Bernard Sohmer, former chair of CUNY’s University Faculty Senate and professor emeritus of mathematics at City College, died on November 19. A longtime union activist, Sohmer also served as PSC Chapter Chair at CCNY, as a member of the PSC Executive Council and as a trustee of the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund. He had been a member of the CCNY faculty since 1952.
“Bernie was a principled defender of academic unionism and faculty governance, and an outspoken advocate for public higher education,” said PSC First Vice President Steve London. “His passing is a loss for both CUNY and the PSC.”
“In every position in which he served, Bernie was a leader, and his influence was always strong,” said Irwin Yellowitz, former PSC treasurer and a colleague of Sohmer’s on the CCNY faculty for many years. “While he could be outspoken, he also had a wonderful sense of humor and ultimately sought the most reasonable outcome. It was my privilege to know and work with Bernie over the decades, and I am sorry to see him go.”
Family members have asked that Sohmer be remembered through contributions to a scholarship established in his name to benefit undergraduates in mathematics at CCNY. Contributions to the Bernard Sohmer Scholarship should be sent to: Rosemary Weiss, Exec. Director of Development, CCNY, 160 Convent Avenue, Shepard Hall 154, NY, NY 10031. (Or e-mail her for more information.)