Brooklyn College Graduates Record 4,894 Students at 88th Commencement Exercises

Meet the Class of 2013

June 4, 2013

Close to 5,000 Brooklyn College graduates make the class of 2013 one of the largest in the college's history and the largest graduate contingent among Brooklyn higher education institutions. The college's 88th Commencement Exercises took place on Wednesday, May 29 (master's ceremonies) and Thursday, May 30 (baccalaureate ceremony).



Award-winning CBS producer and editor Warren Lustig '99 delivered the keynote address the 2 p.m. master's ceremony, held in Walt Whitman Theater, for graduates in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Natural and Behavioral Sciences, and School of Visual, Media and Performing Arts.

"I was persistent and, after joining CBS, I was lucky enough to cover many important world events," he said.

Lustig's 30-year television career includes documenting the discovery of the Titanic at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean; former President Ronald Reagan's visit to Russia in 1988, which preceded the fall of communism; the 1989 protest in Tiananmen Square; Operation Desert Storm; the Winter Olympics; and Barack Obama's presidential campaign. He also created CUNY/CBS-TV Boot Camp, an intensive two-week seminar for introducing students from underrepresented communities to broadcast news training. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences recognized the program in 2010.

"Move ahead and move swiftly," Lustig told graduates. "Think about what you can do to lift others. Maybe some years from now, you'll be here today, honored with a distinguished alumni award."

Yemeni native Inshera Yafaee, who received her master's degree in psychology and who specializes in mental health counseling, was especially proud to celebrate this milestone. "It means a lot to me, not only because I'm the first in my family, but because women in my country hardly get any education, let alone an advanced college degree. It makes me proud to have helped, in my own modest way, to perhaps pave the way for other women with similar backgrounds. I dedicate my success to all Yemeni women."

William B. Guggino, M.D. '69 delivered the keynote address at the second master's ceremony for graduates in the School of Business and School of Education, held at 7 p.m. in Walt Whitman Theater. Guggino has had a long and distinguished career at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he serves as a professor of pediatrics and of physiology, head of the Cystic Fibrosis Research Development Program, and co-director of the Polycystic Kidney Disease Research and Clinical Core Center. His research collaboration with colleague Peter Agre on water channel proteins led to discoveries that eventually won Agre the 2003 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Agre often credited Guggino for critical experiments that led up to his award. In 2006, Guggino received the Doris F. Tulcin Cystic Fibrosis Research Award from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, which recognized his research achievements as well as his mentoring work.

Kate Rothko Prizel, M.D. '73, a physician specializing in clinical pathology and transfusion medicine, keynoted the baccalaureate ceremony, held on the college's Quadrangle. The daughter of famed abstract painter Mark Rothko, she successfully sued one of the most powerful art galleries in New York City to claim her father's paintings. After nearly a decade in court, she won the return of more than 650 of her father's paintings, and through the Mark Rothko Foundation, has allowed public access to some of the most important paintings of the twentieth century.

Howard Slusher '59 received the Presidential Medal. A Nike consultant and legendary sports attorney, Slusher's keen tactics changed the game for athletes seeking equitable representation at the negotiation table. He represented 16 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and more than 200 athletes, coaches and entertainers. Slusher worked for Nike for more than thirty-five years as special assistant to chairman Phil Knight. With his wife Rebecca, Slusher founded the Athletic Fund for Brooklyn College, which has generously donated state-of-the-art uniforms, athletic footwear and equipment for Brooklyn College student-athletes, coaches and game staff.

Speaking for the class of 2013 was Latricia Davidson, who received a B.A. in Television and Radio Communications and a B.F.A. in Theater (acting). She is the vice president and treasurer of the Brooklyn College Forensics Team and is the recipient of the Spring 2012 Susan & Zachary Solomon Scholarship from the Theater Department, as well as the 2011 Alumni Association Student Award. Davidson plans to pursue a doctorate in human development and culture, and conduct research in underserved areas of the world, including parts of West Africa and the Caribbean. A Marge Magner Spring Internship Honoraria, Davidson also hopes to pursue studies in media, especially in film production, to become a professor of communication and cultural studies.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz '70, who will conclude his final term this year, told undergraduates, "It doesn't matter how you get here or how long it takes you to get your degree. I know because it took me eight years to complete my degree since I had to go to work and help my mother and my siblings. What matters is that you get the degree and succeed."

Back to BC News