Charles Hennekens, a Queens College alum, was honored by the college at a ceremony on Oct. 17 with the baseball field named after him.
After the unveiling of the new stadium sign, Hennekens threw the opening pitch for a baseball scrimmage.
In the scientific community, Hennekens is knowing for saving more than 1.1 million lives by discovering aspirin can prevent heart attacks.
Hennekens is both the first Sir Richard Doll Professor and an adviser at Florida Atlantic University. In addition, he received the Ochsner Award Relating Smoking and Health by the Ochsner Clinic Foundation last year for finding the risks of smoking tied to heart attacks.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate, Hennekens furthered his education with a stint at Harvard University where he designed The Physicians Health Study. Moreover, he is the the first and only graduate in both the Achievement and Athletic Halls of Fame.
During his time at QC, however, he served as captain of the basketball team and co-captain of the baseball team. Nicknamed “Flash,” Hennekens won awards like the Regan-Stein Award and Long Island Press Athlete-Scholar Award.
Gerard Solomon, chairperson of the journalism department at QC, grew up knowing Hennekens since childhood.
“We both went to elementary and middle school together. We’ve known each other for more than half a century. When we started college, we went our separate ways, but I saw that he was becoming active as a donor to the college and ,soon, we had a warm and friendly reconnection at a gala last year,” Solomon said.
“I remember him as a very competitive person at the elementary school playground. I thought he was the smartest person and he thought I was the smartest person; we were both flattered by our references. He and I both feel it’s important to give back to a place that meant a lot to us.”
Solomon views Hennekens as a highly intellectual and competitive person as well as a great friend deserving the nomination. In fact, he owns a copy of The Phoenix from 1962 that includes an image and sports article about Hennekens.
In a press release from QC, Hennekens was delighted in having the stadium named after him. “My amazing, fabulous, uneducated, working-class parents instilled in me the values of getting an excellent education which Queens College provided to me as well as to give something back so I am thrilled, honored and humbled on this occasion,” Hennekens said.