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LIU to Honor Developer Bruce Ratner and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz at Commencement in Barclays Center

Retiring LIU President David J. Steinberg will receive honorary doctorate degree and deliver address to nearly 2,500 graduates during May 16 ceremony


Brian Harmon,Director of Public Relations
LIU Brooklyn,
Long Island University

Brooklyn, N.Y. — Retiring Long Island University President David J. Steinberg, Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC) CEO Bruce Ratner and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz will be honored Thursday, May 16, during the 2013 Commencement ceremony for LIU Brooklyn, LIU Pharmacy and LIU Hudson in the Barclays Center.

Dr. Steinberg will receive an honorary Doctor of Pedagogy during the 9:30 a.m. ceremony and serve as the commencement speaker — addressing an audience that will include nearly 2,500 graduates. Dr. Steinberg is retiring this summer after 27 years of visionary leadership that enriched so many lives.

During his tenure as chief executive, LIU has grown into one of the largest and most comprehensive private universities in the United States. The University's endowment has increased from $4.8 million to nearly $85 million during Dr. Steinberg’s time as president and its enrollment has risen from 19,000 to over 24,000. Dr. Steinberg's efforts have triggered vast improvements in the quality of life and study on each of the University’s campuses. He spearheaded a capital improvement plan, which has led to $400 million in investments in new construction and major renovations.

At commencement, Dr. Steinberg will confer 851 undergraduate degrees, 51 advanced certificates, 974 master’s degrees and 46 doctoral degrees to LIU Brooklyn students; 151 Master of Science degrees, 165 Pharm.D. degrees and three Ph.D. degrees to LIU Pharmacy students and 41 advanced certificates and 150 master’s degrees to LIU Hudson graduates during a commencement ceremony at which 24-year-old William Curran of Staten Island will be recognized as valedictorian of the Class of 2013.

Mr. Curran, a double major in childhood urban education and psychology at LIU Brooklyn, is the first in his family to earn a college degree. And what makes the honor even more remarkable for Curran is that he dropped out of high school seven years ago.
“My education has prepared me for the next phase of my life by providing me with the credentials to begin my career as a school teacher and further my education in the field of psychology,” Mr. Curran said. “However, LIU has taught me something far more valuable — how to truly empathize with and help other people. “

The comeback story of Mr. Curran is an inspiration to students facing difficulties in their educational journey, said Gale Stevens Haynes, provost of LIU Brooklyn, LIU Pharmacy and LIU Hudson and LIU’s vice president for enrollment management services.

“With great support from his professors and the University Honors Program, William Curran took full advantage of his second chance at education at LIU Brooklyn,” Provost Haynes said. “Time and time again, we witness such perseverance in our students, many of whom — like William — are the first in their families to earn a college degree.”

LIU Pharmacy/PharmD student Cristian Merchan, 23, of Valley Stream, Long Island, will be recognized as salutatorian. Mr. Merchan’s childhood struggle with asthma inspired his pursuit of a doctor of pharmacy degree. While playing youth sports, he learned early on how to manage his illness and medications with the help of a pharmacist.

“By utilizing medications properly, I was able to run better, breathe better and live life like a normal person,” said Mr. Merchan, who has made physical fitness a large part of his life, placing second last year in the Mr. LIU Weightlifting Competition. “I realized then that pharmacists could do more than dispense medication — they could help people become more comfortable with their illness.”

Provost Haynes noted that this year’s other award recipients, through their commitment to excellence, also have helped enrich the lives of millions of individuals.

Mr. Ratner, who has led FCRC to prominence as one of the nation’s foremost urban real estate developers, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Mr. Ratner, a 1967 cum laude graduate of Harvard University and a 1970 graduate of Columbia University Law School, is a part owner of the Brooklyn Nets, and his company successfully built the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the centerpiece of the $3.5 billion Atlantic Yards complex. FCRC owns and operates 11 million square-feet of property in the New York area, including the MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn; the New York Times Building; and the Frank Gehry-designed 8 Spruce Street in Manhattan, which is the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere.

Mr. Markowitz — the political sparkplug and tireless advocate for Brooklyn’ s economic, social and cultural interests — will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Service. Elected Borough President in 2001, Markowitz is serving his third term in office. During three decades of public service, Mr. Markowitz has enacted programs to boost pride within the Brooklyn community, improve the health of local residents, promote tourism in the borough and empower the area’s young people.

Distinguished Alumni Awards will be presented to highly accomplished LIU Pharmacy graduate Ian Ginsburg ’85, the president and owner of C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries, the oldest apothecary in America and a historic 1838 New York City landmark, and LIU Brooklyn graduate Oscar “Ossie” B. Schectman, a former LIU Blackbird who went to play for the New York Knickerbockers and score the very first basket in NBA history.

In its ninth decade of providing access to the American dream through excellence in higher education, LIU is a multicampus, diverse, doctoral institution of higher learning. One of the largest and most comprehensive private universities in the country, the University offers more than 575 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs and certificates, and educates over 23,000* students in degree-credit and continuing education programs in Brooklyn, Brookville (LIU Post), Brentwood, Riverhead, and Rockland and Westchester (LIU Hudson). Other academic units include LIU Pharmacy (the Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences), which prepares students for successful careers in the fields of pharmacy and health care; LIU Global, which provides a wide range of study abroad options at overseas centers in China, Costa Rica and India, and through programs in Australia, Ecuador, Peru, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey; and LIU Online, which harnesses the latest technology to offer online and blended programs.

LIU’s more than 630 full-time faculty members provide outstanding instruction, which is supplemented by internships and cooperative education opportunities. The accomplishments of nearly 185,000 living alumni are a testament to the success of its mission – providing the highest level of education to people from all walks of life. The institution also provides enrichment for students and the community through the world-class arts programming at LIU Tilles Center, NCAA Division I and II athletic teams and the nationally renowned George Polk Awards in journalism.
*This number includes high school students enrolled in one or more degree-credit courses.

LIU Brooklyn is distinguished by
dynamic curricula reflecting the great urban community it serves. Distinctive programs encompass the arts and media, the natural sciences, business, social policy, urban education, the health professions and pharmacy, and include the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, the Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics, the D.P.T. in Physical Therapy and the Pharm.D. in Pharmacy. A vibrant urban oasis in downtown Brooklyn, this diverse and thriving campus offers academic excellence, personalized attention, small class size and flexible course schedules. In 2006, a $45-million Steinberg Wellness Center was opened to serve the Campus and the surrounding community. In 2007, the Cyber Café was launched, providing a high-tech hot spot for students and faculty members to meet and eat.

LIU Pharmacy (Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences)...

Established in 1886, the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy became affiliated with Long Island University in 1929. In 1976, the college became a fully integrated unit of the University and was renamed the Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. One of the oldest and largest schools of its kind in the country, the college is located on the LIU Brooklyn campus and boasts an illustrious roster of alumni, including pharmacy professionals who are at the top echelons of their fields, and at the forefront of groundbreaking developments in the pharmaceutical industry. The college educates nearly one quarter of the pharmacists in New York State and many who find careers elsewhere.

Posted 05/08/2013

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