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Professor Emeritus Bernard Sohmer Passes Away at 81

Professor Emeritus Bernard Sohmer, 1929 - 2010 (CUNY photo)

Dr. Bernard Sohmer, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at The City College of New York and a former chair of the City College Faculty Senate and CUNY Faculty Senate, passed away Friday, November 19, following a lengthy illness.  He was 81.

Professor Sohmer, who joined the math department in 1953, was a fixture at City College for more than a half century, serving in numerous administrative, faculty and union roles.  Throughout his career, he was a tireless advocate for City College faculty and students and the institution’s mission.

In addition to being a faculty member, he served in the administration as Dean of Students and Vice Provost for Student Affairs during the 1960s and 1970s.  This was a period of great student unrest at City College and campuses across America.

During that time, he participated in the creation of the CUNY Faculty Senate and served on its executive board from 1980 until his retirement and as chair from 1998 to 2002.  He also served three stints as chair of the City College Faculty Senate: 1977- 1979; 1985 – 1991 and 2002 – 2004, and as faculty ombudsman 1991 – 1998 and 2002 – 2003.  He also chaired the City College chapter of the Professional Staff Congress 1993 – 1996 and served on the union’s executive council 1997 – 2000.

Professor Sohmer is survived by two daughters; Dr. Emily Sohmer Tai and Olivia Sohmer Rosenbaum.  Dr. Tai is an associate professor of history at Queensboro Community College.

Shiva will be observed 4:00 – 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 23, at Professor Sohmer’s apartment, 176 E. 77th St., Apt. 8F, New York.

Chancellor Matthew Goldstein and the City University of New York have established the Bernard Sohmer Scholarship in honor of Professor Emeritus Sohmer’s service.  The scholarship will be awarded by the City College Mathematics Department to undergraduate students majoring in math or a related field.

For further information on the Bernard Sohmer Scholarship, or to contribute to the scholarship fund, please contact:

Rosemary Weiss
Executive Director of Development
The City College of New York
160 Convent Avenue, Shepard 154
New York, NY  10031



Ellis Simon
p: 212.650.6460