Kingsborough History from an Alumni Class
A Bit of Kingsborough History from an Alumni Class of 1966
Dear Alumni Relations -
Back in September, 1964, along with a group of fresh H.S grads from all over Brooklyn, I entered into CUNY's newest institution of higher learning - Kingsborough Community College. As I recall, there was about 500 eager young students - some starting their higher education here because they weren't accepted into other colleges because of lower grades, others because of financial considerations and, probably the largest reason for the young men, an academic deferment from the Selective Service System that saved them from being drafted into the U.S. Army with a sizable chance of being sent to Viet Nam. Back in 1964, the Manhattan Beach Campus was still owned by the U.S. Government who developed the land into a Coast Guard base. In the beginning, Kingsborough had 2 campuses - Mid-Brooklyn and P.S. 98 on Avenue Z. I believe that Mid-Brooklyn was a Masonic Temple that was leased to CUNY because of the size of the first class. P.S. 98 was a former elementary school that was given over to CUNY and was where I and most of the other students spent the first year of our college lives.
Please bear with me as I am now recalling things that happened almost 40 years ago! In the Spring of 1965, the school offered financial aid to lower income bracket students and that included me. The base was transferred to CUNY and it was the job of we student workers to clean up the place that had really been vacant for at least 10 years. We had to sweep up the streets, pile up all the wood (driftwood, old stairs and assorted furniture), and assorted other tasks while workman converted the former military barracks into usable classrooms and offices. In September, 1965, 2 large buildings acted as the college. All students then came from P.S. 98 to the "Manhattan Beach Campus" along with a new group of freshman. There was a library, science labs and even an athletic field all amongst a bevy of empty military warehouses, quonset huts and barracks.
On Tuesday morning, June 7, 1966 at the Whitman Auditorium at Brooklyn College, Kingsborough had its' first commencement exercises. Jacob Hartstein was College President, Jack Hudnell was Dean of Administration, Melvin Goldstein was Dean of Mid-Brooklyn Campus and John Petrelli was Acting Dean of Students. The initial commencement address was given by Albert Bowker, the Chancellor of CUNY. According to the program, 206 candidates received either Associate in Arts or Associate in Applied Science degrees.
As for myself, I took my Associate in Arts degree from Kingsborough and, after 4 years of continuing my education at Hunter College in Manhattan in the evenings while holding down a full time job during the day, I received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Economics.
Since that time, I have been in sales in both the food and consumer apparel industry, served as an international marketing executive for a preeminent computer company and am now working in government for the state of Florida. I currently live in Bradenton, Florida.
I have occasionally stopped by your website and, although it has been ages since I have been back to Brooklyn, I have seen the growth at Kingsborough. As I like to think, "the names and faces may be different, but the same dreams still grow in the hearts of each new group of freshman".
Best wishes to you, the faculty and, most of all, all the new graduates of 2004!
Class of 1966