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Honoring a Legacy of Service - Marilyn Chernin



As the first dean of Student Life at Kingsborough Community College, Marilyn was instrumental in the development of many major programs, such as KCC’s Women’s Center and the Child Development Center. On a university-wide level, she served as the chair of the Student Activities Council for many years, developing workshops and conferences with the goal of training student leader​s. 

Highly driven to help students grow, she founded the “Student Leadership Service Award” to provide support for graduating students who demonstrated extraordinary leadership qualities. Years later, it was renamed the “Dean Marilyn Chernin Student Endowed Service Award” to honor the leadership and success of students over the years. Marilyn was once quoted saying that “my award is an outgrowth of my career’s work at KCC and my investment in its students. I have seen so many students become leaders, and I feel honored​ to have played a role in their growth.” 

Marilyn retired after 34 years of full-time service, but continued to be active in the community and at KCC. She served as vice president and president of the Manhattan Beach Community Group, and served, until her passing, on their Board of Directors. She was a member and secretary of the Coney Island Hospital Advisory Board, and she also served as chair of the KCC Retiree group. 

When combining her work in both full and part-time positions, Marilyn spent a total of 52 years at KCC. Recognizing her outstanding contributions to the College, she was poised to be honored in March during the celebration of Women’s History Month with the inaugural Women Trailblazers Award but the ceremony was postponed as New York State was placed on pause due to COVID-19. Sadly, just a couple of weeks later, we received the devastating report about Marilyn. My deepest sympathies to Marilyn’s family, and to all who knew and loved her.

Kingsborough loved Marilyn, and she loved us right back. Marilyn showed us how to take the ball and run with it! She showed us how to successfully initiate plans and follow through, and how to be resourceful and take on challenges for the greater good of others. What better legacy to leave than one rich in service and good deeds. 

Excerpt from Honoring a Legacy of Service article in Bay News newspaper by Dr. Claudia V. Schrader, president of Kingsborough Community College.