Adams had previously attended QCC shortly after graduating from Bayside High School. It was at QCC that he was eventually diagnosed with the learning disorder dyslexia, which caused him to have difficulty reading. After his disorder was identified and addressed, Adams went from a struggling student to making the dean’s list.
“Queensborough is significant for me, almost on an emotional level,” Adams said. “I had learning challenges from K-12, but it was right here at QCC in the library where I noticed someone in the next aisle watching a documentary on learning disabilities. It was then that I realized — I’m dyslexic! After learning how to learn differently. I went from a “D” to dean’s list. When I walk on this campus, I see such possibilities.”
In addition to detailing his experiences at QCC to the graduating class, Adams stressed the importance of diversity and equality. He discussed how he hoped the graduates absorbed a lot about the different groups of people all trying to achieve the American dream in Queens.
“As you start this journey, this school will always be in your heart,” Adams said. “You have to leave here being more than academically smart. You have to be emotionally intelligent. You have to embrace the diversity of this great borough.”
In addition to Mayor Eric Adams, other notable guest speakers at the QCC commencement ceremony included New York Senator Chuck Schumer, Councilwoman Linda Lee, former Councilman Dr. Guillermo Linares and CUNY Board of Trustees Vice Chairperson Sandra Wilken.
Among the academic and special award winners were Perla Espinosa and Tyrone Kalu. Espinosa received the Incentive Award, given to two daytime and two evening students who demonstrated outstanding academic performance and are working parents. She will be in the joint program in early childhood at Queens College, where she will double major in Hispanic literature.
Kalu received the Martin Luther King Jr. Award, given to a graduating student who demonstrated exceptional leadership in promoting racial harmony and appreciation of cultural diversity. He is transferring to the City College of New York (CUNY) to obtain his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering before pursuing a career in the design field.
The 2022 commencement marked QCC’s 61st in its history and the first one to be in person since 2019. Also on hand at the ceremony was CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez, who kicked off the ceremony with the formal installation of Dr. Christine Mangino as the school’s sixth president.
“Two years ago, when I was appointed as president, many of you attended the college’s virtual orientation,” Mangino said. “I remember saying how I couldn’t wait to see you walk across the stage at graduation. Well, here we are — you did it! Congratulations!”