Chancellor Emeritus Matthew Goldstein launched CUNY Honors College in 2001 to provide a globally competitive honors program for the most talented and academically gifted New York students.

The original CUNY Honors program was designed in collaboration with CUNY’s senior colleges and programs. From the start, CUNY Honors was recognized for exceptional advising, hands-on internships and research opportunities, substantial community service and global learning opportunities, and a commitment to provide the skills and experiences for each student to excel in college and beyond. In October 2006, a generous gift from Linda and William Macaulay, a 1966 Honors graduate of City College, enabled the CUNY Honors to purchase and extensively renovate a landmark building on 67th street in Manhattan, to serve as its home. In honor of Mr. Macaulay’s gift, CUNY Honors was renamed the William E. Macaulay Honors College at the City University of New York. The new building was officially opened on April 17, 2008, with a dedication attended by nearly 200 friends of the college, including Senator Charles Schumer, Chancellor Goldstein, and New York City Councilmember Gale Brewer.

Embodying CUNY’s commitment to access and academic excellence, Macaulay Honors College offers the advantages of a small, personal liberal arts college with the world-class faculty and resources of a comprehensive, major urban research university. Macaulay students matriculate at one of the eight senior CUNY colleges that comprise the Macaulay consortium, but can also study at any of CUNY’s colleges or the CUNY Graduate Center.

Macaulay Honors College includes a number of innovative programs: the four core seminars linking students with the history, arts, and resources of New York City; community service and service learning around the globe; internships that give students real work experience while in college; the Cultural Passport which gives students access to arts and culture in New York; and the Opportunities Fund, which allows each student to shape their own unique learning program. Macaulay students learn inside and outside of the classroom, amplifying what they have learned in the classroom by studying abroad, taking an internship in their field, or collaborating with a CUNY faculty member on a high-level research project. Honors seminars are experiential and collaborative, leading students to explore the city with their faculty—engaging the city as both classroom and laboratory. Students learn and conduct research using the very best tools available and, in turn, share their findings with their peers, their instructors, and real-world audiences. They graduate with a joint degree conferred by Macaulay Honors College and their home campus.

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