College’s 97th graduation ceremony. The College awarded 3,195 bachelor’s degrees and 966 master’s degrees, as well as 96 advanced certificates. A total of 4,257 graduates have joined Brooklyn College’s prestigious family of more than 160,000 proud graduates from around the world.
D’Urso thanked his advisors, peers and professors for their support and guidance. She also pointed to the influence of her grandparents on her further education. Born and raised in Molise, Italy’s smallest region, neither attended school past fifth grade. For this reason, D’Urso’s mother always instilled the importance of education in her and her brother.
“As a teenager inspired by the values my mother instilled in me, I was galvanized by the idea of becoming an educator,” D’Urso said. “When it was time to apply for colleges, I knew I wanted to be a suburban student so I could go to school in the heart of New York, with countless opportunities at my fingertips. I never knew not how that dream would come true.As a member of Macaulay Honors College and the CUNY bachelor’s program for unique interdisciplinary studies, I built my own major, marrying my passions for the arts, education, and social change.
Among the special winners was Leymah Roberta Gbowee, who was an honorary degree recipient and keynote speaker. Gbowee is a 2011 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and renowned human rights leader who spearheaded the Liberian Women’s Mass Action for Peace that worked to end Liberia’s 14-year civil war. She is also the founder of the Liberian Reconciliation Initiative, a forum for victims and perpetrators of human rights abuses aimed at bringing healing and producing a more accurate account of the country’s devastating civil war.
Gbowee, who is now the Executive Director of Women Peace and Security Network Africa, congratulated the graduates and their families. She told the story of when she learned she had won the Nobel Prize and had her first meeting with fellow Nobel Laureate Desmond Mpilo Tutu. Passing on the advice Tutu gave her, she told graduates the three most important things to remember when they win: cultivate and maintain the values that led them to win; always retain their integrity and voice; and when they succeed, also do good out of humanity.
“Class of 2022, you will win,” Gbowee said. “In the midst of your victory, you cannot give up your higher power, whatever it is.”
Other winners include Leonard Tow ’50, who won the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Tow is a philanthropist and board member of the Brooklyn College Foundation. Leonard and his wife, the late Claire Tow ’52, established the Tow Foundation in 1988. Through more than 700 fellowships, fellowships, internships, chairs and teaching awards, they have enriched the quality of the intellectual life of the whole of the Brooklyn College campus by providing the means to enable its students and faculty to become exceptional in their fields.
The couple also donated $10 million to Brooklyn College’s Leonard & Claire Tow Center for the Performing Arts, which opened in 2018. The state-of-the-art center has transformed the campus footprint and is home to the Conservatory of Music and the Theater Department.
“To the Brooklyn College family, Len, as we call him, needs no introduction. It’s safe to say his positive impact on the Brooklyn College community is unparalleled,” Anderson said. In a particularly touching moment, Anderson helped celebrate Tow’s 94th birthday, which was May 30, and the college community sang happy birthday while presenting him with a cake.
The Presidential Medal of Honor recipient was Jules Coleman ’68. Coleman is one of the world’s most renowned legal and jurisprudent scholars. Widely credited with creating the field of tort law philosophy, as well as inclusive legal positivism, Coleman pioneered and remains the most influential advocate of a restorative justice approach to tort law. A first-generation student, Coleman received his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, magna cum laude, from Brooklyn College in 1968; his doctorate in philosophy from Rockefeller University in 1972; and his Masters of Laws from Yale Law School in 1976.
About Brooklyn College
Widely known for offering excellent education at affordable tuition and nationally recognized for its diverse student body, Brooklyn College is an anchor institution within the borough of Brooklyn and the greater city. of New York for more than 90 years. With approximately 16,000 students in more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, education, and business, the college is renowned for its rigorous academics, award-winning faculty , its distinguished alumni and its impact on the community. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), Brooklyn College offers a vibrant and supportive student experience on a beautifully landscaped 35-acre campus in the borough’s Midwood neighborhood.