Graduation Year: 1975
Hometown: Born and raised in Brooklyn. Currently resides in Riverdale, Bronx, NY
Current Professional Title: Retired
Name of Employer: Last position, Special Events Planner City of New York in 2014
Why did you choose to attend Medgar Evers College?
The decision to attend Medgar Evers College was actually made for me. As a returning Vietnam Veteran, I went up to the Harlem State Office Building to interview for a job as an NYC Transit Conductor. I was selected from 100 interviewees because I was the only one dressed in a suit and tie for success. The interviewer insisted that I fill out an application for Medgar Evers College, but I insisted that if he gave it to me, I would fill it out and mail it when I got home. He could tell I would have tossed the application in the first trash can I found, and he was correct. I don’t remember that gentleman’s name, but he saw something different about me that I didn’t see about myself. The rest, as they say, is history.
What is one of your favorite memories, classes, professors, or activities while attending Medgar Evers College as a student?
My favorite memory was meeting Dr. Levy Elzy, Jr., in core 101 in the English Prep class required for all incoming freshmen. He was just dynamic, and he made an entrance that you couldn’t forget. I knew that I would learn a lot from Dr. Elzy. He became my mentor and a lifelong friend. When he retired, I was the keynote speaker at his ceremony.
My favorite classes were creative writing and business writing. I love to write and have always been a good writer.
My favorite activities were going to the school basketball games and school dances. We had a good team, and I had a fantastic group of friends that bonded for life. Many of us have lost touch by moving out of state and just life in general. However, I am still in touch with my best friend, Les; we talk on our cell phone every night. Another friend James, I lost touch with, but he heard about my retirement party and was there. We hadn’t seen each other or talked with each other in 41 years. Now we connect on Facebook and at Alvin Ailey concerts.
How has your education at Medgar Evers College influenced or helped you in your life and career?
My education at MEC exposed me to many things that I would never have been exposed to at another college. Dr. Elzy took our class to the Harlem Securities Company, and we met and heard from Black Stock Brokers. Most of us didn’t know there were any. Also, we visited the Federal Reserve Bank in Lower Manhattan and got to see some of our gold reserves up close and personal. I graduated Cum Laude, which helped me to get into graduate school at the New School for Social Research.
What are one or two of your proudest professional or personal accomplishments that occurred after graduating from MEC in which your education played a role?
I was asked to participate in several career days at MEC and speak to graduating seniors by Dr. Levy Elzy Jr. I was also asked to speak before several classes taught by Dr. Levy Elzy Jr. and Dr. Margaret Baird Baker- Green. The students were very interested in what the real world of work was like.
I served on the Board of Directors for the New York Personnel Managers Association for many years. I also shared the Employee Benefits Discussion Group for the NYPMA.
I also served on the Alumni Board of Directors of Medgar Evers College. We raised money for academic scholarships for students. They had to meet three criteria, good grades, community service, and letters of recommendation from two professors.
I began working for the City of New York in 1991, after working at Black Enterprise for 19 years. My last position at Black Enterprise was that of Human Resources Director and I was the first HR Director for the company. My undergraduate and graduate degrees played a pivotal role in my starting out at the managerial level for the city of New York.
What piece of professional advice would you give your fellow MEC alumni?
Learn as much as you can about your chosen profession. Obtain as many professional degrees as are necessary for you to be the best and brightest. Look at every opportunity, good or not, as an experience and learn from it. Know your worth. Never settle if you don’t have to.