Queens College Will Confer Honorary Doctorate on Visionary Publisher, Philanthropist and Entrepreneur Sara Miller McCune

    — Founder of SAGE, a Leading, Independent Global Academic Publishing Empire,
 To Be Honored at College’s Commencement May 31 —

FLUSHING, NY, May 17, 2012 – Academic publishing magnate and philanthropist Sara Miller McCune nurtured her passion for education, reading and social justice while an undergraduate student at Queens College. In fact, the political science major and history minor was – during her junior year at Queens College – part of a youth group’s delegation to the 1960 White House Conference on Children and Youth, one of whose recommendations was to pass legislation for what subsequently became the Peace Corps. 

Over 50 years later, McCune oversees SAGE, a leading, independent global academic publishing empire, and heads a charitable foundation that funds grassroots projects to create educational opportunities for the poor and underserved in the California counties where she lives and works. McCune will return to her alma mater – where the seeds of her career aspirations were planted – on May 31 for the college’s Commencement to receive QC’s honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters for her accomplishments. 

“Since my graduation from Queens College in 1961 at age 20, I have realized again and again what an amazing education I received and how much of my subsequent career was built on that foundation,” says McCune. “My time at the college enhanced my love of learning and reading, brought me one of my closest friendships, and solidified my great appreciation for higher education. These things, in turn, have shaped my company’s role in the field of education –  and most profoundly, higher education and scholarships – at all levels worldwide.”

The honorary doctorate recognizes McCune’s “distinguished service to college, city and country,” says Sue Henderson, Queens College’s chief operating officer and vice president of Institutional Advancement. “Sara is a remarkable, independent woman who prevailed in a field dominated by men and mergers, and whose life, career and achievements are an inspiration to our faculty, students, and alumni.”

McCune launched SAGE, an independent book, journal and electronic media publisher, in New York City in 1965. The following year, together with her late husband George D. McCune, the newlyweds moved the company to California. Before becoming its executive chair in 1984, McCune served as the company’s president for 18 years. Today, SAGE is headquartered near Los Angeles and has registered publishing offices in Washington, D.C., London, India and Singapore, as well as affiliate offices in Beijung, Cairo, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpar, Melbourne, Seoul, Taipai, Shanghai and Rio de Janeiro. SAGE currently employs over 1,100 staff members and is still growing.

In 2007 McCune founded and is the executive chair of the nonprofit Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media and Public Policy, which publishes the award-winning print and online magazine Pacific Standard. Through her work with SAGE and with long-time colleagues in the administration of the University of California at Santa Barbara, she established the SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind at the college, and has made significant contributions to organizations that promote education and the arts. McCune also serves as president of the McCune Foundation which is headquartered in Ventura. She has personally made significant contributions to organizations that promote the performing arts in both Santa Barbara and London.

Additionally, McCune has received many awards for her solutions-focused philanthropy and her visionary entrepreneurship. She is the recipient of the American Evaluation Association’s Special Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Field of Evaluation. She was also recognized as the “Spirit of Entrepreneurship” at the 2003 Ernst & Young nationwide Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Ceremony. Additionally, she is a member of several boards of directors including the Samuels Center of the CUNY Graduate School, the Center for the Advancement of Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and the American Academy of Political and Social Science in Philadelphia. 

QC’s 88th Commencement will take place on the campus Quad starting at 9 am.  Directions and map of the college: http://www.qc.cuny.edu/about/directions/Pages/default.aspx

Queens College, located on a beautiful 77-acre campus in Flushing, New York, opened its doors in 1937 with the goal of offering a first-rate education to talented people of all backgrounds and financial means. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY) since its founding in 1961, Queens College is one of CUNY’s largest senior colleges. It enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and professional programs, and was cited in the 2012 edition of The Princeton Review’s The Best 376 Colleges for its academic excellence and generous financial aid packages. Our alumni include such household names as Paul Simon and Jerry Seinfeld, as well as the CEOs of major companies and leaders in the fields of medicine, education, media, the law, and politics. 

For more about Queens College visit http://www.qc.cuny.edu/Pages/default.aspx Phyllis Cohen Stevens
Deputy Director of News Services


Maria Matteo
Assistant Director of News Services