Honorary Degree Citation
Andrew J. Spano
Doctor of Commercial Science
May 24, 2004
When you, Andrew J. Spano, see an opportunity to improve the lives of the people of Westchester County, you work tirelessly to make that opportunity a reality. As Westchester's seventh county executive, you have initiated dozens of programs to improve the quality of life in Westchester County: programs that protect the environment, encourage affordable housing, combat domestic violence, and enhance the security and safety of all county residents.
Known for your focus on protecting children and families, you have invested in programs to protect women and children from domestic violence and sex offenders. You have also been the champion of programs that discourage teens from smoking and using illegal drugs and alcohol.
Concerned about high utility costs, you successfully forced Con Edison to stop charging Westchester residents higher electric rates to subsidize New York City customers, resulting in an 8 to 18 percent reduction for county ratepayers.
You tripled the county's new Homes Land Acquisition Fund, helping builders of affordable housing overcome the high cost of land, and preserved more than 2,300 acres of open space.
You have improved life for the youngest and oldest in Westchester, initiating Westchester and Jandon Scholarship programs in partnership with private foundations. More than 300 students whose families are on public assistance have received computers and college scholarships from this program. Under your leadership, Westchester became the first government in the state to offer a discount prescription drug program called Westchester Rx, which offers discounts on prescription drugs to all Westchester residents regardless of age or income.
You grew up in the Bronx and received your bachelor's and master's degrees from Fordham University. You spent 25 years in public education as a teacher, counselor, and administrator serving children with special needs. You were one of the founders of the United Federation of Teachers in New York City; all this before becoming a public servant.
For your dedication to your constituency, you have received: the 2001 Art of Governing award from Victim's Assistance Services of Westchester, Westchester Interfaith Housing Corporation's Municipal Leadership Award for 2001, Westchester Arts Council's 2000 Man of the Year Award, the League of Conservation Voters award in 2000, the 1999 Guardian of the Sound Award for environmental protection of Long Island Sound, the Fight Hunger Award from the Westchester Coalition of Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens, and the Special Achievement Award from the New York State Federation of Police.
In recognition of your tireless service to the public, your dedication to reinventing government, and your commitment to government accountability, Pace University proudly confers upon you the degree of Doctor of Commercial Science, honoris causa, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereunto.
Aniello A. Bianco '61
Chairman, Board of Trustees
David A. Caputo
President, Pace University