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Internet pioneer, star journalist, education reformer top CCNY commencement honors

Commencement 2017 Honorees
CCNY’s Commencement 2017 honorees [from the top]: Robert E. Kahn, David Diaz and Deborah Meier.

Robert E. Kahn, ’60, a “father of the Internet,” award-winning TV reporter David Diaz, ’65, and noted education reformer Deborah Meier will receive honorary degrees at The City College of New York’s 171st Commencement Exercises, June 2. The awards are in recognition of their professional accomplishments.

Following are brief bios of the honorees:

Dr. Robert E. Kahn
The City College alumnus initiated the U.S. government’s Internet program and is co-creator with Vinton Cerf of the TCP/IP protocols, the fundamental technology underpinning the Internet.  In his recent work, Kahn has been developing the concept of a Digital Object Architecture to provide a framework for interoperability across heterogeneous information systems. His numerous awards include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Technology, the Japan Prize, the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering and the A.M. Turing Award. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, and an inductee into the Inventors Hall of Fame and the Internet Hall of Fame. Kahn is President and CEO of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives, a non-profit organization focused on research and development for the national information infrastructure. He will receive the degree Doctor of Science.

David Diaz
Diaz graduated from CCNY in 1965 and spent 27 years as a reporter at WNBC/Channel 4 and WCBS/Channel 2 in New York. Born and raised in Washington Heights to Puerto Rican parents, he was the first Hispanic anchor for a major New York television organization. His brilliant coverage of both city news and national events such as the Oklahoma City bombing, the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks and presidential elections earned him numerous awards for journalism excellence. Diaz received five Emmy Awards, two Sigma Delta Chi Awards and an Associated Press Award. The City College Alumni Association presented him with its Townsend Harris Medal for post graduate achievement in 1993.  Diaz has served as Distinguished Lecturer at CCNY. He will receive the degree Doctor of Humane Letters.

Deborah Meier
Meier will receive the degree Doctor of Humane Letters. A public educator, writer and advocate since the early 1960s, she is one of the most acclaimed leaders of the school reform movement in the United States. Meier founded the acclaimed Central Park East Schools and helped revitalize public schools in New York City’s East Harlem District 4. she also founded Mission Hill, a K-8 school in Roxbury, Massachusetts, and helped establish the Coalition of Essential Schools. Her books include “The Power of Their Ideas, Lessons to America from a Small School in Harlem” and “In Schools we Trust.” She received a MacArthur “genius” Award for her work in public education.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today more than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship.  Now celebrating its 170th anniversary, CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.


Jay Mwamba
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View CCNY Media Kit