Orientation for Newest Macaulay Honors College Class Spotlights Commitment to Service

August 12, 2009 | Macaulay Honors College

For immediate release

On August 24, incoming freshmen at Macaulay Honors College at CUNY will participate in Orientation activities that underscore the program’s focus on community service.

Working with New York City Outward Bound, the 450 Macaulay students of the Class of 2013—the largest class ever—will be divided into 26 groups for team-building exercises, and then will spend two service hours at one of eight sites: The Lower East Side Ecology Center; Housing Works Bookstore Café; Jackie Robinson Park; Randall’s Island Sports Foundation; The Momentum Project, Inc.; Women in Need, Inc.; St. Mary’s Park; and Food Bank NYC.

Inspired by Renew America Together, President Barack Obama’s initiative to encourage commitment to community service, this new addition to Orientation Week will include projects such as ecologic conservation, serving food in a soup kitchen, tutoring children, and sorting book donations for distribution. “This day will be just the beginning of a life of service that is at the heart of an honors education,” said Solita Alexander, Associate Director of Student Development. “At Macaulay, we believe that every student should engage the issues faced by the community. We encourage students to participate in service opportunities that reflect their individual values and concerns as well as their educational and professional goals.”

“New York City Outward Bound is delighted to partner with Macaulay Honors College and is proud that for nine years we have been a part of the College’s orientation for its incoming students,” said Richard Stopol, President of New York City Outward Bound. “Working with Macaulay students is a highlight of our year and we are always struck by what an amazing group of young people make up the incoming class.”

Macaulay Honors College students are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours of community service by the end of their junior year. Many students complete much more than that. “Service is really about sustained contact with people in a particular community, working on a specific issue, and understanding the root causes of that issue,” notes Sylvia Tomasch, Associate University Dean of Academic Affairs for Macaulay Honors College. “By the time they leave CUNY, Macaulay students know they’ve made a tangible difference that will live on long after the actual service is complete—it’s a key component of what it means to be an honors student.”

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About Macaulay Honors College

Macaulay Honors College at The City University of New York offers an exceptional academic and co-curricular environment for engaged and motivated students, who come from all parts of New York and around the world. Macaulay students enroll in one of seven CUNY colleges (Baruch, Brooklyn, City, Hunter, Lehman, Queens and Staten Island). Through the unique Macaulay advising program each student develops a coordinated, individualized academic program that includes research, global learning, graduate and professional mentoring, community engagement, and close faculty-student collaboration.

About NYC Outward Bound

New York City Outward Bound was founded in 1987 to bring Outward Bound’s distinctive educational approach to the young people of New York City and their public schools. This approach challenges and supports students to do their best work, injects elements of adventure into learning, promotes teamwork as well as individual initiative, and places character and intellectual development on equal footing. Over the past 22 years, NYC Outward Bound has delivered programs incorporating this approach to over 50,000 students, teachers, administrators and parents from over 250 schools and other youth-serving organizations throughout the City.

The organization is now six years into its most exciting initiative to date: establishing a growing network of small college-preparatory public schools in the City that are run in partnership with the NYC Department of Education. Rooted in Outward Bound’s Expeditionary Learning school design, all of the schools are based on the belief that through challenging academics, a strong focus on character development and a supportive, inclusive school community, all students can achieve far more than they ever thought possible.

Contact: Rich Dikeman, Director of Communications
(212) 729-2928/cell (201) 772-4843