Touro College Awards Over 750 Degrees at 37th Annual Commencement of The Lander Colleges at Lincoln Center
Director of Communications
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Presented to William E. Rapfogel, Champion of Jewish Community and Executive Director and CEO of Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty.
New York, N.Y. – Touro College awarded over 750 degrees at its 37th annual commencement exercises held at Lincoln Center‟s Avery Fisher Hall on Monday, May 30th. Touro also acknowledged the significant contributions of Jewish community leader William E. Rapfogel, executive director and CEO of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty (Met Council), with the presentation of an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.
At the ceremonies, Touro awarded baccalaureate and associate degrees to graduates from eight of its colleges dedicated to enhancing Jewish heritage: Lander College for Men (LCM) in Queens; Lander College for Women-The Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten School (LCW) in Manhattan; Lander College of Arts & Sciences in Flatbush (LAS); the School for Lifelong Education in Brooklyn; Machon L‟Parnasa-Institute for Professional Studies, also in Brooklyn; Touro College Los Angeles; Touro College South in Miami; and Touro College France.
The program began with valedictories from four Touro graduates, followed by remarks from Dr. Mark Hasten, chairman of the board of trustees of Touro College and Touro University, who invoked the memory of Founding President Dr. Bernard Lander, his longtime friend and partner who passed away in February 2010, and praised the achievements and leadership of Dr. Lander‟s successor, Touro President and CEO Alan Kadish, M.D., who has steered the Touro College and University system since Dr. Lander‟s passing as its second president.
Among Dr. Kadish‟s many achievements, noted Dr. Hasten, was the realization of Dr. Lander‟s dream of bringing forth a medical school with research facilities into the Touro College and University system.
Recently, Touro announced its formal affiliation with the 150-year-old New York Medical College, a feat that brings Touro to the forefront of medical and health care education in the United States, making it the largest educator of health care professionals. With NYMC, Touro now trains physicians at four medical schools, in addition to educating pharmacists at two colleges of pharmacy, and an array of allied health care professionals through numerous other programs spread among its 32 schools in four states.
Dr. Kadish then addressed the graduates of 2011, emphasizing that their degrees represent not only their hard work and dreams for the future but also the promise that they will use their education to improve their cities, the world and the Jewish communities in which they will work and live.
“Touro in particular serves a variety of communities all in keeping with the Jewish traditions of commitment to learning, social justice and concern for others. Our institution is firmly embedded in our Mesorah,” President Kadish said, adding “This „Jewish Intellectual Tradition‟ is what I believe distinguishes Touro from other schools.”
He continued: “With your Touro degrees, grounded in this tradition, you are well-positioned for productive and continuous professional achievement. You not only have the capacity to serve organizations, companies and communities successfully – you also have the knowledge to change and improve them.”
In keeping with the theme of his remarks, Dr. Kadish then presented William E. Rapfogel of the Met Council, a highly-respected leader who has received numerous accolades from all levels of government for his anti-poverty work on behalf of the Jewish community, with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.
Mr. Rapfogel has directed the Met Council, one of New York City‟s largest and most efficient non-profits, for 19 years. Under his leadership, the organization provides over 100,000 needy people with home care, housing employment crisis intervention and other social and community services, and is considered to be on the cutting edge in its approach to providing help to the needy.
In a rousing acceptance speech, Mr. Rapfogel reminded the graduates of their responsibilities to one another. “Our job is to help each other,” he said, quoting his organization‟s most vocal senior citizen clients. “Understand that and you will improve your life and the lives of those around you.”
Regardless of where they end up, he told the graduates, whether in business or communal service or elsewhere, each will have the opportunity to “make a difference” and in so doing they should aim to lead a “balanced life” that may mean some sacrifice in goals because there are limits to what each individual can accomplish.
“Yet, when driven and dedicated, the achievements you can attain can become legend. Volunteers do matter – big time. Remember, it took thousands of professionals to build the Titanic and only one volunteer to build the Ark,” Mr. Rapfogel told the graduates, reminding them that all levels of government currently are stepping back from their commitments to take care of needy, the frail and the sick.
“More of a proactive role will be required of us all in caring not just for those in our families but also our neighbors. Charity, known as Tzedekah, and Chesed, acts of voluntary kindness, are ways to help set things right. But they must be done with a full heart and should be done above and beyond that which is easy - give just a little more than you can of your money, when you have some, and your time. Balance plus sacrifice and you will make a real difference!”
Valedictories were presented by Yoni Rosenstein of LCM; Shayna Weinberg-Gordon of LCW: Shevy Spira of LAS-Women‟s Division; and Jonathan Rothstein of LAS-Men‟s Division.
By the end of the 2011 commencement season, the Touro College and University System, which educates approximately 19,000 students at its schools and campuses, expects to have awarded a total of 6,103 doctor of philosophy, doctor of osteopathic medicine, juris doctor, master‟s, baccalaureate and associate degrees.
Other commencement ceremonies:
Touro University in Nevada, on May 15, presented candidates for 123 doctor of osteopathic medicine, 2 doctor of nursing practice, 53 master of arts in education, 2 master of science in nursing, 31 master of science in occupational therapy, 18 master of health science and 90 bachelor of science in nursing degrees.
The Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, on May 29, presented candidates for 223 juris doctor, and 7 master of law degrees.
The School of Career and Applied Studies, on June 2, presented candidates for 277 baccalaureate and 354 associate degrees.
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, on June 2, presented candidates for 112 doctor of osteopathic degrees, and on June 14, will present candidates for 44 master of science in interdisciplinary studies in biological and physical sciences.
Touro University California (Vallejo), on June 5, presented candidates for 137 doctor of osteopathic medicine, 100 doctor of pharmacy, 71 master of arts in education and health sciences degrees.
The Graduate School of Jewish Studies, on June 14, presented candidates for 7 master of arts in Jewish Studies degrees.
The School of General Studies, on June 14, presented candidates for 310 baccalaureate and 163 associate degrees.
The Graduate School of Education, on June 14, presented candidates for 2654 master‟s degrees.
The Graduate School of Psychology, on June 14, presented candidates for 26 master of science in school psychology and 39 master of science in mental health counseling degrees.
The Graduate School of Social Work, on June 14, presented candidates for 55 master of social work degrees.
The Graduate School of Technology, on June 14, presented candidates for 37 master‟s degrees. The Graduate School of Business, on June 14, presented candidates for 36 master‟s degrees.
The School of Health Sciences, on September 13, will present candidates for 61 doctorate, 132 joint master of science and bachelor of science, 89 master of science, 24 bachelor of science, and 49 associate degrees.
Touro College Berlin, on June 30, will present candidates for 4 master of arts in Jewish and Holocaust Studies and 20 baccalaureate degrees in management.