80 Years of Building Futures

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About

Queens College is old enough that generations of our graduates have influenced our city, our nation, and our world, and yet it is young enough that members of our earliest classes still return to campus each year to take part in the college’s Commencement and Homecoming celebrations.

When these early graduates return to campus, they remark on how much things have changed: the great diversity of the student body, computers and smartphones everywhere, a beautiful new library and clock tower, and a 13-floor building that flies in the face of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia’s advice to our students on Dedication Day 80 years ago: “Keep your buildings low and your ideals high.” Our ideals, of course, are still high. But one thing has not changed: the quality of our hardworking students, many of whom are the first in their family to receive a college education.

Queens College was founded on the vision of people like Mayor LaGuardia, Judge Charles Colden, who lobbied for a public college in the borough, and the college’s first president, Paul Klapper, who noted on the first day of classes on October 11, 1937, that “We are the pioneers of a new institution. We have no history to look back to, but we can look forward to progress.”

And what progress the college has made! Every year we are featured in the Princeton Review’s The Best Colleges guidebook. The Education Trust recently cited us as one of only five U.S. colleges that do a commendable job of educating low-income students, something we are immensely proud of. We have earned these accolades because of the quality of our faculty and our unwavering commitment to providing a rigorous and broad education to our students.

Queens College has become great because of our graduates. Their accomplishments are the best advertisement for the quality of the college, and so many of their names are now a permanent part of the campus, such as the Kupferberg Performing Arts Center, Frese Hall, Goldstein Theatre, Cooperman Plaza, Barham Rotunda, and more.

Now as we celebrate our 80th Anniversary, I invite everyone—students, faculty, alumni, staff, neighbors, and friends—to come celebrate with us. 

I look forward to seeing you on campus this year. 

President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez 



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