What’s in a name?
The Queens College Athletics Program named its baseball field “Hennekens Stadium” on Oct. 17, in honor of Charles H. Hennekens, M.D., class of 1963, who excelled in varsity basketball and baseball while a student at Queens College.
The stadium’s new sign bearing Hennekens’ name was unveiled during the college’s homecoming weekend where Hennekens threw out the first pitch for a Queens College baseball team scrimmage game.
“My amazing, fabulous, uneducated, working-class parents instilled in me the values of getting an excellent education — which Queens College provided to me — as well as the importance of giving back,” Hennekens said. “I am thrilled, honored and humbled on this occasion.”
Known as “Flash” during his playing days, Hennekens was the team captain, high scorer and most valuable player for the school’s basketball team. He also won the Regan-Stein Award during his senior year. Hennekens was also the co-captain of the baseball team and received the Long Island Press Athlete-Scholar Award as a Phi Beta Kappa graduate.
In addition to his athletic skills, Hennekens is also a world-renowned scientist, earning the #81 ranking by Science Heroes for “Most Lives Saved in History” for discovering that aspirin prevents a first heart attack and can prevent death when given during or after a heart attack.
Hennekens has also conducted seminal research on health-promoting drug therapies and positive lifestyle changes related to smoking and obesity. In 2014, he was awarded the Ochsner Award Relating Smoking and Health for discovering the multiple hazards of smoking and oral contraceptives on heart attacks.
As one of the top 100 graduates in Queens College history, Hennekens joins such luminaries as Paul Simon, Jerry Seinfeld and Marvin Hamlisch. He is the first, and only, inductee to both the Queens College Achievement and Queens College Athletics Halls of Fame.
“This is a first for our Department of Athletics here at Queens College,” said China Jude, assistant vice president of athletics. “Dr. Hennekens is one of the many talented scholar-athletes to pass through our doors. We appreciate his generous gift, his serving as an athletics volunteer and his research and scholarship that have profoundly impacted countless lives.”
Currently, Hennekens serves as first Sir Richard Doll Professor and senior academic adviser to the dean of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Fl.