Newsroom Archive


More Than 3,000 Students to Graduate From John Jay College of Criminal Justice on Friday, June 3rd

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright Tony Kushner,
Esteemed Jurist Judith S. Kaye, and
Civil-Liberties Attorney Lynn Paltrow to Receive Honorary Degrees

Valedictorian & Salutatorian -- two paths linked by 9/11

New York, NY, May 31, 2011 – Students, alumni, faculty and guests will gather in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center North for the College's forty-sixth commencement exercises on Friday, June 3, 2011, at 10:30 AM and 3:30 PM. College President Jeremy Travis, will open both commencement ceremonies. The day is the high point for undergraduate and graduate students who have worked diligently in pursuit of academic excellence.

The Honorable Judith S. Kaye and Tony Kushner will speak during the morning ceremony.

Lynn Paltrow and Tony Kushner will address the afternoon graduating students.

***Honorary Degrees to Be Awarded***

John Jay College of Criminal Justice will grant three honorary degrees. This year's honorary degree recipients are renowned for their contributions to academia and the arts.

Judith S. Kaye, Doctor of Law
The Honorable Judith S. Kaye, (retired) Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, is the first woman to occupy the State Judiciary's highest office and the first Chief Judge to ever complete a full 14-year term and be sworn in for a second term. Judge Kaye has received numerous awards recognizing her judicial and scholarly accomplishments. A true trailblazer, Judge Kaye has been at the forefront of many criminal justice reforms and innovations.

Tony Kushner, Doctor of Letters
Tony Kushner is a renowned playwright and screenwriter who has garnered numerous awards for his works including a Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and Emmy Award for the landmark Angels in America. Kushner's body of work has revitalized the political conscience of the American Theater.

Lynn Paltrow, Doctor of Law
Lynn Paltrow is the Founder and Executive Director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women. As a senior staff member at leading reproductive rights organization, including the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project, Ms. Paltrow has worked to protect reproductive rights and secure the health, welfare and civil rights of all women.

***Valedictory Oration***

Konrad Ornatowski is a 27 year old forensic science major from Greenpoint, Brooklyn with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Ornatowski immigrated to the U.S. from Poland at the age of 7. After 9/11 terrorist attacks, he decided to postpone college and enlist in the Marine Corps. Upon completion of his military commitment, he returned to college determined to excel in the John Jay forensic science program. Ornatowski looks forward to applying to graduate programs and devoting time to his wife and child.

David Marshall, the 2011 salutatorian, compiled a 4.0 GPA while majoring in culture and deviance studies, with double minors in psychology and gender studies. Marshall, 35, decided to returned to college, and leave his career as a flight attendant, after two acquaintances were killed on 9/11. As an undergraduate, he has worked on several faculty research projects. After graduation, he will work as a project coordinator of a federally funded HIV study in New York.

About John Jay College of Criminal Justice: An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit