Campus Service Will Honor the Late Dr. Leonard Lief, Lehman’s Founding President


Dr. Leonard LiefLehman College will hold a memorial service on November 28 to honor the College’s founding president, Dr. Leonard Lief, who died last summer at age 83. The service, which will include remembrances of Dr. Lief by his colleagues, as well as a musical program, will be held at 3 p.m. on the first floor of the Leonard Lief Library. The campus community is invited to attend.

Dr. Ira Bloom (Political Science) will officiate at the service, which will open with a musical prelude, presented by four members of the Lehman community. Later in the ceremony, Lehman alumnus Robert White (soloist) and graduate student Mary Barto (flautist) will perform “Three Irish Folksongs,” composed by Distinguished Professor of Music John Corigliano.

Remembrances of Dr. Lief will be presented by friends and colleagues, including Lehman President Dr. Ricardo R. Fernández; Stony Brook University President Dr. Shirley Strum Kenny; Dr. Matthew Goldstein, chancellor of The City University of New York; and Lehman Vice President Emeritus Dr. Glen Nygreen. Dr. Paul Kreuzer, assistant dean of academic standards, advising, and evaluation (retired), will read a remembrance on behalf of Dr. Lief’s daughter, Madelon.

An Elizabethan scholar, Dr. Lief joined CUNY in 1955 as an instructor at Hunter College, where he became a professor of English, chair of the English Department, and provost of the Bronx campus. In1968, Hunter’s Bronx campus became Lehman College—an independent senior CUNY college—and Dr. Lief became its first president.

By the time he retired in 1990, Dr. Lief left a legacy of ambitious and successful building projects that included a new concert hall, performing arts center, library, speech and theatre building, and art gallery, as well as the groundwork for a new sports and recreation center. Under his leadership, the College’s offerings expanded to include 62 baccalaureate programs and 29 master’s programs. “Lehman College today reflects the commitment, passions, and interests of Leonard Lief,” said Dr. Ricardo R. Fernández, who succeeded him as president in 1991.

A video presentation, “The Legacy of Leonard Lief,” is being prepared for the occasion and will be posted on this site following the service.

Last modified: Oct 13, 2011

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