Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab has announced the induction of eight new members into the Hunter College Hall of Fame including Hispanic Federation President Jose Calderón, Class of 1997, and Dr. Patricia Bath, Class of 1964, a pioneer for African-American women in the medical field. The Hunter Hall of Fame inductions took place at a ceremony on May 4th.
“All our honorees today truly fulfill Hunter College’s motto, Mihi Cura Futuri – The Care of the Future is Mine,” said President Raab.
“Under Jose Calderón’s leadership, the Hispanic Federation has emerged as a powerful national voice for social justice, accessible health care and high quality education. Through his efforts and commitment to public service, his organization has helped to register hundreds of thousands of new voters. After Hurricane Maria, he was there supplying emergency provisions and joining the rebuilding effort. And he has always fought for immigrant rights, especially for Dreamers—a cause we here at Hunter equally embrace. I’m proud to induct him into Hunter’s Hall of Fame,” said President Raab.
Also inducted this year is Patricia Bath, MD, who graduated with a degree in chemistry in 1964 and then went on to break many barriers as a female African-American physician. She was the first African-American to complete a residency in Ophthalmology and the first female faculty member at the UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute’s Department of Ophthalmology.
“She’s also an inventor holding four patents related to the laser treatment of cataracts, and was the first African-American woman to receive a patent for a medical purpose. Hunter has a long record of promoting women in the sciences as well as opening doors for African-American women. We are proud to celebrate Dr. Bath as a trail blazer in both categories,” said President Raab.
Another alumnus inducted this year is Robert T. Barry, BFA, ’57, MA ’63, a renowned conceptual artist whose works have been exhibited at the Guggenheim and Whitney in New York and the D’Orsay and Pompidou Center in Paris. He also taught at Hunter for 15 years after receiving his graduate degree.
Hunter has a long tradition of producing teachers and several were recognized including Etta May Ladson, BA ‘51, MA ’61, who in addition to a long, distinguished career in public education, founded and directs the African Christian Teachers Association, which provides financial aid to gifted children in southeast Queens; and Vivian Iris Glasberg Milefsky, BA ‘59 , MSEd ’61, who graduated from Hunter at age 19, received her Master’s in Education at age 21 and spent several Saturdays for years taking dozens of students to concerts at Carnegie Hall and other venues who then became performers themselves because of the string orchestra she helped launch; and Geraldine A. Redden Swanson, BA ’71, who served as an educator in New York City’s public and private schools for 25 years before earning her a second master’s from the General Seminary, in theology and church history.
Hunter College is also proud of its tradition as one of the finest nursing schools in the country. Joanna F. Hofmann, BSN ’69, MSN ’81, ANP ’00, is not only a graduate but also taught nursing at Hunter for 25 years and was instrumental in forming the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing Alumni Association.
President Raab also inducted Rhonda O’Reilly Bovell, BA ’96, who joined the New York City Police Department immediately after graduating from Hunter, rising steadily through the ranks to sergeant in 2002, lieutenant in 2010, captain in 2014, and deputy inspector in 2017. She is also a co-founder and the current president of the Guyanese American Law Enforcement Association—a nonprofit established in 2016 following the death of Detective Randolph Holder, the first Guyanese American NYPD officer killed in the line of duty.
The Hunter College Hall of Fame was established in 1972 to recognize the achievements of outstanding alumni. Today’s inductees join an esteemed group of previous honorees including Nobel Prize winners Rosalyn Sussman Yalow and Gertrude Elion, Grammy, Emmy and National Medal of Arts winner Ruby Dee, opera stars Martina Arroyo and Regina Resnik, New York City Parks Commission Mitchell Silver, National Book Award winner Phil Klay and the late Congresswoman Bella Abzug.