Past Features

October 11, 2005 (Vol. 2, No. 3)

Lehman Remembers Professor Emeritus Thomas Borgese

Thomas Borgese
Professor Thomas Borgese
Lehman College will hold a special memorial service for Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences Thomas Borgese on Monday, October 24, from 2:30-5:30 p.m. in the Faculty Dining Room. Speaking at the memorial will be friends and family members, professional colleagues and members of the Italian-American Club, as well as members of the scientific community. The entire Lehman community is invited to attend.

Professor Borgese will be remembered as a dedicated member of the faculty who took a leadership role in Italian-American causes, organizing the College's first Italian-American Faculty Caucus. In 1986, he founded the Italian-American Faculty and Staff Distinguished Lecture Series, which brought Italian-American scholars to the College and highlighted their contributions to the sciences, law, arts, medicine and ethics. He was also a founder and third president of the Italian-American Legal Defense in Higher Education, which provided legal resources on behalf of Italian-American faculty.

Born and raised in New York City, Professor Borgese attended Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan. He earned his bachelor's degree in psychology from New York University and his master's degree and Ph.D. in biochemistry from Rutgers University. After completing his post-doctorate fellowship at Harvard Medical School, he began his teaching career at Columbia University and five years later accepted a tenured position at Lehman; he retired from the College in 1995 as Professor Emeritus.

As a scientist and educator, Professor Borgese served as a trustee of the Collegiate School in New York, the oldest private school in the country. For the past 35 years, he was a member of the Corporation of the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, which is the oldest active marine biology research station in the Western Hemisphere. For more than two decades, he maintained a summer laboratory at the MBL where many of his students joined him to assist on research projects.

Over the years, Professor Borgese authored more than 40 publications in peer-reviewed research and medical journals. He was a member of several professional organizations, including the Biochemical Society, the American Physiological Society, the Molecular Biology Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the New York Academy of Sciences.

After a brief battle with leukemia, Professor Borgese passed away in June. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Gloria; three children, Joan Ripple of Hingham, Mass., Paul Borgese of Atlanta, Ga., and Andrew Borgese of Woods Hole, Mass.; and 10 grandchildren.

Hosted by the Department of Biological Sciences, the Italian Culture Society and the Italian-American Studies Program, this memorial was organized by Professor Anthony L. LaRuffa of the Anthropology Department and Professor Emeritus Jack Valdovinos.