I arrived in September of 2002 to The City College of New York as the newly-appointed Director of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute (CUNY DSI), a position of great responsibility and tremendous importance to the Dominican people in the United States. CUNY DSI's founding director, Dr. Silvio Torres-Saillant--my predecessor and academic colleague--had started a remarkable job of building the Institute and its national and international reputation. My job was to continue the excellent work he had done to ensure the Institute's growth and to advance its mission of producing and disseminating academic knowledge about people of Dominican descent living in the United States.
I am proud of the work we have accomplished in the past years. The Institute has continued to play a vital role in the life of the Dominican people, has become deeply rooted in New York City, and has firmly established a national and international presence. And we couldn't have done it without the support of The City College of New York, the CUNY Central Office, all the CUNY campuses, all those who support us in the academic world, and, most importantly, the Dominican people.
Our donors and supporters, every single one of them, have helped us build a stronger institution. Many have donated time, expertise, books, CDs, videos, funds, personal archival materials, and more. They attend our events, filling the house to capacity and thereby confirming the Institute's strong reputation for top-quality work and presentations. And they lend us their voices, spreading the word about our work, inviting others to extend a helping hand. In Dominican argot we would refer to these donors as buena gente, and they truly are good people.
Thank you all for believing in our mission and helping us to build the most important institution in the United States by and about the Dominican people.