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Lehman College: City University of New York (2008)

Brief Description:

Lehman College is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary as senior college of The City University of New York (CUNY). The only senior CUNY college in the Bronx and in southern Westchester County, Lehman is an important gateway to higher education in the region. More than 100 graduate and undergraduate programs are available to Lehman’s almost 11,000 students, who hail from over 90 countries. Full-time faculty—85% of whom hold a Ph.D. degree—number over 300. The 37-acre tree-lined campus contains a harmonious blend of Collegiate Gothic and modern architecture. Lehman is the first college in CUNY’s “Decade of Science” to begin construction on a completely “green,” multimillion dollar science facility, which broke ground in September 2008 and will serve to expand the College’s overall engagement in the sciences.

Mission Statement:

Lehman College serves the Bronx and surrounding region as an intellectual, economic, and cultural center. Lehman College provides undergraduate and graduate studies in the liberal arts and sciences and professional education within a dynamic research environment, while embracing diversity and actively engaging students in their academic, personal, and professional development.

President's Quote:

“Over the past forty years, Lehman College’s commitment to academic excellence and service to this community have exemplified the vision and legacy of Governor Herbert H. Lehman, the humanitarian and statesman for whom the College is named. We look forward to forty more years of success at Lehman College through the expansion of faculty research, an ever-growing curriculum that keeps pace with global competition, and the continuing development of programs that add to the social and cultural fabric of The Bronx.” -- President Ricardo R. Fernández

Fun Facts:

  • In 1968, Lehman College took over the campus that, since 1931, had served as the Bronx branch of Hunter College, known as Hunter-in-the-Bronx.
  • For a decade before the entry of the United States into the Second World War, only women students attended, taking their first two years of study at the Bronx campus and then transferring to Hunter’s Manhattan campus to complete their undergraduate work.

  • Shortly after U.S. entry into WWII, students and faculty vacated the campus and turned over the facilities to the U.S. Navy, which used them as a training station for the newly organized WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service).

  • In 1946 the campus won a niche in world history when it was made available to the United Nations at the urging of New York City officials. From March to August 1946, the first American meetings of the U.N. Security Council were held in the Gymnasium Building.

  • The process of separating the Bronx campus from Hunter College into a separate unit began in 1967. The College was formally dedicated on March 28, 1969, the 91st anniversary of Governor Lehman’s birth.

  • The Board of Higher Education named the new college after Herbert H. Lehman in recognition of the commitment to public service exemplified by the four-time governor of New York State who later became a U.S. Senator and was the first director-general of UNRRA (the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration).

  • The opening of the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in 1980 and the Lehman College Art Gallery in 1984 has made the College a cultural center for the region. Together with the City and the Humanities Program, the Department of Music, and the Theatre program, Lehman Center and the Lehman College Art Gallery present dozens of concerts, plays, dance performances, and exhibitions that are free or nominally priced.

  • In Fall 2003, the High School of American Studies at Lehman College opened on the Lehman campus. One of New York City’s new specialized high schools and the only one to focus on American history, the school represents a collaboration among Lehman College, the New York City Department of Education, and the Gilder-Lehrman Foundation. In the Spring of 2008, the High School of American Studies was named one of the top 100 high schools in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best High Schools” ranking. The school is one of four schools to earn the “Gold Medal” status in the magazine’s recent update of its rankings.


Notable Alumni:

  • Brian G. Andersson—NYC Commissioner of Records
  • Michael Bacon—award-winning musician and composer

  • Eliot L. Engel—Congressman

  • Dr. Lewis Gordon—Laura H. Carnell Univ. Prof. of Philosophy and Dir., Institute for the Study of Race and Social Thought and the Center for Afro-Jewish Studies, Temple University

  • Carlos Ortiz—Vice President and General Counsel, Goya

  • Ron Perlman—Golden Globe award-winning actor

  • Myrna Rivera—Founder and CEO, Consultiva Securities, Inc.

  • Mitchell Weiss—Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Yackira—CEO, Nevada Power/Sierra Pacific Power


  • Kellee Edmonds
    Vice President of Communications and Public Relations
    (202) 478-4662