College of Staten Island Honorees at Celestial Ball
By Lydia Liebman
CSI President William Fritz & Dr. Christine Cea
The College of Staten Island held the Sixth Annual Celestial Ball this past December at Richmond County Country Club in Staten Island. Always a spectacular affair, this year President’s Medals were awarded to Mr. Edward Burk, Staten Island Deputy Borough President; Dr. Christine Cea ‘88, Member, New York State Board of Regents and Research Scientist, New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities (IBR); Mr. Cesar J. Claro, President and CEO, Staten Island Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) and Executive Director, Richmond Country Savings Foundation; and Dr. Wilma P. Jones, Associate Dean and Chief Librarian, College of Staten Island. In addition, the college recognized individuals who have made contributions by giving honorary degrees. This event honored Dr. Betsy Dubovsky and Dr. Sally Williams.
Many special guests were in attendance including past Borough President James Molinaro and past Celestial Ball President’s Medal recipients including Mr. Robert Cutrona, Professor Gordon and Lorraine Di Paolo, Professor Thomas Tellefsen, Professor and Dean Alfred Levine, Ms. Dolores N. Morris and Ms. Jean Roland. Many CUNY dignitaries were also in attendance.
CSI President Dr. William J. Fritz noted the record number of attendees this year with at least 100 more guests than last year plus over $25,000 in additional support. This years Celestial Ball celebrated the fast approaching 60th anniversary of the College of Staten Island, which is the only institution of public higher education on Staten Island. “The college has always served its students and its community, but today, that potential is limitless, thanks to recent advancements to your academic programs, our extraordinary faculty, and our beautiful, 204-acre campus,” said President Fritz, “…today, our student body is comprised not only of people from this Borough, but from other boroughs of New York City, from states across this country, and from countries around the world!”
President Fritz also shared some recent recognitions bestowed upon CSI. CSI placed on numerous ‘best of’ lists in Forbes, Money Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, G.I. Jobs, Time and others. He also went on to mention some notable graduates and faculty including Goldwater Scholarship recipient and biology major Sean Thatcher and Professor Zaghloul Ahmed, who is conducting research to find treatments that can lead to long-term relief in people who have suffered from spinal cord injuries.
Overall, the evening celebrated both the success of CSI and pushed forward the momentum for more success to come.#