It was a valedictory shoutout.
Sen. Charles Schumer elicited a standing ovation for Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab at the college’s winter commencement at the college’s assembly hall on Jan. 19.
Schumer, who addressed the graduates with stories of his own college career, first asked President Raab to stay for a minute after she had introduced him so that he could mark her last winter commencement. Raab is stepping down as Hunter President at the end of the Spring ’23 semester.
“She took over Hunter when it was a really good school 22 years ago,” Schumer said. “But with her brilliance, with her enormous energy, with her complete dedication to this school, and her big heart, she has made this one of the finest schools of higher education not just in New York, but in America. Let’s have a standing ovation for your great President!”
President Raab praised Schumer for being a wonderful friend of Hunter College and as the “determined, skillful Senate strategist who shepherded a series of bills through Congress that has been called the greatest legislative record since the New Deal.”
She said he had been a consistent voice for issues of importance for Hunter, including legal status for dreamers, making college tuition tax deductible, and canceling student-loan debt.
“New Yorkers throughout our state live better lives because of the federal funds you’ve brought us for essential services like public education, job training, community development, and green energy, among many others,” she said.
Schumer was presented with a Hunter blanket — to keep him warm on winter trips between New York and Washington, D.C. — by two graduates who seek to follow in his legal and political footsteps: Labiba Hasan, a former intern in his Senate office who graduated with a 3.854 GPA and special honors in Political Science; and Nolan Lyons, a 3.97 GPA Political Science graduate and Roosevelt House Student Advisory Council Chairman who is joining SKDK, a major New York political-consulting firm.