The fiftieth anniversary panel discussion, to be moderated by History Professor Robert Parmet, will feature three speakers with intimate knowledge of the college’s history: former City Councilman, Archie Spigner, and Ms. Daisy Bernard, a York alumna and civic leader, and F. Carlisle Towery, former president and CEO of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation.
Ms. Bernard, who was married to the late Canute Bernard, MD, chairperson of the South Jamaica Steering Committee, an umbrella group where civic and educational entities, including York, turned for help with advocacy, recalled a close bond between then-President Milton Bassin and Dr. Bernard in their shared interest in York’s success.
Founded in 1966 as Alpha College of the City University of New York, the college opened its doors to its first cohort of students in leased space on the campus of Queensborough Community College in 1967. The fledgling college struggled for survival throughout the 1970s. It was the fierce advocacy of the president and college community, civic groups and elected officials such as Spigner, Guy R. Brewer and their colleagues across the borough, who demanded that York be brought to Jamaica and be funded for a campus.
The free, public event will begin at 8:00 am and end at 10: 00 am in York’s Faculty Dining Room