QCC receives Padavan’s papers

QCC receives Padavan’s papers
By Phil Corso

Anyone walking into the library at Queensborough Community College Monday was met immediately with a piece of history.

Crucial documents, photos and other artifacts were encased in glass to celebrate the donation of former state Sen. Frank Padavan’s legislative archives to the college.

The college honored the former senator’s 38-year career with a dedication ceremony Monday inside its library, at 222-05 56th Ave. in Bayside, in the company of friends, family members and elected officials.

“He is history for many people. But for us, he is a very special partner,” said Diane B. Call, interim president of the college. “He achieved incredible things on behalf of the people of New York state.”

Call said Padavan was always a crucial advocate for the college throughout his years in government. One of his many collaborations, she said, was when he helped expand the college’s prized Holocaust Resource Center from just a portion of the library to its own building at the front of the campus.

Padavan, who served District 11 from 1972-2010, donated boxes upon boxes of legislative documents, Senate bills, photographs and other memorabilia to the QCC library archives. The memorabilia was organized through two different rooms decorated with evidence of the senator’s career with photos along the wall and filing cabinets filled with documents.

“My garage is only so big,” Padavan joked. “It is truly amazing how the college catalogued all of the information. I can tell you my office never looked like that.”

The ceremony included appearances from members of Padavan’s office while he was a senator, family members and City Councilmen Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) and Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens).

Padavan said he was hopeful that by dedicating all of his historical artifacts to the college, students looking to learn more about the state’s legislative past could have a unique looking glass into the senator’s career.

The dedication included a photo gallery with images of Padavan alongside President Ronald Reagan, U.S. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato and Mayor David N. Dinkins, to name only some of the many public figures involved. The photos played in a sideshow as the dedication ceremony went on.

“Frank Padavan gave our students a very valuable resource,” said professor Jeanne Galvin, the QCC chief librarian. “I like students to be able to look at primary sources and now they can take a good look at history.”

Galvin said that although anyone could get information from a book, Padavan’s donation allows for a unique and historical perspective on the many legislative battles the senator dealt with throughout his years in office.

Padavan echoed the same message in his address to the crowd, adding that there was also credit due for the several legislators he worked with while in the Senate.

“I’m grateful to say the least,” Padavan said. “Now, a student might be researching key points of history and it will all be there to look at.”

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at pcorso@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.