CUNY Graduates Comprise Top Echelon of NYC Corporate Leaders

February 21, 2003 | The University

Graduates of The City University of New York have gone far in business in record numbers — but they haven’t gone far from the campuses that trained them for success.

An overwhelming majority of those that have risen to top-rank corporate positions – 71 percent — have stayed in the tri-state area, enriching the local tax base and fueling the region’s economic engine, according to an analysis in the October 2002 Standard and Poor’s Register of Corporations, Executives and Directors. Almost half of the graduates work in the five New York City boroughs or in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Thirty-one percent work in Manhattan.

City University continues to be the leading producer of undergraduates whose careers carry them to the executive suites of the nation’s major corporations, according to the S & P Register. CUNY ranks first in the nation with 917 holders of undergraduate degrees who now hold business leadership posts. This compares with totals of 724 for Harvard, 667 for Yale, 560 for Princeton, and 490 for Stanford.

More than 1,000 CUNY alumni currently hold top-level corporate positions, including numerous CEO’s, COO’s, Chairmen, Presidents, CFO’s, Senior and Executive and Group Vice Presidents, Directors, Treasurers, and Controllers.

A tiny sampling gives a sense of the influence CUNY graduates have on the business and corporate life in the metropolitan area: Frank Borelli, Senior VP, CFO and Director at Marsh & McLennan; Leonard Yablon, Executive VP and CFO at Forbes Inc.; Roseanne Klein, VP and Chief Counsel at TIAA-CREF; William Feraudo, Executive VP at Keyspan; Karen Figilis, West Coast Manager at Conde Nast; Donald Marron, Chairman at UBS America Inc.; Matthew Blank, Chairman and CEO

at Showtime; Richard Kasser, COO at Chock Full O’Nuts Corp.; Linda Livornese, Managing Director at N.Y. Life Investment Mgt. Co.; Richard Randall, CFO at Coach, Inc and Arnold Kaufman, VP and Publisher (of Outlook) at Standard and Poor’s.

In addition to the 917 CUNY undergraduate alumni, there are 170 holders of CUNY graduate degrees listed in Standard and Poor’s. Among this cohort are 72 “two-fers”-executives who earned both their undergraduate and graduate degrees at colleges within the University.

Five CUNY colleges have been especially successful: City College (276 undergraduates; 30 graduates; 16 two-fers), followed by Brooklyn College (206; 18; 6), Baruch College (138; 84; 34), Queens College (129; 5; 3), and Hunter College (62; 4; 4). About 10 per cent of the executives listed in the Register did not specify their CUNY alma mater.

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847 as the Free Academy, the University’s 23 institutions include 11 senior colleges, six community colleges, the Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. The University serves 243,000 degree-credit students and more than 240,000 adult, continuing and professional education students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program for 32,500 high school students, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 300 high schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The University offers online baccalaureate degrees through the School of Professional Studies and an individualized baccalaureate through the CUNY Baccalaureate Degree.