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Apr 07 2011

NYIT Organizes Walk in Memory of Student

Central Islip, N.Y. (April 7, 2011) – The NYIT community and neighbors will gather on Sunday, April 17, to honor the memory of a beloved student who was killed by a car in the Benjamin J. Cecil 5k Walk for Independence at NYIT’s Central Islip site.

Cecil was 20-year-old from Washington, D.C. in his first semester freshman at NYIT’s Vocational Independence Program (VIP). He was struck by a car and killed on the evening of Nov. 18, 2010. 

“He was an outgoing student who had a great sense of humor,” said Ernst VanBergeijk, Ph.D., M.S.W., associate dean and executive director of VIP, which helps students with significant learning disabilities become independent. VanBergeijk remembered Cecil as an avid pool player, who was very well-liked by fellow students and the staff.

When students learned of the accident, they stood in a circle and recounted their favorite stories about Cecil. They signed a pool cue ball and created a memory book, then delivered it to Cecil’s parents as a memento of his time at NYIT. 

VanBergeijk recalls how Cecil was the first freshman to organize a student outing, leading a trip to a New York Rangers hockey game in New York City.  

Faculty, staff, and students are organizing this walk to honor Cecil, along with his family and friends. Proceeds from the walk will support scholarships for students with disabilities to attend VIP. 

Registration will begin at 9 a.m. at Independence Hall at NYIT-Central Islip, located at 300 Carleton Ave. The walk will begin at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 17, and the 5k path is handicapped accessible. 

To register, or receive more information, contact Sheree Incorvaia at 631.3448.3139 or

About NYIT
New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees in more than 90 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has more than 15,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. NYIT sponsors 11 NCAA Division II programs and one Division I team.
Led by President Edward Guiliano, NYIT is guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. To date, 85,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit


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