Macaulay Honors College at CUNY

Ann Kirschner
Consortial with the seven member colleges

Founded in 2001, Macaulay Honors College is a flagship program that exemplifies educational excellence and university-wide collaboration. From its landmark building at West 67th Street in Manhattan, Macaulay Honors College works in partnership with the seven senior colleges of CUNY. Some 1,200 high-achieving students, most of whom are immigrants or children of immigrants, select from 210 majors at their home colleges. The program for Macaulay University Scholars emphasizes undergraduate research, global learning, graduate and professional mentoring and community engagement. Special benefits include free tuition and access to an Opportunities Fund that supports individual academic aspirations such as research projects and study abroad. The interdisciplinary Macaulay core curriculum explores the culture, science, people and future of New York.

Philanthropic Support FY00-FY09 — $50,339,856
Projected Philanthropy Target thru FY2015 — $100,000,000

Philanthropic support has been instrumental in leveraging state funding to launch the Macaulay Honors College. Private contributions of more than $50 million have gone to support students and programs and the purchase and renovation of the college’s new home.

Gift Highlights

  • William E. and Linda Macaulay made a breakthrough donation of $30 million that enabled CUNY to purchase and renovate a building as the permanent home for the Honors College.
  • The Roger and Susan Hertog Charitable Trust donated $3 million to support the Hertog Scholars.
  • The Starr Foundation contributed $3 million to create the Starr Scholars.
  • The William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust donated $2.5 million to create the Kenan Leadership Scholars fund that has supported leadership development and career and graduate outreach.
  • The Nash Family Foundation and Peter Jay Sharp Foundation donated $2.5 million to establish the Jack Nash Scholarships.
  • The Mellon Foundation donated $2.25 million to support the Mellon Scholars.
  • Herman Muehlstein Foundation contributed $1.8 million to create the Herman Muehlstein Scholars at City College.
  • The New York Life Foundation donated $1.7 million to support the New York Life Scholars.
  • The Rudin Family Foundation donated $1 million to support the Rudin Scholars.
  • Founding Dean Laura Schor donated $150,000 to build Macaulay’s fledgling alumni organization.

Look Who's Investing in the Macaulay Honors College at CUNY

William E. and Linda Macaulay

“Macaulay Honors College attracts the most promising students from New York and around the world and supports their intellectual aspirations and growth as global leaders. We are answering society’s needs by supporting the brightest students and allowing them to work and learn together to achieve their potential.”

— William Macaulay

A 1966 graduate of City College and chairman and CEO of First Reserve Capital, William E. Macaulay always has felt indebted to CUNY for providing a foundation for professional opportunity and success. A graduate of DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, Mr. Macaulay wanted to help other young people like himself achieve their full potential through higher education. The Macaulays’ gift of $30 million enabled the university to purchase a landmark building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan as the permanent home for the Honors College. The Macaulay Center includes a reading room, lecture hall, commons and cabaret space for student productions, a screening room, three classrooms and a variety of spaces where students can work and study together. The building also hosts a wide range of student groups from the Honors Scholars Council to pre-law, pre-medicine and pre-business clubs.


The Goldsmith Scholars Program

The Goldsmith Scholars Program, supported by $800,000 from the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, grew out of the work of Virginia Slaughter, a philanthropist and leader in public higher education, and her commitment to identify, inspire and support the aspirations of undergraduate intellectual leaders at CUNY. The program offers special advising and workshops that help students prepare for competitive graduate school programs and apply for prestigious scholarships. Since the program’s inception, Goldsmith Scholars have come to be identified with the highest academic achievements. Seventy-nine Goldsmith Scholars have graduated from Macaulay and entered prestigious graduate and professional programs, including Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Cornell, Downstate Medical Center, Harvard, MIT, Notre Dame, Oxford, UC Berkeley and Yale. Goldsmith Scholars also compete successfully for prestigious fellowships. This year, David Bauer became the first Goldsmith Scholar to win the Rhodes Scholarship. Other Goldsmith Scholars have been awarded Harry S. Truman Scholarships, Fulbright Scholarships and Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships and have been named New York City Urban Fellows.