Posted November 20th, 2013
November 14 marked the opening of the Charles J. Hinkaty '70 '72 MA Student Leadership Hub, especially devoted to leaders from Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) student council, clubs, fraternities, and other organizations.
Hinkaty himself was on hand at the Hub, located on the second floor of the Dibner Building, to welcome those gathered to inaugurate the space. They formed a diverse group of Engineers without Borders and Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers members, NYU-Poly Mentors, organization treasurers, student activities staffers and others—all eager to hear from a philanthropist, trustee and business leader most had never met in person.
“I admire him very much,” Gideon Aderemi, a mechanical engineering major who serves as the liaison commissioner for incoming freshman, said before Hinkaty arrived. “I’ve read about his career and I’m eager to hear more about his time at NYU-Poly.”
Hinkaty, a warm, engaging speaker, regaled Aderemi and the rest of the assembly with tales of his student years, stressing that his time as president of the student council had been one of the most valuable formative experiences of his life. “I got my first job offer by virtue of the fact that Procter & Gamble had seen my resume in a ‘Who’s Who’ of student leaders,” he recalled. “And I met my future wife, Kathy, while attending a student leadership conference. My personal life and my career were directly affected by my involvement as a student leader.” (Hinkaty went on to tell a nail-bitingly suspenseful story of trying to win a draft deferment in order to support his recently widowed mother at the height of the Vietnam War. The draft officer granted his request, informing him only after the fact that he, too, was a NYU-Poly grad. NYU-Poly may thus not only have affected his life but also had a hand in literally saving it.)
It was easy to see why, as Valerie Cabral, the Director of Alumni Relations, Hinkaty “might have left the campus physically, but his heart and soul remain here.”
Anita Farrington, Dean of Student Affairs, held out the hope that now that the Hub was open, Hinkaty would return often to visit and meet with the students. “Your name is here on the door, so we’ve got you now,” she quipped. “I hope this is the first of many conversations with you that will take place in this room.”
Hinkaty good-naturedly agreed, asserting, “As a trustee and past president of the Alumni Association, there are many events and occasions that bring me back to campus, but my favorite part is always interacting with the students.” Addressing the young people, he said, “I can tell that you’re all going to be successful. You’re already showing the leadership qualities you’ll need in your lives and careers. And when you’re successful, don’t forget to give back to your alma mater. NYU-Poly is going to be the source of a lot of pride and fond memories for you.”