Queens College President, Félix Matos Rodríguez, volunteered and enjoyed the honor of being able to catch the ceremonial first pitch thrown by QC alumnus Michael Weisman to cap off Queens College Day at Citi Field held this past summer. The ceremony held prior to the Mets game against the Nationals on July 12th, 2018, was a day of celebration. The college was honored at Citi Field for its 80th year of existence. The 2017-2018 school year marked the 80-year anniversary of Queens College opening its doors for the first time. Of all the special events this past year, Queens College day at Citi Field seemed to be the most special.
That same day, the college also bought seats and held a special alumni and staff day, which saw over 250 QC alumni and staff attend the game. For President Matos, now entering his 5th year as president of the school, the event was a testament to promoting and celebrating the long history of the college. “To be on the field was amazing, the energy from everyone made the experience incredible,” said President Matos. “I am very lucky to have had the chance to be the president for the 80th year anniversary of the school.” Even after the ceremony ended, Queens College was well represented during the game and inside the stadium.
Howie Rose, QC alum and longtime Mets and Islanders radio broadcaster, narrated the ceremonial opening pitch. He then invited President Matos, Weisman, and others into the broadcast booth. “During the game, when some of us went to concessions, there were people coming up to say that they were QC alumni, and that they were happy to see the college honored,” said President Matos. While Queens College won’t be throwing the first pitch on a yearly basis, more staff and alumni days seem to be on the horizon. “We want to do more events that bring alumni together and highlight our alumni, faculty, and students,” said President Matos. “I’ve been proud of all our alumni, students, faculty and history and want to promote them and our school,” he added.
The ceremony was planned out for quite some time prior to the day of the game. There were many conversations regarding who would do the first pitch, before the honor was given to Michael Weisman. President Matos said that choosing Weisman, a graduate of the Queens College class of 1971, was the perfect choice for the occasion. “He’s accomplished so much in the field of sports broadcasting and producing that this was a win-win situation,” said President Matos. “This was a way of thanking him for everything he has done for the college.”
Michael Weisman helped create a class for sports broadcasting, along with fellow sports television producer Michael Cohen, that Queens College students can take. The Media Studies department, under the code MEDST281, provides the course. In a day of celebration, fun, and tribute, Queens College had their day and was recognized for a great 80 years. Here’s to seeing how grand and special the 100-year anniversary will be!