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Hall of Presidents Details

Dr. Tomas  Morales
College of Staten Island
2007 - 2012

Dr. Morales was President of the College of Staten Island from 2007 until 2012, when he accepted the position of President at California State University, San Bernadino. His academic area of expertise is educational administration and policy studies.

The main focus of Dr. Morales’s tenure as President at the College of Staten Island was the enhancement of the student experience. He supervised the groundbreaking and initial construction phases of Dolphin Cove, the College’s first-ever student residence halls, making the CSI experience more accessible to students from all NYC boroughs, other regions of the U.S., and many countries around the world. Accessibility to the CSI campus also improved with his establishment of the free Ferry Shuttle bus service between the campus and the Staten Island Ferry. Dr. Morales was also firmly committed to the promotion of CSI Athletics and its student athletes, resulting in numerous Dolphin championship teams.

In addition, Dr. Morales strengthened ties between the College and Staten Island communities with myriad programs, events, and initiatives, including the establishment of the Teacher Education Honors Academy, which places CSI Education graduates as teachers in NYC public schools.

The CSI Ball field and a bench near the front entrance of the Library have been named in his honor.


Dr. Marlene Springer
College of Staten Island
1994 - 2007

Dr. Springer led the College of Staten Island from 1994 until her retirement in 2007. Her academic focus is 19th-century British and American literature.

Academic programs at the College of Staten Island flourished under Dr. Springer. Some of her achievements include the creation of the Department of Media Culture, a long list of new degree programs such as the MA in History, an impressive increase in the pass rate on the NYS Teacher Certification Exam for CSI Education majors, and she oversaw the opening of the CSI High School for International Studies.

Another academic milestone for Dr. Springer was the establishment of the Undergraduate Conference on Research, Scholarship, and Performance, which gives students the opportunity to work with a faculty mentor on a research or performance project, and then present their work to the College and Staten Island communities.

The Concert Hall in the CSI Center for the Arts has been named in her honor.


Dr. Edmund L. Volpe
College of Staten Island
1976 - 1994

Richmond College
1974 - 1976

Dr. Volpe was appointed President of College of Staten Island predecessor institution Richmond College in 1974. He became President of the College of Staten Island in 1976, leading the new institution until his retirement in 1994. His academic specialty was English and American Literature.

Among his accomplishments, Dr. Volpe succeeded in uniting Richmond College and Staten Island Community College in 1976, resulting in the creation of the College of Staten Island and led the transition to its Willowbrook campus.

He pioneered international education with the introduction of study abroad, faculty and student international exchanges, a new major in International Studies, and the founding of the Center for International Service. Dr. Volpe also enhanced cultural life at the College through the promotion of extracurricular music and theater programs and exhibitions, and established the first College gala, the Starlight Ball, which was the predecessor to today’s Celestial Ball.

The Library Rotunda has been named in his honor.


Dr. William M. Birenbaum
Staten Island Community College
1968 - 1976

Dr. Birenbaum served as President of College of Staten Island predecessor institution Staten Island Community College (SICC) from 1968 until the merger of SICC and Richmond College in 1976, which resulted in the formation of the College of Staten Island. His academic focus was access to higher education for all.

A tireless advocate for open admissions, in which anyone who wanted an education would be able to receive one,
Dr. Birenbaum often provided consultation to other countries that were interested in strengthening their educational systems. He also published a number of books on education, and raised SICC’s visibility during his tenure.

Dr. Birenbaum’s papers are housed in the CSI Library’s Archives & Special Collections.


Dr. Herbert Schueler
Richmond College
1966 - 1973

Dr. Schueler was the first President of College of Staten Island predecessor institution Richmond College, a position in which he served from 1966 until 1973. His academic specialties were German literature and philosophy.

As the inaugural President of Richmond College, Dr. Schueler oversaw the early years of the institution, an upper-division college that offered undergraduate and graduate degrees to students who had successfully completed the first two years of college study elsewhere. In addition, he oversaw the College’s expansion to its St. George campus and was a strong advocate for innovative interdisciplinary education.


Dr. Walter L. Willig
Staten Island Community College
1955 - 1968

Dr. Willig was the inaugural President of College of Staten Island predecessor institution Staten Island Community College (SICC) from 1956 to 1968. His academic area of expertise was civil engineering.

He guided SICC, the first community college within CUNY, through its initial enrollment of approximately 200 students, directing the institution as the number of students grew rapidly within a short time period. Dr. Willig also oversaw the expansion of SICC from its St. George location to it new Sunnyside campus, established a two-year Nursing program, and initiated SICC’s participation in the SEEK program.