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Thomas Hunter was an immigrant from Ireland to the United States. He is most famous for founding the Female Normal and High School in New York City, now known as Hunter College. The school is today considered one of the most valuable assets of the City University of New York, one of the world's largest urban university systems.

Hunter was president of the school for 37 years. During his tenure as president of the school, the school 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, into a new Gothic structure on Lexington Avenue between 68th and 69th Streets. (Now named Thomas Hunter Hall at the 68th Street campus.)

Today, the college is particularly noted for its professional schools in the social sciences, education, health sciences, nursing, and social work.


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