|Motto||Mihi cura futuri
("Mine is the care of the future")
|Endowment||$49 million |
|Faculty||544 (full time)|
|Location||New York City, NY, USA|
|Affiliations||City University of New York|
Hunter College of the City University of New York is a senior college of the City University of New York (CUNY), located on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Originally known as the Normal College, Hunter was founded in 1870 by Irish immigrant and social reformer Thomas Hunter as a teacher-training school for young women. Today, Hunter is a coeducational liberal arts and sciences college that offers undergraduate and graduate programs in more than 100 fields. The college is organized into four schools: The School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education, the School of the Health Professions, and the School of Social Work. Since 2001, Hunter has been led by President Jennifer Raab, former chairman of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.
According to the "Best Value Colleges for 2010," a ranking published by the Princeton Review and U.S.A. Today, Hunter is the nation's number 2 "Best Value" in public colleges (on the basis of the analysis of over 30 factors in three areas: academics, costs of attendance, and financial aid). The Princeton Review's 2010 edition of the "Best 371 Colleges" includes Hunter as one of the best colleges or universities in the United States. Hunter also was cited among the Best Northeastern Colleges, one of five regional guides published by the Princeton Review. The 2010 edition of "America's Best Colleges," published by U.S. News & World Report, places the college 10th among public universities in the north in the "Best Universities-Master's" category, and among the 574 public and private institutions in this category, Hunter is in the first tier with a rank of 45. Hunter is 3rd in the nation among master's institutions in the number of students awarded Fulbright grants, according to the October 2009 ranking compiled by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
In 2009, Hunter—along with the U.S. Military academy—was among only seven universities nationwide to receive the highest ranking out of 130 colleges and universities evaluated by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA). The ACTA report, "What Will They Learn? A Report on General Education Requirements at 100 of the Nation's Leading Colleges and Universities," ranks colleges in the first category (or a letter grade of A) if the college requires all students to take courses in six of seven academic areas: composition, literature, foreign languages, U.S. government or history, economics, mathematics and natural or physical sciences. Additionally, out of 442 nationally ranked colleges and universities, Hunter is No. 2 in the number of women graduates who pursue Phds and No. 9 in the number of minority graduates who pursue Phds. In a separate study conducted by the National Science Foundation for the period 1999-2003, out of 604 institutions of higher education evaluated, Hunter was No. 6 in the total number of doctorate recipients earned by undergraduates.
Hunter College has its origins in the nineteenth-century movement for normal school training which swept across the United States. Hunter descends from the Female Normal and High School (later renamed the Normal College of the City of New York), organized in New York City in 1870. Founded by Irish immigrant Thomas Hunter, who was president of the school during the first 37 years, it was originally a women's college for training teachers. The school, which was housed in an armory and saddle store at Broadway and East Fourth Street in Manhattan, was open to all qualified women, irrespective of race, religion or ethnic background, which was incongruent to the prevailing admission practices of other schools during this era. Created by the New York State Legislature, Hunter was deemed the only approved institution for those seeking to teach in New York City during this time. The school incorporated an elementary and high school for gifted children, where students practiced teaching. In 1887, a kindergarten was established as well. (Today, the elementary school and the high school still exist at a different location, and are now called the Hunter College Campus Schools.)
During Thomas Hunter's tenure as president of the school, Hunter became known for its impartiality regarding race, religion, ethnicity, financial or political favoritism; its pursuit of higher education for women; its high entry requirements; and its rigorous academics. The college's student population quickly expanded, and the college subsequently moved uptown, in 1873, into a new Gothic structure, now known as Thomas Hunter Hall, on Lexington Avenue between 68th and 69th Streets.
In 1888 the school was incorporated as a college under the statutes of New York State, with the power to confer the degree of A.B. This led to the separation of the school into two "camps": the "Normals", who pursued a four-year course of study to become licensed teachers, and the "Academics", who sought non-teaching professions and the Bachelor of Arts degree. After 1902 when the "Normal" course of study was abolished, the "Academic" course became standard across the student body.
In 1914 the Normal College became Hunter College in honor of its first president. At the same time, the college was experiencing a period of great expansion as increasing student enrollments necessitated more space. The college reacted by establishing branches in the boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. By 1920, Hunter College had the largest enrollment of women of any municipally financed college in the United States. In 1930, Hunter's Brooklyn campus merged with City College's Brooklyn campus, and the two were spun off to form Brooklyn College.
