New York Life Foundation Grants $500,000 To CUNY Honors College For Minority Students

The New York Life Foundation has awarded a $500,000 grant to The City University of New York’s new Honors College program, Chancellor Matthew Goldstein announced today. The grant will support the participation of 25 minority students in the program over four years.

“The New York Life Foundation is proud to support the City University’s Honors College program,” said Sy Sternberg, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of New York Life Insurance Company. “We are delighted that 25 exceptional New York City college students will have the opportunity to enrich their lives through a quality educational program.”

“We are grateful to the New York Life Foundation, and to its Chairman Sy Sternberg, who is a member of the CUNY Business Leadership Council. The Honors College provides the kind of education that many of these students would not ordinarily be able to afford. In addition, internships in the arts, the sciences, business and government are being developed and it is important to provide support so that none of the Honors College students will have to forego an unpaid internship in order to work,” said Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Louise Mirrer.

The Honors College: University Scholars Program is designed to support academically talented students in an intensive undergraduate experience shaped by the combined resources of the University and of New York City. It features full tuition support, unique faculty-designed curricula combining hands-on experiences with traditional scholarly study; access to technology and its applications (including a free laptop computer); mentors and internships; a cultural passport that provides entry to the riches of New York City; and an academic expense account to support educationally enriching experiences.

This fall, 214 freshmen were accepted for the first Honors College class out of more than 1,600 applicants. The Honors College is currently housed at five senior colleges: Baruch, Brooklyn, City, Hunter and Queens. Starting next fall it will expand to the College of Staten Island and Lehman College.

Many CUNY senior colleges have a variety of honors programs for gifted students. Honors College students participate in these programs at their home colleges in addition to special seminars focusing on New York City that integrate experiences developed through the Cultural Passport and are enriched by the scientific and cultural resources of the city as well as those of the colleges.

In the first seminar, “The Arts in New York,” students experience art forms as an audience and meet with arts professionals to examine performances and exhibitions from the perspectives of scholarship, creativity and production. Faculty are developing three additional seminars. In the spring seminar “New York City from Colony to World Center” students will consider, for example, how immigration, revolution, nationalism, industrialization, technology, disease and warfare have affected the City’s economy, politics, social life and cultural institutions and the extent of its world reach. The other two seminars will be on “Power, Authority, and Social Organization,” and “Science and Technology in a 21st Century City.”

Assisted by instructional technology, the University Scholars work in cross-campus teams on projects related to the seminar theme. As the program expands to the upper division, Honors College students will have the opportunity to take study on other campuses with CUNY’s most distinguished faculty, including those in the graduate and professional schools.

The New York Life Foundation, established in 1979 by New York Life Insurance Company, is the major vehicle through which the company channels contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. Through its Nurturing the Children effort, the Foundation supports organizations, programs and services that target young people, particularly in the areas of mentoring, safe places to learn and grow, and educational enhancement opportunities. Through a company-wide involvement initiative, New York Life encourages volunteer participation by its employees, agents and retirees.