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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The Pre Baccalaureate Program at the College

In this December 1966 City College Alumnus article, Leslie Berger publicly describes and advocates for the City College SEEK model and challenges all traditional college admissions criteria as incompetent measures of student potential. Short [...]

Janet Mayes: An Oral History of the CCNY 1960’s SEEK Program

In this oral history interview, Janet Mayes, a City College SEEK writing teacher reflects on her experiences with the program. Mayes joined CCNY in the spring of 1967, making her one of the seven original SEEK writing lecturers. She co-taught a SEEK [...]

Statement of Professor John A. Davis

In this 1965 statement Professor John A. Davis demands that his colleagues at City College take action to increase minority representation at the school. He writes that two years had “passed since various units of City College have been [...]

Educational Opportunity Programs: Are They Academically Justifiable?

In this 22-page, July 1969 Milwaukee speech to the first annual conference on educational opportunity programs in higher education, Leslie Berger--director of CUNY's SEEK program--describes the birth and rapid growth of SEEK from 1965 to 1969; [...]

Anthony Penale as a Young Man

Anthony Penale was a City College lecturer and writing teacher in 1965 when he was appointed by English Chair Edmund Volpe as the first SEEK English coordinator/director. Penale became ill in the summer of 1967 and Volpe then appointed Mina [...]

Allen B. Ballard: An Oral History of the CCNY 1960s SEEK Program

In September of 1965, City College launched SEEK, a desegregation and supportive teaching program that quickly became the direct model for new Equal Opportunity Programs at dozens of New York colleges. Here SEEK founder Allen Ballard remembers the [...]

Francee Covington: An Oral History of the CCNY 1960s SEEK Program and The Paper

In 1966, Francee Covington entered City College as one the first class of SEEK students. Here, Francee remembers growing up in Brooklyn, her years as a City College student and her student journalism work on The Paper. Short for "Search for [...]

Marvina White: An Oral History of the CCNY 1960s SEEK Program

In this interview, Marvina White recounts growing up on Dyckman Street in Upper Manhattan and entering City College as part of the first class of SEEK students in 1966. White also analyzes how SEEK-- especially SEEK teachers and counsellors Barbara [...]

Eugenia Wiltshire: An Oral History of the CCNY 1960s SEEK Program

In this oral history interview, Eugenia Wiltshire (nee Dorothy Robinson) recalls her time attending City College in 1966-70 as one of CUNY's first SEEK students. Short for "Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge," SEEK was established in [...]

"Pre-Baccalaureate Program Student Statistics -- Fall Term 1965"

This early summary of the first semester of SEEK (then known as the Pre-Baccalaureate Program) details the courses, schedules and teachers for the 113 SEEK students in Fall 1965 at CCNY. These first SEEK students took a mix of mainstream and special [...]

"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 [...]

"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 [...]

United Federation of College Teachers: BMCC Chapter Newsletter, October 1966

This is the inaugural issue of the the newsletter of the BMCC chapter of the United Federation of College Teachers (UFCT), which would later be named The Gadfly. During the 1960s, the UFCT and the Legislative Conference were the two main [...]

The Gadfly, December 1966

This edition of  The Gadfly covers such topics as faculty compensation, "woefully inadequate" campus facilities, and BMCC's upcoming accreditation process. It also contains poetry, film reviews, and humorous pieces by faculty.The [...]

Medgar Evers College - The Pursuit of a Community's Dream

In this short book, Medgar Evers College: The Pursuit of a Community's Dream, CUNY retired professors Florence Tager and Zala Highsmith-Taylor tell the story of the founding of the college. As an institution born largely out of 1960s [...]

CUNY SEEK and Open Admissions Oral Histories

This is a website of oral histories by CUNY students and teachers telling stories about the founding and early years of SEEK at City College. It also contains stories about teaching writing in the first decade of Open Admissions across CUNY.

SEEK Matters, Spring 1969

SEEK Matters, a bilingual literary magazine produced by the SEEK University Center in 1969 published student essays, poems and illustrations that reflected their experiences. Short for "Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge," SEEK was [...]

A Proposal for the Establishment of Community College Number Seven

This proposal for the founding of Community College Number Seven (later named Medgar Evers College) was put forward by the Board of Higher Education in November 1967. In this excerpt (pages 11-15), the Board establishes their desire to place a new [...]

Minutes of Proceedings: Establishing Community College Number Seven

In these minutes of proceedings from a January 22, 1968 meeting of the Board of Higher Education, the Board resolves to create the "Committee to Seek Presidents for Community Colleges Seven and Eight." The committee is first tasked with filling the [...]

Press Release – A New Experimental College

In this press release, The City University of New York's Office of University Relations announces the creation of a new, experimental, two-year college to be "established on a community-oriented basis in central Brooklyn." The press release [...]

Statement by Chancellor Albert H. Bowker Announcing the Establishment of a New Community College

In this statement by CUNY Chancellor Albert H. Bowker on February 1, 1968 in Brooklyn Borough Hall, Bowker announces the establishment of a new, experimental community college in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. His announcement presents CUNY's hopes [...]

Telegram from Walter Pinkston to Chancellor Bowker: Lack of Community Involvement

In this telegram sent to Chancellor Albert Bowker on February 6, 1968, Walter Pinkston, executive director of Bedford Stuyvesant Youth in Action, decries the recent announcement of Community College No. 7 because the message was delivered without [...]

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