CUNY Digital History Archive

CUNY Digital History Archive

A participatory project to collect and preserve the histories of the City University of New York — A work in progress
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Oral History Interview with Henry Arce

In this interview conducted about CUNY’s Open Admissions program, Arce describes his journey from the NYC Public School system to graduating from college. He credits his mother, who raised him alone in a Puerto Rican, immigrant community, for [...]

Oral History Interview with Stuart Schaar

This interview with Stuart Schaar, Professor Emeritus of Middle East History at Brooklyn College, was conducted by Douglas Medina for his research on Open Admissions at CUNY. Stuart Schaar was raised in the Bronx and attended the City College of [...]

Oral History Interview with Khadija DeLoache

Khadija DeLoache entered City College in the fall of 1966 with support from the CUNY Seek program. In this oral history, DeLoache discusses growing up in Harlem, her experience as a student activist, and the development of the Black Studies [...]

"A Long-Range Plan for the City University of New York, 1961-1975"

New York City's Board of Higher Education appointed Thomas Holy as lead consultant to write this 424-page report 1962 on the future of the City University of New York. The report articulated three major goals: to build or acquire more community and [...]

Newton Hall Statement

“We as white students, can either be a part of the solution or a part of the problem. At Huey P. Newton Hall of Political Action we are attempting to become a part of the solution.” In solidarity with black and Puerto Rican students, a group of [...]

Press Release from Black and Puerto Rican Student Community

This press release, written by protesting black and Puerto Rican students at City College on April 26, 1969, offers insight into the group's motivation behind their protests in the preceding months. Arguing for CCNY to better serve its surrounding [...]

Five Demands

This handout, created by a group of protesting City College students, offers insight into the motivations behind a campus-wide strike in April/May 1969. Black and Puerto Rican students, as well as white supporters, demanded the college meet these [...]

Amendment to New York State Education Law (1961)

The 1961 amendment to the Education Law establishes CUNY and at the same time repeals the 1926 legal mandate for free tuition. It states that the Board of Higher Education shall be a "separate and distinct body corporate", which will administer all [...]

The First Student to Register for BMCC

This 1964 photograph depicts the first student to register at the newly-created Borough of Manhattan Community College.

Oral History Interview with Blanche Wiesen Cook

Blanche Wiesen Cook, Eleanor Roosevelt biographer, grew up in the Bronx and Queens, and attended Hunter College as an undergraduate when it was an all female school. She treasured her time learning from Ruth Weintraub and Mina Rees, whom she [...]

Student Help Project Timeline

The Student Help Project was a collective of Queens College student activists who volunteered to tutor schoolchildren in Jamaica, Queens and Prince Edward County, Virginia in 1963. The Student Help Project Timeline exhibits archival items donated by [...]

"New York needs MORE college-trained people" (from Heald Commission Report)

This image from the Heald Commission Report shows the projected need for skilled and college -educated workers in its argument for additional colleges. Upon his election as governor in 1959, Nelson Rockefeller established a committee to examine the [...]

"Meeting the Increased Demand for Education in New York State" (Heald Commission Report)

Upon his election as governor in 1959, Nelson Rockefeller established a committee to examine the expected increase in demand for higher education in New York in the coming decades. The committee, chaired by Henry Heald, issued this report calling [...]

"The Faculty Council Interim Report of the Committee on Enrollment Policy"

This April 1964 report shows the deep conflicts within the CCNY faculty with regards to expanding access to new students. Complaining about limited facilities and student unreadiness, the faculty committee resisted both loosening admissions [...]

"Will Everyman Destroy the University?"

In this article, CUNY’s new Vice Chancellor Timothy Healy writes of SEEK as both a practical and theoretical model for open admissions. He cites the success of the program--intended to improve higher education access for the underserved--as proof [...]

"A three-pronged experimental approach to the problem of undiscovered college potential among the young men and women of New York City"

This memorandum from Chancellor Bowker’s office called for three new forms of CUNY desegregation programs (pp. 1-2). This “three-pronged experiment” would be excused from CUNY’s general obligation to admit only students with the highest [...]

Minutes from 4/8/1965 CCNY Faculty Council Meeting

In these notes from a liberal arts and sciences faculty council meeting at City College, CCNY President Gallagher describes a tentative plan to admit 100 “disadvantaged” students into an experimental program in fall 1965. After discussion, the [...]

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