Honorary Degree Citation
The Honorable Charles E. Schumer
Doctor of Humane Letters
May 24, 2004
As a representative of the spirit and commitment of New Yorkers, and as an elected leader of the people of New York over the past 20 years, you, Charles E. Schumer, have personified what public leadership can contribute to society and what public service should be.
Born and bred in New York City, you matriculated through Brooklyn's P.S. 197 and Madison High School, demonstrating through your own example that our public schools can and do foster excellence.
You expanded your vision of the world and public service while studying at Harvard College and Harvard Law School. Your active engagement in Eugene McCarthy's 1968 presidential campaign shaped your commitment to service and to community at all levels, from neighborhood to nation.
You began giving back to the community that raised you at the early age of 23, representing your Brooklyn neighbors in the New York State Assembly. Your work to protect sacred places, improve quality of life, and ensure access to emergency medical service, helped bring dignity and respect for others back into the public dialogue.
At 29, you built on that Brooklyn constituency to wage a compelling and successful campaign to represent your neighbors in the U.S. House of Representatives. Working tirelessly there for nine terms, you wrote and helped pass some of the most important pieces of legislation of that era: to require criminal background checks for handgun purchases; to stem the flow of semi-automatic weapons into our neighborhoods; to put 100,000 cops back on the streets; to strengthen sentencing for career criminals; and to create after-school programs for troubled youth to reduce their numbers; to ensure access to family planning; and, in the first federal legislation of its kind, to address domestic abuse against women and their children.
As a United States Senator since 1998, and now New York's senior senator, you have enriched the economy of New York by bringing businesses and jobs to the state during economically challenging times. You have helped modernize and reform federal banking laws and the securities and insurance industries; have worked hard to stem budget cuts to hospitals fighting to ensure quality health care for all New Yorkers; have advocated the fight against terrorism not only for the people of the United States but for people of all nations; and you stood tall in the recovery of New York from the tragedy of September 11, ensuring that federal efforts to bring America back from that tragedy addressed the special needs of your hometown. You helped launch the Center for Downtown New York at Pace University in December 2001 and applauded this institution's "valuable contribution of intellectual capital and human resources" aiding in the city's rebuilding. Today, we applaud you for your leadership and public service.
In recognition of your service to our city, the Empire State, our nation, and the world community, and in appreciation for the way you have so capably demonstrated what one child from Brooklyn can attain through tireless leadership and service, Pace University proudly confers upon you the degree of Doctor of Humane letters, honoris causa, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereunto.
Aniello A. Bianco '61
Chairman, Board of Trustees
David A. Caputo
President, Pace University