Letter from Matthew Goldstein, Chancellor

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Matthew Goldstein, ChancellorI am very pleased to celebrate the publication of the CUNY/New York Times Knowledge Network 2009 City Life Calendar. In "The Colossus of New York,” Colson Whitehead writes, “Our streets are calendars containing who we were and who we will be next.” The City Life Calendar brings these streets to life, using images and text to show the dynamism of American cities. It highlights the centrality of cities in American history and life, from the arts to commerce to politics, and shows how cities are magnets for creativity, bringing together diverse groups of people and ideas.

The City Life Calendar, Web site, and curricula have been guided by CUNY Senior Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Secretary of the Board of Trustees Jay Hershenson and President Gail O. Mellow of LaGuardia Community College. They turned to Richard K. Lieberman, director of the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives at LaGuardia Community College, to implement their vision, develop the calendar and help plan appropriate outreach. For 30 years, the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives has produced exemplary calendars and lesson plans on a variety of subjects, including the history of the New York City Council, the origins of public housing, voting rights and citizenship, and, most recently, freedom. Lieberman, his colleague Steven A. Levine, and other researchers, combed the vast resources of the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives and The New York Times Photo Archives to gather the one-of-a-kind images, historical documents, and period material that fill the City Life Calendar. The calendar benefited from the work of some of CUNY’s finest scholars, including Joshua Brown, Blanche Wiesen Cook, Carol Groneman and Gerald Markowitz, whose participation underscores the integrity of the content.

The commitment of the calendar’s sponsors has been particularly important, and I am especially grateful to The New York Times Knowledge Network. I offer special thanks to JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, President Kimberly Davis of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, and Senior Vice President Leonard Colica, Vice President Kim Jasmin and Vice President Tim Noble of JPMorgan Chase for their generous assistance. I also wish to express my appreciation to Chairman Ronald L. Thompson and President and CEO Roger W. Ferguson, Jr. of TIAA-CREF for their continued support.

Thanks are also due to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and Vice President Thomas Newell of the Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. Their historic support and funding of the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives and its calendars and curricula have helped the Archives to preserve history and make it available and accessible to the public. This project, of course, builds on the success of previous CUNY/New York Times Knowledge Network calendars, including the 2008 Let Freedom Ring Calendar, the 2007 Nation of
Immigrants Calendar, the 2006 Women’s Leadership Calendar and the 2005 Voting Rights and Citizenship Calendar, published with the generous help of JPMorgan Chase and TIAA-CREF.
We are deeply appreciative of our ongoing partnership with our esteemed colleagues at The New York Times Knowledge Network, in particular Executive Director of Education Marketing Felice Nudelman, Manager of Corporate Partnerships-Education Craig Dunn, Newspaper in Education Manager Stephanie Doba, and Executive Director of Community Affairs and Media Relations Diane McNulty. A formal collaboration was established to make the calendar widely accessible and to facilitate the curricular elements. The New York Times Photo Archives generously contributed photographs.
The calendar project also includes an interactive Web site,, with images and research that could not be included in the calendar because of space limitations, as well as links to additional documents and organizations for a fuller investigation of the topic. Both the calendar and the Web site are also published in Spanish. In addition, research from the calendar will be used to develop curricula for high school and college students. These lessons will teach students critical thinking skills using original documents. The high school lessons will also help students prepare for the New York State Board of Regents U.S. History and Government examination.

The City Life Calendar is a work of scholarship, enabling us to better understand our cities, their people, and how they have changed over time. The University takes great pride in the partnerships that allow the calendar to reach students and citizens of all ages and to bring our cities to life.

Matthew Goldstein, Chancellor