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June 23, 2020

Class of 1940's Benjamin Ferencz, aged 100, is City College of New York's "Virtual Salute" speaker, June 30.

City College of New York

City College of New York

City College of New York

Photo: Benjamin Ferencz, Class of 1940, is CCNY’s 2020 Virtual Salute keynote speaker.

NEW YORK, June 22, 2020 — Centenarian Benjamin B. Ferencz, a distinguished 1940 alumnus and the last surviving prosecutor from the post-WWII Nuremberg trials, is the keynote speaker at The City College of New York’s first-ever “Virtual Salute” on June 30. Mr. Ferencz, who turned 100 on March 11, will receive the honorary degree Doctor of Laws from his alma mater. He’s believed to be the oldest honorary degree recipient from City College.

Other speakers during CCNY’s 50-minute virtual salute, include:

Also, New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and CUNY Chancellor FĂ©lix V. Matos Rodriguez will offer greetings.

A physically active man who does 100 pushups daily, Mr. Ferencz is still an advocate for human rights and the rule of law. In his address to CCNY’s latest graduates, he will share some of his remarkable experiences in the 80 years since his graduation from CCNY in 1940. “Experiences, which I hope will be inspirational and will guide the Class of 2020 during difficult times now and in the future,” he said.

Mr. Ferencz, whose family came to the United States from Romania when he was 10-months-old, attended Harvard Law School after CCNY. He earned his law degree in 1943 and fought in World War II.

At the end of the war, the young lawyer got recruited for the Nuremberg war crimes trials in Nuremberg, Germany. Once the International Military Tribunal’s prosecution of German Field Marshal, Herman Goering, and his associates concluded, the United States tried a broad cross-section of Nazi offenders.

He said of the experience: “Nuremberg taught me that creating a world of tolerance and compassion would be a long and arduous task. And I also learned that if we did not devote ourselves to developing effective world law, the same cruel mentality that made the Holocaust possible might one day destroy the entire human race.”

The City College of New York (CCNY) is a public college of the City University of New York (CUNY) system in New York City. Founded in 1847, City College was the first free public institution of higher education in the United States.

Source: City College of New York. Office of Institutional Advancement and Communications.

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