At Wagner's commencement on May 20, historian Kenneth T. Jackson of Columbia University gave Wagner's 608 newest alumni three inspiring examples of “ordinary people who have done extraordinary things.”
“You, too, can overcome obstacles to achieve great things,” he added, as he shared the stories of Union officer Joshua Chamberlain's service in the Civil War, Oseola McCarty's gift of a scholarship fund benefiting African-American students at the University of Southern Mississippi, and New York City firefighter Stephen Siller's heroic actions on September 11.
Jackson received an honorary doctorate from Wagner College for his groundbreaking work in urban, social, and military history. One of his best-known books is The Encyclopedia of New York City (2nd edition, 2010). The College also honored Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro and Frederick C. Williamson Jr. '64, who has served as a Wagner trustee for 22 years. Williamson is vice president of operations for Starnet Commercial Flooring Inc., a Marine Corps veteran, and a leader in carpet recycling through efforts like the Carpet America Recovery Effort.