By JOSE LUIS CRUZ & RUBEN DIAZ JR.

This week, Lehman College will graduate the largest class in its 50-plus-year history. More than 3,600 students will be filled with pride over their achievement as they truly beat the odds.

You see, about half of these soon-to-be graduates are the first in their families to attend college, and roughly half come from households earning less than $30,000 a year. Some are juggling full-time jobs and supporting families with the demands of their college workload.

In addition to the hard work and sacrifice those 3,600 diplomas represent, they symbolize the real key to the Bronx renaissance.

We believe that public higher education is crucial to bring prosperity to Bronx residents. Like most urban areas in the nation,

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