• Lives We Celebrate, Now and Forever

  • Portrait shot of Dr. Raymond C. Bowen

    Dr. Raymond C. Bowen (d. 2021)
    Retired President

    Dr. Bowen was present at the founding of LaGuardia in the fall of 1971, hired as associate professor of natural sciences. That same year he became associate dean of faculty and then in 1973, became dean of academic affairs.

    Though he left LaGuardia in 1975, Dr. Bowen returned in 1989 when he was appointed as president. During his tenure, Dr. Bowen oversaw the college’s physical expansion and an increase in enrollment. His legacy includes bringing LaGuardia to the forefront of international education. Through multiple initiatives, he forged alliances with foreign educational institutions to share ideas and expertise. Under his leadership, LaGuardia helped to establish a network of community colleges in the Dominican Republic. He also visited educational institutions in Cape Town and the Western Cape in South Africa, and in China’s Shanxi Province, to share how LaGuardia helps its students prepare for rewarding jobs through high-quality education and internships.

    His commitment to globalism is also reflected in the Hall of Flags as a symbolic commitment to the college’s international diversity. At the time of its opening in 1997, the exhibit was deemed the largest display of international flags in the nation, second only to the United Nations.

    As he said in 1998, “The economy of the city and the country has become more globalized, and the trend is continuing. Our students, with their awareness of different cultures and their language skills, will definitely help the city to retain its leadership in the world economy.”

    As Dr. Bowen prepared to retire from LaGuardia in 1999, he reflected on the need to ask the hard question of how LaGuardia sustains being on the cutting edge of innovation in higher education. It’s a topic most relevant today.

    More on Dr. Bowen and how to pay tribute can be found here.

    Portrait shot of Rosemary A. Talmadge

    Rosemary A. Talmadge (d. 2021)
    Senior Advisor for Global Initiatives; former Executive Director of Organizational Development and Planning

    Dr. Rosemary Ann Talmadge began working at LaGuardia in the President’s Office and served for 15 years as the Executive Director of Organizational Development and Planning, following which she was Senior Advisor for Global Initiatives in the Division of Student Affairs. Rosemary’s work was guided by a belief in dignity, equality, and justice. She was behind many of LaGuardia’s critical initiatives, quietly and effectively helping us prepare and implement strategic plans. Her ability to create dialogue, to allow people to speak and feel heard, was a gift that she brought to many efforts to advance our college’s mission. Some of the work of which Rosemary was most proud related to racial justice and to speaking across differences; at LaGuardia she initiated a group on racial justice, which became a chapter of Standing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), whose work she continued to support until her death. We will all continue to be inspired by her legacy.

    Portrait shot of Marie Cimino Spina

    Marie Cimino Spina (d. 2020)
    Retired Institutional Archivist

    Retired Institutional Archivist. During her 16 years of service in the Library, Ms. Spina had great success. Her accomplishments have been recognized in the Library, LaGuardia and CUNY. She taught library orientation classes, provided instruction in library citation workshops, served as chair of several library departmental committees and conducted workshops for Opening Sessions and other departments at the college.

    Portrait shot of Sandra Watson

    Sandra Watson (d. 2020)
    Retired Dean of Workforce Development in the Division of Adult and Continuing Education 

    During her nearly four decades at LaGuardia, Sandy accomplished many goals. She created education and training programs as well as support services that met the needs of dislocated, incumbent and newly unemployed workers. With a special interest in assisting minority women, Vietnam and Persian Gulf-era veterans, disconnected youth and immigrant populations, she facilitated lifelong learning for these groups, helping them to enter or advance in the workplace. Through partnerships and collaborative relationships with community and faith-based organizations and public institutions, areas under Sandy’s supervision leveraged over $50 million in grants and contracts. In short, her work provided education and training services to thousands of New York City residents.

    Portrait shot of Louis Lucca

    Scott G. White (d. 2020)
    Professor and Chief Librarian

    Scott leaves a legacy at LaGuardia that truly honors him and is a testimony to his leadership, vision, and caring. Just a few of his tremendous contributions include nurturing and supporting a library team that is respected and admired throughout this college; guiding the renovation that resulted in our beautiful new library space; developing the portable classroom, which he piloted in 2004 and grew into our laptop loan program; supporting the Criminal Justice program at the College, and teaching in the program for several years; leading the creation of Ask LaGuardia; and chairing Standard I for Middle States in 2012, which led to our current College mission statement. Scott is known and beloved for his indomitable spirit, his wonderful sense of humor, his abiding commitment to LaGuardia and our students.

    Susan Young (d.2020)
    Professor, English Department

    Sue arrived at LaGuardia as an adjunct and quickly became a full-time faculty member. She was one of the earlier Co-Directors of Composition (1992-1998) under Dr. Sandra Hanson, and the Department and our writing program grew while she held that position. Sue became Chief Reader at LaGuardia and was instrumental in the transition from the WAT to the ACT, and again to the CATW, which she helped develop. She was also the main support for the CPE (CUNY Proficiency Exam) which LaGuardia eventually mastered. She was also a Senior Faculty Fellow at the CUNY Central Office of Institutional Assessment.

    Portrait shot of Catherine Otis Farrell

    William Levy Hamilton (d. 2020)
    Dean of Students, retired 

    Portrait shot of Louis Lucca

    Louis Lucca (d. 2020)
    Professor, Director of the Communication Studies Program

    Dr. Lucca was the Director of the Communication Studies Program and The Speech Center at the College. Dr. Lucca’s work was, in every instance, based on his desire and ability to communicate. He was the author and zealous guardian of the A.A. degree in Communication Studies, an innovation in community college.