CUNY Trustees Establish World Trade Center Memorial Scholarships For Families of Victims and Rescuers Killed or Disabled

The Board of Trustees of The City University of New York voted today “to establish immediately and to the fullest extent possible a World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship Program.”

The program, proposed last week by Governor George Pataki, will provide scholarships to victims, and spouses and children of the innocent victims who died or were severely disabled as a result of the September 11 terrorist attacks. It will also provide scholarships to the spouses and children of those who died or were severely disabled during on-going rescue and recovery efforts, including firefighters, police officer, peace officers and emergency medical service workers.

The scholarships will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, supplies, transportation and room and board, if applicable, for four years of full-time undergraduate study or for five academic years of a program of undergraduate study as defined by the Commissioner of Education. They will be available to matriculated students at The City University of New York whether they are residents or non-residents of New York or the United States.

The Board of Trustees expressed “its strongest support for Governor Pataki’s Executive Order 113 and related legislation” to establish such a program..

At a September 18 news conference, Governor Pataki announced a comprehensive program to cover the full costs of higher education for the victims and immediate families of the September 11 disasters at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.

“I’ve had the chance, since this horrible attack occurred,” Governor Pataki said, ” to speak to literally thousands of family members of those who are lost or were killed in the World Trade Center catastrophe.

Their pain and suffering is enormous, their sense of loss is enormous, their personal grief is enormous. But there is a practical concern that we hear time and time again: ‘What will happen to my children? How will I pay for their college education?’ ‘How will I make sure that they’re going to be okay?’ ‘My husband used to make a lot of money and now he’s gone’ ‘How will I provide for my children’s education?’ We’ve heard these cries and today we’re going to answer them.”

CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein said, “By establishing a special program of higher education tuition assistance for the children and families of those who perished in the terrorist attack, the Board of Trustees has joined with Governor Pataki in sending a message of hope and opportunity. The City University of New York has historically served as the principal ladder to success for the workforce of our great City. We are deeply honored to participate in an extraordinary initiative that will greatly assist grieving families in planning for the future.”