Manhattan College Salutes Class of 2019

Manhattan College celebrates the 2019 Commencement exercises.

Honorary Degree Recipients

  • Justice Sonia Sotomayor
    Sonia Sotomayor

    Sonia Sotomayor, associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, delivered the commencement address and received an honorary degree at Manhattan College’s Undergraduate Commencement on Friday, May 17.

    Justice Sotomayor was born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican-born parents, and later attended Cardinal Spellman High School. A first-generation college student, she received her bachelor’s degree and graduated summa cum laude in 1976 from Princeton. In 1979, she graduated from Yale Law School, where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal.

    Justice Sotomayor served as assistant district attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office from 1979–1984. She then litigated international commercial matters in New York City at Pavia & Harcourt, where she served as an associate and then partner from 1984–1992. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated her to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and she served in that role from 1992–1998. She served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1998–2009. President Barack Obama nominated her as an associate justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009, and she assumed this role August 8, 2009.

  • Robert G. Pulver
    Robert G. Pulver

    Robert G. Pulver ’69 was the keynote speaker and received an honorary doctorate of engineering degree at Manhattan College’s Spring Commencement on Wednesday, May 15.

    After receiving his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, Pulver started his career at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. Shortly after, he enlisted in the United States Army and was sent to Fort Polk, Louisiana, for basic training and then on to Brooks Army Hospital in San Antonio, Texas, as a medic.

    After being discharged, he returned to Goodyear to work in sales. In 1974, he left Goodyear to start a company that would become All-State Industries, and he served as its CEO and president for 45 years. The company supplies urethane, plastic, and die-cut rubber parts to Fortune 100 companies involved in the manufacture of equipment. The parts are used in the construction, agriculture, mining, and lawn and garden industries. Pulver and his wife, Deb, have three children – Marlyse, Reed and Scott – and six grandchildren. Pulver and his wife are active in charity work in their local community and at Iowa State University.


  • Donya Quhshi
    Donya Quhshi
    Undergraduate Valedictorian

    Donya Quhshi ’19, valedictorian of Manhattan College’s class of 2019, was the student speaker at Undergraduate Commencement on Friday, May 17.

    A native of the Bronx, Quhshi is majoring in marketing with a minor in psychology. She is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma, Epsilon Sigma Pi and Mu Kappa Tau honor societies and has participated in the Women Inspiring Successful Enterprise (WISE) program. Quhshi is the co-founder and vice president of Women in Business at Manhattan College, vice president of the Muslim Student Association, and works to promote events with Fair Trade Fuel and the Commuter Student Association on campus.

    “I am deeply honored and humbled to be representing the class of 2019 as the valedictorian,” Quhshi said. “I am proud to be graduating among such hard working and remarkable individuals, and I wish all of my peers the greatest success in their journeys. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my family, friends, and the Manhattan College community for providing me with the support and encouragement I needed to reach this point."

    In the fall, Quhshi will begin Manhattan College's MBA program with a concentration in organizations, markets and sustainability. After receiving her MBA, Quhshi plans to work in the corporate sustainability sector, combining her passion for entrepreneurship and social justice. She also hopes to pursue a Ph.D. to teach and do research on improving business ethics.

  • Ray Maresca
    Ray Maresca
    Graduate Valedictorian

    Ray Maresca ’18 ’19 (M.S.) was the valedictorian at the College’s Spring Commencement, which awards degrees to graduate students and students in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

    Maresca earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Manhattan College in 2018 and continued on campus to receive a Master’s degree in applied mathematics/data analytics this year.

    A native of Woodcliff Lake, N.J., Maresca was a member of Phi Beta Kappa at Manhattan College, and earned the Brother Birillus Thomas Medal for Mathematics in 2018. He offered free weekly tutoring in mathematics as an undergraduate and has also taught all levels of math at the Sylvan Learning Center of Teaneck.

    During the spring of 2019, Maresca has researched the Auslander-Reiten and Gabriel-Roiter theories, coded the ”greedy algorithm” to compute the Gabriel-Roiter measure of a given string module, and coded the plot of the rhombic picture.

    “When I was chosen to be valedictorian I was beyond honored and surprised,” Maresca said. “I am thankful, excited and slightly overwhelmed to address and try to inspire those attending the Spring Commencement. I will forever be grateful to the faculty of Manhattan College not only for the nomination, but also for the excellent education and familial atmosphere they have fostered throughout my five years here.”

    After receiving his Master’s degree from Manhattan College, Maresca will enroll at Brandeis University to work toward a Doctor of Philosophy, Mathematics degree.

  • Class of 2019 Stories

    men and women waving in front of green square sign
    From multiple Fulbright Award winners to seniors finding jobs in the fields of their choice, Manhattan College celebrates the accomplishments of the class of 2019.
By Pete McHugh