City College of New York

From Academic Kids

Template:Infobox University2The City College of The City University of New York (known more commonly as the City College of New York or simply City College) is a senior college of the City University of New York, in New York City. It is also the oldest of City University's twenty institutions of higher learning. City College's campus is on a hill overlooking Harlem; its impressive neo-gothic campus was mostly designed by George B. Post.

CCNY is widely considered to be the flagship municipal college of New York City.



City College was originally founded as the Free Academy of the City of New York in 1847 by Townsend Harris to provide children of the poor and immigrants access to higher education. It was subsequently named the College of the City of New York, but that name was later transferred to the complex of the municipally-owned colleges in New York City, which was the predecessor of the modern City University of New York. At that time, CCNY became officially City College of the College of the City of New York, and later adopted its current name when CUNY was formally established as the umbrella institution for New York City's municipal-college system in 1961. The name City College of New York, however, is in general use.

In the years when top-flight private schools were restricted to the children of the Protestant Establishment, thousands of brilliant individuals attended City College because they had no other option. CCNY's academic excellence and status as a working-class school earned it the title "Harvard of the Proletariat." Even today, after three decades of relative mediocrity, no other public college has produced as many Nobel laureates.

In its heyday of the 1930s through the 1950s, CCNY became known for its political radicalism. It was said that CCNY was the place for arguments between Trotskyites and Stalinists. Alumni who were at City College in the mid-20th century said that City College in those days made Berkeley in the 1960s look like a school of conformity.

In the late 1960s, black and Puerto Rican activists and their white allies demanded that City College implement an aggressive affirmative action program. The administration of CCNY balked at the idea, but instead came up with an open-admissions program under which any graduate of a NYC high school could matriculate. The program opened doors to college to many who would not otherwise have been able to attend college, but came at the cost of City College's academic standing and New York City's fiscal health.

City College began charging admissions in the 1970s and abandoned open admissions in the 1990s.

Notable alumni

Nobel Laureates

Politics, Government, and Sociology

The Arts

Science and Technology

External links

  • Official website (
  • Arguing the World ( - PBS documentary about the "New York Intellectuals," who came of age at City College


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