The late 1930s saw the construction of Hunter College in the Bronx (later known as the Bronx Campus). During the Second World War, Hunter leased the Bronx Campus buildings to the United States Navy who used the facilities to train 95,000 women volunteers for military service as WAVES and SPARS. The last of its graduates Sgt. Miriam Cohen died in 2009, bringing an end to the era.   When the Navy vacated the campus, the site was briefly occupied by the nascent United Nations, which held its first Security Council sessions at the Bronx Campus in 1946, giving the school an international profile.
In 1943, Eleanor Roosevelt dedicated a town house at 47-49 East 65th Street in Manhattan to the college. The house had been a home for the future President and First Lady. Today it is known as Roosevelt House and is undergoing renovation to become an academic center.
Hunter became the women's college of the municipal system, and in the 1950s, when City College became coeducational, Hunter started admitting men to its Bronx campus. In 1964, the Manhattan campus began admitting men also. The Bronx campus subsequently became Lehman College in 1968.
In 1968-1969, Black and Puerto Rican students struggled to get a department that would teach about their history and experience. These and supportive students and faculty expressed this demand through building take-overs, rallies, etc. In Spring 1969, Hunter College established Black and Puerto Rican Studies (now called Africana/Puerto Rican and Latino Studies). An "open admissions" policy initiated in 1970 by the City University of New York opened the school's doors to historically underrepresented groups by guaranteeing a college education to any and all who graduated from NYC high schools. Many African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, Puerto Ricans, and students from the developing world made their presence felt at Hunter, and even after the end of "open admissions" still comprise a large part of the school's student body. As a result of the this increase in enrollment, Hunter opened new buildings on Lexington Avenue during the early 1980s. In further advancing Puerto Rican studies, Hunter became home to the Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños ("Center for Puerto Rican Studies" or simply "Centro") in 1982.
Today, Hunter College is a comprehensive teaching and research institution. Of the more than 20,000 students enrolled at Hunter, nearly 5,000 are enrolled in a graduate program, the most popular of which are education and social work. Although less than 28% of students are the first in their families to attend college, the college maintains its tradition of concern for women's education, with nearly three out of four students being female. In 2006, Hunter became home to the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute, which will run training programs for young women to build their leadership, public speaking, business and advocacy skills. Princeton Review named the college as one of America's "Best Value" Colleges in its 2007 guide.
In recent years, the college has integrated its undergraduate and graduate programs to successfully make advanced programs in fields such as (Psychology and Biology) - "Ph.D Program", (Education) - "Master's Program", (Mathematics) - "Master's Program", -"Ph.D Program"(Biology & Chemistry) - "Biochemistry", (Accounting) - "Master's Program" along with the highly competitive (Economics) - "Master's Program" to which only a select few students may enter based on excellent scholarship and performance, and less than half will earn a Master's Degree by maintaining a nearly perfect academic record and performing thesis research.
Hunter College is anchored by its main campus at East 68th Street and Lexington Avenue, a modern complex of three towers — the East, West, and North Buildings — and Thomas Hunter Hall, all of which are interconnected by skywalks. The college's official street address is 695 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10065. (Formerly bearing the ZIP code of 10021, the code changed on July 1, 2007 in accordance with the United States Postal Service's plan to split the 10021 ZIP code.) It claims a Park Avenue address by virtue of the North Building, which stretches from 68th to 69th Streets along Park Avenue.
The main campus is situated within walking distance of Central Park, as well as many of New York's most prestigious cultural institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Asia Society Museum, and the Frick Collection. Additionally, it has its own No. 6 subway line stop at 68th Street and Lexington Avenue. Adjacent to the main subway exit, in front of the West Building, sits an iconic Hunter sculpture: “Tao” created by late Hunter professor and respected artist Tony Smith.
The main campus is home to the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education, as well as CUNY doctoral studies. It features numerous facilities that serve not only Hunter, but the surrounding community, and is particularly well-known as a center for the arts. The Assembly Hall, which seats more than 2,000, is a major performance site; the Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse, a 675-seat proscenium theatre, has over 100,000 visitors annually and hosts over 200 performances each season; the Ida K. Lang Recital Hall is a fully equipped concert space with 148 seats; the Frederick Loewe Theatre, a 50 x 54-foot (16 m) black box performance space is the site of most department performances; and the Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Art Gallery hosts professionally organized art exhibits.
Students have access to specialized learning facilities at the main campus, including the Dolciani Mathematics Learning Center, the Leona and Marcy Chanin Language Center, and the Physical Sciences Learning Center. A respected research institution, Hunter has numerous research laboratories in the natural and biomedical sciences. These labs accommodate post-docs, PhD students from the CUNY Graduate School, and undergraduate researchers.
