Alumni to Honor CCNY Professor for 61-Year Academic Career
K.D. Irani, professor emeritus of philosophy at The City College, will be honored by the CCNY Alumni Association for his 61-year service there.
Wendy J. Thornton, executive director, Student Services and Conduct, will receive the Alumni Association’s Administrative Service Award.
Philosopher K.D. Irani, a Student of Albert Einstein, and Student Affairs Administrator Wendy Thornton Chosen for 2012 Service Awards
K.D. Irani, professor emeritus of philosophy at The City College of New York, will receive the 2012 CCNY Alumni Association's Faculty Service Award. The Association’s Administrative Service Award will go to Wendy J. Thornton, executive director, Student Services and Conduct.
The awards will be presented at the Alumni Association’s 160th annual meeting, 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 13 in The Great Hall, Shepard Hall, 160 Convent Ave., on the CCNY campus. Dr. Lisa S. Coico, president of The City College, will provide highlights of the past academic year, as well.
Professor Irani is being honored for his 61 years of teaching at CCNY. During his tenure he chaired the philosophy department for nine years and directed the Academy of Humanities and Sciences for 12 years. In addition, he served as director of the History and Philosophy of Science program.
A student of Albert Einstein at Princeton University, Professor Irani taught his final class at City College this spring. The Alumni Association called honoring him with the Faculty Service Award a fitting close to his distinguished career as a philosopher, scholar, chair, teacher and mentor.
“He’ll be fondly recalled by multitudes of grateful alumni as a source of cultural and intellectual enrichment and encouragement, not only for students of philosophy, but for all those that have had the privilege of interacting with him,” a message from The City College Department of Philosophy states.
A man of varied interests, Professor Irani’s influence on generations of City College students has been wide ranging and enduring. One of his students, an anonymous Scandinavian who became a successful chemical engineer, gave City College $2 million in 1999 to establish a fellowship program named for Professor Irani.
Professor Irani’s areas of expertise include ancient civilizations and religions, especially Zoroastrianism. He is also an authority on philosophical issues in modern physics, which led him to work with Einstein, who wrote him a letter of recommendation while he was at Princeton.
Ms. Thornton, a 20-year higher education professional, is being honored for her outstanding professionalism and significant contributions to CCNY and its students. The Alumni Association noted that, “she is always willing to assume additional responsibilities and continuously works towards enhancing the college experience for students. She is an advocate, a mediator, a mentor and a confidant to students.”
Her legacy includes several popular campus-wide events including “Welcome Back Day,” “Lavender Fever Week,” “The Annual Student Leadership Retreat” and the “Graduate Salute.” In addition, in 2005 Ms. Thornton had City College included in the Essence College Tour. She holds BA and MA degrees in social science and applied social science, respectively, from Binghamton University.
In addition to the awards for Professor Irani and Ms. Thornton, Alumni Service Awards for outstanding service to the College and the Association will be presented to:
• David A. Bolling, ’65ME, ’68MME, board member, Alumni Association and Engineering School Alumni.
• Barbara Ann Blair, ’04, president & board member, Black Alumni Group and board member, Alumni
• Edward Corcino, ’07, president, Latino Alumni Group.
• Dr. Stuart Lane, ’61, president, Northern New Jersey Chapter.
• Kenneth, ’74E, and Michele Stern, ’70, board members, South Nevada Chapter.
The alumni meeting will be preceded by a buffet dinner 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in The Great Hall. Tickets are $35 each and are available from the Alumni Office. Call (212) 234-3000. The meeting is free.