Dominican Republic First Lady Honored at Lehman College

The annual lecture at Lehman College honors an individual who has made a difference in public service on an international level, and this year’s special guest has certainly accomplished that.

For the 42nd consecutive year, Lehman College hosted their annual lecture in recognition of school namesake, the late Governor Herbert H. Lehman, and for as long as the program has been running since the 1970s, the school has honored a particular individual at the event.

This year on Wednesday, March 23, Lehman College honored the First Lady of the Dominican Republic, Dr. Margarita Cedeno de Fernandez, who became the first First Lady in 2004 and has concentrated her time on working with the Dominican Republic’s population to improve education, reduce poverty and improve the technology gap between the country and the rest of the world.

The Lovinger Theatre at Lehman College was filled with over 200 students, faculty and numerous dignitaries to honor the First Lady, such as Dominican Republic Ambassador to the United States Dr. Roberto Saladin, and Ambassador Federico Cuello, representative of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations.

“Many speakers who have delivered this lecture over the last 42 years have either served in the public sector or played an important role in international issues,” said Lehman College president Ricardo Fernandez. “Today we are very pleased to add to that list a preeminent woman who combines both of these fields.”

Dr. Cedeno de Fernandez was not only there to deliver the speech, she was also presentedaby Lehman College Honorary Doctorate of Law Degree.

Upon receiving the honor, Dr. Cedeno de Fernandez concentrated her speech about how technology has changed the way individuals throughout the world interact, do business, live and think, and as a result, has motivated her to take extra efforts in improving her country and helping others throughout the world.

“I dedicate my work to all of the Dominicans who have, continue to, and will always be my source of inspiration for all of my services,” she said. “To receive this honor from Lehman College is very meaningful. Now, I feel that not only am I part of the Fernandez family, but now I feel like I am part of the Lehman College family.”

The First Lady received her Doctorate of Law from the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo and earned her master’s degree in corporate law and economic legislation from the Pontifical Catholic University. She also studied at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and Harvard University in Boston.

“Dr. Cedeno de Fernandez has certainly worked with extraordinary effort and dedication,” Ricardo Fernandez said. “She has provided so much already and has honored us with her presence and respect for the college and its namesake.”

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