Last week, the Long Island City college honored former State Senator Serphin Maltese by naming an academic hall in his name in recognition of his support for higher education during his 20 years in office.
At a ceremony on September 15, Dr. Gail Mellow, president of LaGuardia Community College, officially named a section of the Center 3 building’s fourth floor “The Serphin R. Maltese Academic Hall,” in tribute for being an advocate for higher education and a dedicated supporter of LaGuardia during his years of public service.
“Senator Maltese understands how higher education changes lives and consistently and forcefully called for greater public investment in helping LaGuardia deliver an extraordinary education to our tens of thousands of students,” said Mellow.
Maltese, who represented south and central Queens in the State Senate from 1989 to 2008, was an advocate and primary sponsor of state appropriations for LaGuardia. He secured over
$76 million in capital funding for building renovations and elevator refurbishment, as well as for the creation of computer labs and space for departmental and faculty offices.
Other appropriations he secured funded the creation of a comprehensive laboratory for LaGuardia’s Program of Deaf Adults.
Maltese was born in Corona, Queens, and resides with his wife of 56 years, Constance, in Middle Village. After serving in the Marine Reserves and the Army during the Korean War, he went to Manhattan College on a Regents Scholarship and the G.I. Bill, where he received his Bachelor’s degree. He went on to receive degrees from Fordham University Law School and was admitted to the New York State Bar. He served as a Queens Assistant District Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Homicide Bureau.
“As a son and grandson of Italian immigrants, I am particularly honored to be recognized by LaGuardia Community College, the ‘World’s Community College,’” said Maltese at the ceremony.
During his 20-year Senate tenure, Maltese authored 239 bills that were signed into law. He currently serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Christ the King Regional High School in Queens and an executive board member of the Stuyvesant High School Alumni Association.