Tuesday, May 05, 2015

As CUNY's Medgar Evers College holds commencement at Barclays Center, Ratner to get honorary degree

Isn't that a wonderful coincidence.

When Medgar Evers College of City University of New York holds its commencement exercises at the Barclays Center, on June 2 at 10 am, arena developer Bruce Ratner will get an honorary degree, Doctorate of Humane Letters. (He got an honorary degree from Long Island University in 2013, as well as one from CUNY's Brooklyn College in 1999.)

During the same event, the other honorary doctorate will be bestowed posthumously to the college's namesake, civil rights hero Evers, with his widow Dr. Myrlie Evers-Williams accepting it. (Here's an extensive press release regarding the honor to Evers.)

Apparently no one at Medgar Evers bothered to research how Ratner's firm failed to hire the Independent Compliance Monitor required as part of the much-promoted Community Benefits Agreement or is the subject of a lingering lawsuit by trainees--from the college's core Central Brooklyn catchment arena--regarding the failure to provide promised union cards and construction jobs.

The Commencement Address will be given by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

Medgar Evers, based in Crown Heights, held its 2014 commencement at Barclays as well. The 2013 exercises were at the Javits Center in Manhattan.

(The honorary degree was first reported by Capital New York, which noted (behind paywall), "The City University of New York's trustees approved Ratner's honorary degree along with several others at a meeting Monday night.”)
Ratner's gift to journalism

I missed this 6/4/13 CUNY press release:
NEW YORK, NY- June 4, 2013 — Baruch College’s Department of Journalism and the Writing Professions is proud to announce the launch of the Ratner Distinguished Visiting Business Journalist Program, which will start in Fall 2013 with Fortune Senior Editor Allan Sloan.
The Ratner Visiting Business Journalist Program, created with a gift from Forest City Ratner Companies, the real estate developer, and Bruce Ratner, will bring to Baruch College each semester a distinguished business journalist to work with journalism students and faculty. This initiative will help to better educate students about the ethical, intellectual and professional obligations of contemporary business journalists.
“I come from a family that has always cherished the written word and in particular the importance of a robust and free press,” said Bruce Ratner, Executive Chairman of Forest City Ratner Companies. “We at Forest City are thrilled to support this extraordinary program that will introduce students to some of the most important and influential business journalists in the country.”
Orwellian, almost.

Fixing the address

Please, Medgar Evers, fix this information:

602 Pacific Street is across Flatbush Avenue. 620 Pacific doesn't exist. The Barclays Center is officially 620 Atlantic Avenue. But it would make far more sense just to send people to the arena plaza.

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