Building named for first president

LaGuardia Community College’s M-building - its first campus building - now bears the name of the college’s first president, Dr. Joseph Shenker.
The school recently held a ceremony in which college officials unveiled Joseph Shenker Hall in honor of Shenker, who presided over LaGuardia from 1970 to 1989.
“His ability to envision groundbreaking programs and put them into place is what made LaGuardia the gold standard for community colleges it is today,” said current LaGuardia Community College President Gail O. Mellow.
During the ceremony, which Shenker and his family attended along with a cross-section of school personnel and local elected officials, everyone remembered Shenker’s leadership and vision that helped the school get to where it is today.
“As a result of his [Shenker] and President Mellow’s leadership, LaGuardia plays an invaluable role in Queens County, New York City and New York State,” said State Senator Serphin Maltese, who has been a longtime supporter of LaGuardia.
During his tenure, Shenker helped LaGuardia become the first school in the country to mandate that its full-time students participate in internships. In addition, he started LaGuardia’s Division of Adult and Continuing Education, which offers many programs, including one of the country’s renowned college-level programs for deaf adults.
“Joe was the driving force, the heart and soul of LaGuardia,” said Professor John Bihn, during his tribute to the man he had served under during the College’s formative years. “He allowed others to play a part in the molding of LaGuardia, so it is most fitting that we celebrate his vision here today.”
Shenker left LaGuardia in 1988 to serve as President of Bank Street College of Education for seven years and then he took over as the Provost of C.W. Post College - a position that he retired from this past summer.
“My dream for LaGuardia has been accomplished and is being continued by the hard work, vision and dedication of the faculty and staff at LaGuardia,” Shenker said.

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