College sports and recreational programs are served by the Hunter Sportsplex, located below the West Building. The Sportsplex, a major athletics center in the metropolitan area, is built entirely underground and is the deepest building in New York City. It features numerous competition and practice facilities, including multiple gymnasiums, racquetball courts, a weight room, locker areas, a training room, Hall of Fame, showcases, classrooms, and offices.
Hunter has two satellite campuses: The School of Social Work, located on East 79th street, which is dedicated to studies leading to the master of social work degree; and the Brookdale Campus, located on East 25th Street and 1st Avenue, which houses the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing, School of Health Sciences, the Brookdale Center on Aging, the Health Professions Library and several research centers and computer labs. Additionally, it is the site of the Hunter dormitory, which is home to over 600 undergraduate and graduate students, as well as a limited number of nurses employed at Bellevue Hospital. Prior to the opening of City College's new "Towers", the Brookdale complex was the City University's only dormitory facility.
Hunter College owns and operates property outside of its main campuses, including the MFA Building, Roosevelt House, and the Hunter College Campus Schools. The MFA Building, located on West 41st Street between 9th and 10th Avenues, is a 12,000-square-foot (1,100 m2) space that is the site of most BFA and MFA exhibitions. Roosevelt House, currently under renovation, is the Roosevelt's historic family home on East 65th Street, which Hunter aims to establish as the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute. The institute will be an internationally prominent establishment honoring the public policy commitments of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and is scheduled to open in early 2008. The Hunter Campus Schools—Hunter College High School and Hunter College Elementary School—are publicly funded schools for the intellectually gifted. Located at East 94th Street, the Campus Schools are among the nation's oldest and largest elementary and secondary schools of their kind.
Hunter library collections are housed in the Jacqueline Grennan Wexler Library (the main library) and the Art Slide Library at East 68th Street, the Health Professions Library at the Brookdale Campus, and the Social Work Library at East 79th Street. Together, these libraries hold over 760,000 volumes, more than 2,100 current print periodical subscriptions and approximately 10,000 in electronic format, 1,168,000 microforms, 13,000 videos and music CDs, 250,000 art slides, and 40,000+ digital images. The CUNY+ online catalog of university-wide holdings and remote online databases are accessible at all Hunter libraries.
Under the guidance of the Presidential Task Force on the Library, created in the fall of 2006, the Wexler Library has undergone several improvements in the areas of facilities, holdings, and services. The library now features wireless capability, a redesigned student lounge and circulation desk, improved lighting, and expanded electronic resources. Additionally, the college has extended library hours, hired more library staff, and instituted a laptop loan program for students. More improvements are planned for the future, as part of an initiative to fully modernize the library.
Hunter, a fully accredited college, is organized into four schools: The School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education, the School of the Health Professions and the School of Social Work. Hunter students have their choice of 70 programs leading to a BA or BS degree; 10 BA-MA joint degree programs; and 75 graduate programs. They may study within the fields of fine arts, the humanities, the language arts, the sciences, the social sciences, and the applied arts and sciences, as well as in professional areas in accounting, education, health sciences, and nursing. Regardless of area of concentration, all Hunter students are encouraged to have broad exposure to the liberal arts; Hunter was one of the first colleges in the nation to pass a 12-credit curriculum requirement for pluralism and diversity courses.
Hunter has 673 full-time and 886 part-time faculty members, and 20,844 students—15,718 undergraduates and 5,126 graduates. Over 50% of Hunter's students belong to ethnic minority groups. The class of 2011 represents 60 countries and speaks 59 different languages. Seventy-one percent of these students were born outside the United States or have at least one foreign-born parent. SAT scores for the class of 2011 are in the 25th-75th percentile range of 990 to 1180, meaning that 75% of students scored higher than 990 on the SAT and 25% received a score higher than 1180.
Hunter is also known as one of the more affordable schools in the Manhattan area providing low-cost, yet high quality education. In 2006, Hunter was listed in Barron's "Best Buys in College Education"—the only CUNY school to receive such recognition—as a "dynamic college, with an energy that makes the campus sizzle." Hunter students graduate from the college with one of the lowest debt-loads in the country, and are frequent recipients of prestigious prizes and awards, including Fulbright and Mellon Fellowships. Additionally, they are regularly accepted into graduate programs at the nation's most prestigious universities.
The majority of students in CUNY Hunter are female (around 70%).
Hunter offers several honors programs, including the Macaulay Honors College and the Thomas Hunter Honors Program. The Honors College, a CUNY-wide honors program, supports the undergraduate education of academically gifted students. University Scholars benefit from personalized advising, access to internships, and study abroad opportunities. All scholars at Hunter are given the choice of either a free dormitory room at the Brookdale Campus or a yearly stipend. This year, over 1,000 applicants with an average SAT score of 1354 applied to the program at Hunter.
