ED ROGOWSKY, FRIEND OF CUNY AND NEW YORK CITY

By Clarion Staff

CLARION

MAY 2001

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On Tuesday, May 2, several dozen people convened at the Graduate Center for a memorial to Edward T. Rogowsky, city planner, activist, and professor emeritus of political science at Brooklyn College, who died on March 18.

“The memorial reinforced the sense of balance Ed had in his life,” said Ernesto Malavé Jr., who worked with Rogowsky on the CUNY Internship Program in Government and Public Affairs. “Ed dealt with power brokers and the powerless the same way—with candor and respect. He was a mentor and advocate to some people, but his public service was for all people.  If Ed focused all the energy he used helping others on himself he would have been the first openly gay Mayor of New York City...a long time ago.”

Rogowsky was director of the CUNY Internship Program in Government and Public Affairs, now renamed in his honor.  Since 1992, he was also city editor of CUNY-TV and host of “MetroView,” the station’s weekly public affairs program. In 1990, Rogowsky was appointed to the 13-member New York City Planning Commission by Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden; he was also the founding director of the Brooklyn College Graduate Center for Worker Education.

Kenneth Sherrill, a political science professor at Hunter, told Clarion, “In the past decade, Ed’s work focused on the things I care about most deeply, which were integrating the University fully into the life of the city and developing new generations of leadership from our students.  In that he was a master.  He combined an extraordinarily ebullient spirit with an intimate knowledge of the city and the professional skills of a political scientist.  He was famous to everyone who worked with him, but he never hogged the limelight.”

“Ed was generous and spirited,” said PSC University-Wide Officer Stanley Aronowitz. “He was also a shining example to all of us on how to use the media to advance not only labor’s interests, but also those of New York City.” PSC Senior College Officer Nancy Romer, a professor of psychology at Brooklyn College, said that Rogowsky’s generosity was a constant theme at the memorial—as well as “his love of New York, love of Broadway tunes, and appreciation for the diversity of people and points of view.” Ed Rogowsky, she said, “could talk to everyone.”