Honors College Update

The Honors College, now in its sophomore year, has just sent out acceptances for its third cohort of entering students, and their SAT scores are climbing significantly. Those who make up next fall’s freshman class will enjoy an Honors College experience enriched by major new funding: six grants and pledges recently brought to more than $10 million the total raised for support of the University’s Honors College, Chancellor Matthew Goldstein has announced. One of these grants is funding the prestigious new Horace W. Goldsmith Scholars program, which is designed to honor and support the most promising Honors College students.

“The Honors College has enabled our City and State to attract and retain high academic achievers who might otherwise leave New York to pursue their educational goals at Ivy League colleges and elsewhere,” said the Chancellor.

This admission cycle, applicants accepted for next fall’s class have recorded a mean SAT of 1351, up thirty points from last year’s entering class. The new class also boasts improved high school performance, the average high school academic average increasing to 93.5 percent.

Among recent major donations to the Honors College are $2.5 million from the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust, $1 million from the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, $1 million from the Roger and Susan Hertog Charitable Fund, and a $400,000 pledge from UBS PaineWebber. Those responsible for these large gifts include three members of CUNY’s Business Leadership Council: prominent realtor Jack Rudin, a City College alumnus, longtime CUNY benefactor, and Chair of the Rudin Family Foundation; Roger Hertog, Vice Chairman of Alliance Capital Management Corporation, and Joseph J. Grano, Jr., Chairman and CEO of UBS PaineWebber.

Earlier major grants include $1.5 million each from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Herman Muehlstein Foundation, and $500,000 each from the New York Life Foundation, the Starr Foundation, and the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.

Chancellor Matthew Goldstein revealed at the March Trustees meeting that the Goldsmith funds will be devoted to support for outstanding Honors Collegians. He announced the names of 20 second-year students who have been chosen as the University’s first Horace W. Goldsmith Scholars. In addition to the extensive array of Honors College benefits, these Goldsmith Scholars will receive special coaching in writing, advice on application procedures for post-graduate fellowships, and mentoring from former competitors for prestigious scholarships.

Two of the Honors College’s new Goldsmith Scholars were present and addressed the Board. Edgardo Molina, a City College computer science major and son of immigrants from El Salvador, is interested in graphics and satellite imaging. He said he was motivated toward advanced education because “I have the opportunity, rare in most places like those where my parents come from, to achieve my goals.”

Irina Chaikhoutdinov immigrated from Russia 11 years ago; a Hunter College biology major, she plans to pursue an M.D. or Ph.D. in the discipline. Her inspiration, she said, was her parents, “both doctors in Russia.…their job was to help people in dire need.”

Among the other Goldsmith Scholars are Crystal Hill, a City College psychology major who is doing research on obesity and depression in African American women; Alex Kaysin, a Brooklyn College anthropology major who has assisted in a dig near an 18th-century slave plantation; and Priya Shah, a Baruch College journalism major who has interned with the Federal Reserve Bank and J.P. Morgan Chase.

The Honors College currently enrolls more than 300 freshmen and 200 sophomores at seven colleges within the CUNY system. Last year, more than 2,500 high school students applied for seats. The program expanded last September with Lehman College in the Bronx and the College of Staten Island joining Baruch, Brooklyn, City, Hunter and Queens Colleges.

Students receive full tuition, a laptop computer, an academic expense account, and a Cultural Passport to a variety of New York City cultural institutions such as the Metropolitan Opera, El Museo del Barrio, and the Museum of Modern Art. Honors College students are based at their home colleges and serve as University Scholars, participating in semester-long, multi-campus seminars taught by leading scholars and focused on special aspects of New York City.

Benno Schmidt Elevated to Chair of Trustees

New Web Site & 311 Project Highlight Student Jobs

City Council Leaders Seek to Protect Vallone Funds

Charting the Path to an Integrated University

Exploring our Ethnic Future: Queens Project at 20

SAT Scores, Funding Jump at Honors College

Haberman Keynotes Journalism Conference

Olmsted Landscaping Genius on Exhibit

Film Scholar Enhances Life in India

Dream Begins for CUNY Soprano

Here Come the CUNY Law School Judges

Spring Outreach Features “Meeting of Minds”

Retirement: Helping Women

Bracing for a Marathon: A Profile

A National View from the Bronx

New Top Budget Officer

Community Colleges Lead in Hispanic Graduates

One-on-One with Mattisse/Picasso

Poets Hang Out in Bowery

Big Apple’s Best at Javits Center

First Health & Safety Director