The Thomas Hunter Honors Program offers topical interdisciplinary seminars and academic concentrations designed to meet students’ individual interests. The program is open to outstanding students pursuing a BA and is orchestrated under the supervision of an Honors Council. It can be combined with, or replace, a formal departmental major/minor.
In addition to these honors programs, several honors societies are based at Hunter, including Phi Beta Kappa (PBK). A small percentage of Hunter students are invited to join Hunter's Nu chapter of PBK, which has existed at the college since 1920. Less than 10% of the nation's liberal arts colleges qualify academically for a PBK chapter.
The Hunter College student body is governed by the Undergraduate Student Government (USG; web site currently under construction) and the Graduate Student Association (GSA), both of which offer a wide range of activities and services.
Hunter College currently has two bodies that participate in Model United Nations Conferences. There is the option to participate in conferences as a course in the Department of Political Science under the direction of Professor Pamela Falk and there is also the option to participate with the United Nations Student Association (UNSA) club.
The Hunter College Model U.N. course was founded by President Jennifer Raab and Professor Pamela Falk in the Spring of 2008. In addition to serving as faculty advisor, Professor Falk teaches International Law and serves as U.N. correspondent for the Security Council for CBS News. Admission to the course is highly competitive and there is a waiting list for students to enroll in the course. The Hunter College Model U.N. Team has partaken in debate at the Global Model United Nations (GMUN) hosted by the United Nations Department of Public Information in Geneva, Oxford University International Model United Nations (OxIMUN), Harvard National MUN (HNMUN), National Model United Nations (NMUN), Columbia University Model UN (CMUNNY), and Yale's Security Council Simulation (SCSY). Participants to the course have been honored by the college for their work in expanding diplomacy, most recently these students have been honored by college with the Amelia Ottinger Award for Excellence in Public Debate. A handful of students who have taken the course have gone on to work for the United Nations after graduation.
UNSA is a student run Model UN team founded as a club in 1999 and averages about 25 participants from year to year. From 2002-2004 UNSA held their own Model UN conferences for High School students. In January 2003, High school students from New York City, Canada, and India were delegates during the second annual Columbia Model United Nations Conference and Exposition (CMUNCE) at Hunter College. The conference, joint sponsored by UNSA and Columbia University Model United Nations, featured Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba, representative of Mexico to the U.N. The club has accumulated many awards since it was founded. Recently, UNSA has participated at the National Model United Nations conferences held at the U.N. Headquarters in the Spring of 2008 and the Spring of 2009. Representatives to conferences are chosen based on their merit of participation in simulations and submitted papers.
Hunter offers approximately 150 clubs that reflect the diverse interests of its student body. These organizations range from the academic to the athletic, and from the religious/spiritual to the visual and performing arts. There are even clubs based around specific interests, such as "Russian Club", which offers a look at Russian life and culture and "InterVarsity Christian Fellowship" an organization whose vision is to "transform students and faculty, renew the campus, and develop world changers."
Due to a mostly commuter student body and the lack of a sense of community, common in the public and private colleges in New York City; Greek life at Hunter is very small, however, interest has recently been on the rise. Each Spring, a fair is held, allowing Hunter students to learn more about many sororities and fraternities that would benefit the community. Amongst the organizations with active members on campus are: Alpha Phi Omega (the nation's largest service fraternity), Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (the first historically African-American sorority), Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated (the largest historically Black sorority), Epsilon Sigma Phi, Incorporated (a multicultural sorority), Zeta Phi Alpha (a local service sorority), Mu Sigma Upsilon (a multicultural sorority that builds leadership in women), several small sororities including Alpha Sigma and Delta Pi Sigma. There is also a chapter of Gamma Ce Upsilon at Hunter, the nation's first non-Greek Latina sorority. Reflective of the interest in Greek life at Hunter, there are also continuing efforts to establish chapters of various organizations, such as Kappa Sigma (the nation's largest social fraternity). Hunter College also help establish several international Greek organizations, including Phi Sigma Sigma sorority. With the gradual introduction of established Greek-lettered organizations, also comes efforts to create new ones, as well. A newly created fraternity at Hunter College is Nu Phi Delta Fraternity (A multicultural fraternity). Thus, through the various support and efforts of the Hunter College Office of Student Activities, the reintroduction of a formerly strong, fraternally bound Greek life is being shared with Hunter College students.
