From the President
Karol V. Mason
Helping Others by Going the Extra Mile
The great Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” Well, when I look at the students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters of John Jay College, I know exactly how to answer his question. Time and time again our community is going above and beyond the call of duty to help those in need. Recently, at our annual “Champions of Justice” scholarship reception, I was actually brought to tears listening to the heart-wrenching stories of our students—some of whom were fighting poverty, homelessness and hunger, all while striving to earn their college degrees at John Jay. And I was immediately uplifted hearing the powerful messages of encouragement by our passionate alumni and donors—each one of them saying, we want you to succeed and we’re going to do everything in our power to remove the obstacles blocking your path to success. Simply put, I’m continually overwhelmed by the spirit of generosity that permeates our John Jay community.
In this issue of Justice Matters we’re recognizing and applauding members of our community that freely give their
time, their knowledge and their resources to lift up others in need. When you read about these inspiring men and women,
I want you to look at their faces in the photos. There’s a sense of joy within each of them, and that’s because when you lift
someone else up, you inevitably rise yourself.
In our cover story, “Hurricane Heroes”, I was thrilled to see the dedicated group of faculty, students, alumni and supporters come together to help people whose communities were devastated by a series of natural disasters. Understanding the urgent need for aid, our own John Jay community—many with personal connections to the hard-hit areas—freely gave what they could, be it money, food, clothes and most importantly, their time.
Some of you might be surprised to learn that our dynamic Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, Lynette Cook-Francis, was a first-generation college student. And, like so many of our students in similar situations, it was the encouragement and support of faculty members that propelled her life forward. Reading “Getting Engaged” and learning about the Faculty-Student Engagement Program that Cook-Francis set up, hoping to reach students like herself, I was struck by how many faculty members use their own free time to connect with students outside the classroom. I’m beyond impressed with these dedicated educators that continually go the extra mile, all to enrich their students’ lives.
In “Saluting Our Servicewomen” we both honor and celebrate all of our veteran students and alumni, while commemorating the 100th anniversary of women in the military. These honorable military professionals make the John Jay community richer with their presence, and our country is safer because of their service.
But none of this communal generosity should surprise anyone familiar with John Jay. Being a school that embraces a diverse array of students—from every race, religion and creed imaginable—naturally generates compassion, acceptance, understanding and empathy. And I know that Dr. King’s urgent question is being positively answered every day here at John Jay.
Thank you for your continued support of our community,
Karol V. Mason