WRITTEN BY ALISON SKILTON
St. Francis College hosted the 132nd annual Charter Day on Friday.
The annual event commemorates the State of New York’s 1884 grant of an official charter to the Board of Trustees of St. Francis Monastery. The charter officially gave the college the right to formally award degrees to students, and thus St. Francis College began.
“This is a day to celebrate the achievements of our very best students, and the teachers and faculty that make those achievements possible,” Provost Timothy Houlihan announced, commencing the ceremony.
The Keynote Speaker was Kings County District Attorney Kenneth P. Thompson who received an Honorary Doctors of Law Degree from the College.
An Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters award was presented to William P. Henson, President of Cristo Rey Brooklyn High School (CRBHS). Under his leadership, CRBHS has greatly improved the acceptance rates of its students–most of whom are low-income–to various colleges, including St. Francis.
President & CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, David Ehrenberg, received the St. Francis College Entrepreneurship Award for his involvement in the economic development and revival of the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Professor Mary Gelormino also received the award, but she was unaware beforehand and cried during her emotional acceptance of the award.
The first students to be recognized at the event were the newest class of St. Francis College Duns Scotus Honor Society, introduced by the organization’s current president and graduating senior, Taylor Lynn Watson.
22 St. Francis students received the coveted distinction, which requires a GPA of at least a 3.7, active participation in two extracurricular activities, and a dedication to the values and beliefs of a true Franciscan scholar.
Two faculty members were also recognized as Honorary Duns Scotus Inductees, two Assistant Professors of Biology and Health Promotion, Alison Dell and Michele Montecalvo.
The ceremony also announced the three student recipients of the National Grid Scholarship & Internship, as well as six distinguished faculty members from various departments who are marking their 15-year dedication to the College.
Another eight non-instructional members of the St. Francis community received awards for their 15 years of service as well, including various library staff and members of the IT and maintenance departments.