Hunter College had a campus radio station, WHCS, which broadcasted at 590AM and online.. The Envoy is the main campus newspaper, published bi-weekly during the academic year. Other publications include The Olivetree Review (literature and art), the WORD (news), Hunter Anonymous the Wistarion (yearbook), SABOR (Spanish language), Revista De La Academia (Spanish language), The Islamic Times, The Shield (African-American interest), Political Paradigm (political science), Psych News (psychology), Hakol (Jewish interest), and Spoof (humor).
At Hunter, athletics are considered complementary to a student's education. Hunter is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and competes at the Division III level. The Athletic Program offers 20 sports for men and women, from basketball to fencing, with the majority competing in the City University of New York Athletic Conference Hunter is also a member of the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC), the largest athletic conference in the country.
According to the CUNY website, “Hunter offers what is widely considered the premier athletic program in the City University of New York.” The Hunter College's intercollegiate athletic teams have had a legacy of success in recent decades at the conference, regional, and national levels of competition. Hunter has been the dominant institution in the City University of New York Athletic Conference since 1990 (CUNYAC).
In recent years, but particularly after the September 11, 2001 attacks, conservative students and faculty nationwide have rallied around David Horowitz and his arguments that colleges by and large impose a liberal agenda. As a result, colleges have come under pressure to adopt codes of academic freedom to ensure that professors do not impose their own beliefs on to students who may disagree with them politically. Conversely, many professors have expressed concern that college administrators are retaliating against faculty members who dissent either on administrative or political issues. Nonetheless, the College Republicans are a small and rarely visible aspect of the college campus. Liberal or left-wing clubs are far older and well-organized.
At Hunter, the College Senate (consisting of student government, faculty, and administrators) established a committee in 2004 to investigate issues of academic freedom. The committee found that no faculty member was "pressured to make changes in the content or form of their classroom teaching." However, the committee did report allegations that departmental administrators imposed certain policies without a basis in student need and without consultation with faculty. The committee further reported on allegations that administrators unduly influenced faculty hiring and tenure decisions, bypassing formal governance procedures. Finally, the committee found that a "perception of a climate of fear" has dissuaded some faculty from engaging in discussions about college policy.
Additionally, PSC-CUNY, the faculty labor union, was charged by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) in 2005 to conduct a survey of academic freedom among faculty in furtherance of the findings of the College Senate committee. The survey was conducted in 2006 and found that "only 22 percent of the respondents were satisfied in the faculty's role in shared governance", and only "44 percent ... agreed that the campus climate supports their personal freedom of expression." The survey also found that "23 percent of the respondents, and 30 percent of the full-time tenured faculty, said they had been subject to reprisals from the president or senior administrators." Finally, the survey found that "the faculty and staff have not had influence on major institutional issues in recent years", due to the failure of administrators to properly integrate faculty input. Some professors have expressed concerns as to the accuracy of the PSC/AAUP survey, claiming that its questions were biased and it was developed without a transparent process.
As a partnership with the New York City Department of Education, the Manhattan/Hunter College High School for Sciences was opened in 2003 on the campus of the former Martin Luther King, Jr. High School on the Upper West Side. Unlike Hunter's campus schools, Hunter Science does not require an entrance exam for admission.
The Economics Department has been successful in promoting a highly rigorous curriculum with high academic standards, all without any noteworthy negative feedback from students. The Accounting & Economics undergraduate degree programs have actively hired a collection of highly-talented faculty members to go along with the two demanding programs. Both faculty members and students note that a perfect (4.0) academic record with either an Accounting or Economics major might not be realistic due to the difficulty and demanding standards of the department, but the payoff is well-noted when graduates enter the workforce or move on to graduate schools. Although the Accounting degree does not allow for a second major or minors, students of both majors commonly minor in Mathematics & Statistics for a successful transition into Business School or a Graduate Finance program, while those interested in Law School or Public Policy commonly select to minor in Philosophy and/or Political Science.
The college is currently raising funds to purchase the Julia Richman Education Complex (JREC), a public high school building, with plans to raze it and build a science building on the site. JREC's location at East 67th Street at Second Avenue, near Hunter's main 68th Street campus, makes the site attractive for the college's expansion. College president Jennifer Raab and opponents of the expansion have traded opinion articles in local newspapers throughout 2006. In 2007, the college launched a website promoting the new science building. According to the site, Hunter's science departments at the Brookdale campus will essentially trade locations with the schools of the Julia Richman complex. It is a controversial plan which the educators of the Julia Richman Complex have denounced. Community members and local elected officials, including city councilmember Jessica Lappin and State Senator Liz Krueger, have formally voiced their opposition to the plan, saying that "a preference by one CUNY school for expansion convenient to its existing campus is simply not a sufficient rationale" to "uproot six outstanding public schools.".