LaGuardia Community College
|Type||Community college, Public|
|President||Dr. Gail O. Mellow|
|Location||Long Island City, Queens, New York, United States|
|Campus||Urban, 1,872,263 sq. ft |
LaGuardia Community College is a community college in Long Island City, a neighborhood of Queens, New York. It is a component of the City University of New York. LaGuardia is named after former Congressman and New York City mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia. The college offers associate degrees in the arts, sciences, and applied sciences, as well as continuing education programs.
LaGuardia Community College was founded on January 22, 1967 by a resolution of the Board of Higher Education of the City of New York, a New York State agency which was the precursor to the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York. The new college, originally designated "Community College Number Nine", was to be comprehensive: "The college will be oriented to the needs and interests of the community in which it is located, providing cultural activities, special services, continuing education and skills training opportunities for community residents of all ages."
The college's first president was Joseph Shenker, who had been Acting President of Kingsborough Community College and at age 29, the youngest community college president anywhere. In October 1970, the Board of Higher Education, breaking with CUNY’s geographic naming convention, named the new college after Mayor LaGuardia, noting his "lifelong public service to the people of the City of New York and of the United States, and his ambitious and successful leadership of good government campaigns to provide decent living conditions and guarantee democratic processes for all...."
The college was officially opened on September 22, 1971, and received its first accreditation from the Middle States Association in December 1972 when the college graduated its first class.
On March 24, 1970, the NYC Board of Higher Education approved the former Ford Instrument Company building on Long Island City's Thomson Avenue as the location for the College. Renovations to the five story, former factory, which had most recently been used to manufacture material for the U.S. Army in World War II, began the same year. This building would serve as the Main building of the new college—renamed Shenker Hall in 2009 in honor of the College’s founding president.
On September 22, 1972, the school received from the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, for payment of $1, a 5.2-acre (21,000 m2) site in Astoria that had formerly been the U.S. Army Pictoral Center, with the intention of moving the college to a campus on the new site, but when the city's budget crisis hit in 1974, the site had to be sold off, as the expense of maintaining it in the interim was too high. In the years since its founding, the college has maintained its original building and has expanded into nearby buildings.
In the 2010-2011 school year, LaGuardia granted 2,197 degrees, of which 96% were associate degrees, and 4% were certificates.
The College offers associate degrees and certificates in over 50 majors in Business and Technology, Liberal Arts, Health, Math, and Science. Its academic departments include
- Business & Technology
- Fine Arts
- Communication Skills
- Cooperative Education
- Education & Language Acquisition
- Health Sciences
- Math, Engineering & Computer Science
- Natural Sciences
- Social Sciences
As of the Fall of 2011, LaGuardia had an enrollment of 17,569 undergraduate students, 58% of them attending full-time, and 42% part-time. This undergraduate enrollment made the college the third largest community college in the CUNY system, after the Borough of Manhattan Community College and Kingsborough Community College.
LaGuardia's student body is made up of people from 160 different countries who speak 127 languages natively.
Of the student population, 43% (6,386) are Hispanic, 22% (3,171) are Asian, 18% (2,699) are Black, 13% (1,937) are White, and 4% (656) described themselves as Other.
LaGuardia Community College teams participate as a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). The Red Hawks are a member of the community college section of the City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) since the 2013-14 season (the inauguration year of the school's athletic program). Sports include men's and women's basketball. Men's & women's soccer and men's & women's swimming & diving will also be added within its athletic program, effectively on the 2014-15 season. The Athletics Department is now defunct.
- Elly Gross, Holocaust survivor, poet and author 
- Ruben Diaz Jr., Bronx Borough President
- Rudy Washington, Deputy Mayor under Rudolph Giuliani 
- Bruce Davidson (former), photojournalist 
- John A. Williams (former), novelist 
- Barbara Zucker (former), sculptor 
LaGuardia launched its new logo in March 2011. It consists of a red square with nine arrows signifying the College’s inception as Community College Number Nine. The arrows come together in the center of the logo mark to represent introspection, and the negative space at the center and between each of the arrows forms a star representing infinite growth. The emanating lines convey the energy, ideas and solutions that emerge when coming together to ask, “What if?” 
Before this logo, LaGuardia used a flower with five petals, symbolizing the five boroughs of New York City; and the first name of its namesake, Fiorello, which in Italian translates to "Little Flower." Capitalizing on its reputation as one of the most diverse campus in the country, the college also used an apple logo covered with various national flags. The apple was taken from the "Big Apple" nickname for New York City.
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