NEW YORK - Colin Powell, the former secretary of state and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, was a New York native and the son of immigrants from Jamaica. He was born in Harlem, raised in the Bronx, and graduated from the City College of New York before entering the U.S. Army.
Powell died on Monday due to complications from COVID-19. He was 84.
In 1997, Powell established the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies at City College. The center later merged with the social sciences department and became known as the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership.
The school's dean, Andrew Rich, told FOX 5 NY that Powell was very dedicated to the program and its students. Here are more remembrances from Rich:
"We put him in a room with a group of our current students, they went around and they introduced themselves," Rich said. "It took General Powell no time and he said, 'My gosh, these students are me 50 years ago,' and from that moment on he was recommitted to City College and we created a center that honored his legacy.
"He was an incredibly humble guy with a wicked sense of humor, was very fun to be around — a great storyteller.
"He really believed to his core in what we're doing in providing an education to all people particularly of New York City. We're 50% immigrants, we're 75% first in their families to go to college, 80% people of color."