CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

Stephen B. Shepard

The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the only public graduate journalism school in the Northeast, opened in 2006 with Stephen B. Shepard, the longtime editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek, as dean. The school’s mission is to provide a high-quality graduate education that will prepare students from diverse backgrounds for successful journalism careers. The intensive 16-month program includes paid professional summer internships. Students are required to learn and work in all media formats while undergoing rigorous instruction in the skills, standards and ethics of journalism. Students specialize in either urban, business, health, arts or international reporting. Scholarships funded by donors have totaled $630,298 in three years and have helped 80 percent of the students to attend.

Philanthropic Support Received FY05 through FY09 — $11,100,000*
Projected Philanthropy Target thru FY2015 — $17,000,000*

The school raises private funds to support scholarships and academic programs.

Gift Highlights

  • Marian Heiskell, Ruth Holmberg and Judith Sulzberger donated $4 million to create the Punch Sulzberger Scholarship endowment to honor their brother, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger.
  • The Tow Foundation has pledged a matching grant of $3 million to create the Tow Center for Journalistic Innovation.
  • The News Corp. donated $500,000 for student scholarships and has offered summer internships.
  • The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has provided $375,000 to support the school’s innovative paid summer internship program.
  • Himan Brown, a retired pioneer in radio, gave $395,000 to create scholarships for broadcast students.
  • Veteran TV journalists Maury Povich and Connie Chung donated $250,000 over five years to fund student scholarships.
  • The family, friends and students of the late City College journalism Prof. Irving Rosenthal raised $130,000 for a scholarship fund in his name.

* Funds raised include a $3-million challenge grant; projected target assumes the challenge funds are raised.

Look Who's Investing in the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism


The Sulzberger Family

Before its first students arrived in August 2006, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism received its first major gift, from the sisters of Arthur Ochs “Punch” Sulzberger, publisher of The New York Times from 1963 to 1992. Judith Sulzberger, Marian Heiskell and Ruth Holmberg, stepped up with a $4-million endowment in honor of their brother. The gift equaled a donation the sisters made to Columbia University’s graduate journalism school. Since 2006, The Punch Sulzberger Scholarship Fund has helped 50 CUNY graduate journalism students of limited means to pay their tuition.


Tow Foundation

Leonard Tow was a leader in the nascent cable TV business, reaping great financial rewards from the company he built, Century Communications. In 1988, he and his wife, Claire, set up the Tow Foundation. Several years ago, he began worrying that the Internet was undermining the economic model of journalism. His inquiries about what he could do to help led this Brooklyn College alumnus to the new CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. In June 2008, his foundation awarded the school a $3-million challenge grant to establish the Tow Center for Journalistic Innovation. The grant requires the school to raise $3 million in matching funds.

The Barnathan Family

Julius Barnathan, a graduate of Brooklyn College, was one of the great innovators in broadcasting. During a career at ABC that spanned more than 40 years, he helped pioneer such technologies as slow-motion replay, split screens and closed captioning. Nearly 10 years after Barnathan’s death in 1997, his wife, Lorraine, and their three children, Joyce, Daniel and Jacqueline, decided to honor his memory by endowing a scholarship fund at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Their $350,000 contribution has helped support seven students.