William E. Macaulay Honors College

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William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY
Established2001, graduated first class in 2005
DeanDr. Mary C. Pearl
35 West 67th Street, New York, NY 10023
, , ,
ColoursRed      White      Gray      Black     
AffiliationsCity University of New York

William E. Macaulay Honors College, commonly referred to as Macaulay Honors College or simply Macaulay, is a selective, co-degree-granting honors college for students at the City University of New York (CUNY) system in New York City.[1] The college is known primarily for offering full-tuition scholarships to all of its undergraduates (or a substantial partial scholarship to out-of-state students). In 2015, 500 out of 6,272 applicants enrolled (7.9% rate). The acceptance rate was 29% for the class of 2016.[2] Since 2016, the college has consistently received the highest rating for a public university honors college. [3]

Founding and history[edit]

Macaulay was first conceived by Matthew Goldstein as an independent institution within the City University of New York. The aim of its creation was to increase educational standards and foster university-wide collaboration and excellence. However, support for existing honors programs at CUNY colleges amidst institutional opposition resulted in its launch in 2001 as CUNY Honors College in collaboration with a number of CUNY's senior colleges. Initially, there were five college partners: Baruch, Brooklyn, City, Hunter, and Queens Colleges. Later on, Lehman College, College of Staten Island, and John Jay College were added. Commonly known as Macaulay Honors College University Scholars Program, its first class graduated in 2005.

The founding dean of Macaulay Honors College is Dr. Laura Schor, Professor of History at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center, received her PhD in Modern European History at the University of Rochester in 1974.[4] In July 2006, Dr. Ann Kirschner, a graduate of SUNY Buffalo, UVA, and Princeton University, was appointed Dean of Macaulay Honors College. In September 2006, The City University of New York received a $30,000,000 gift from philanthropist and City College alumnus, William E. Macaulay, chairman and chief executive officer of First Reserve Corporation. It is the largest single donation in the history of CUNY and helped finance the purchase of a landmark building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan that has become the permanent home of Macaulay Honors College, and will add support to its endowment.[5][6][7] A new governance plan, approved by the CUNY Board of Trustees in late April 2010, provided Macaulay Honors College with degree-granting authority through CUNY's Graduate Center. Beginning in Spring 2011, graduates became eligible to receive a dual degree from both their home college and Macaulay Honors College.[7]

In August 2016, Chancellor James B. Milliken named Dr. Mary Corliss Pearl as dean of CUNY's Macaulay Honors College.[8]

Foundation Board[edit]

Macaulay's Foundation Board includes Anthony E. Meyer, co-founder of real estate divisions for Trammell Crow Company and Lazard Frères & Co.[9]



Each Macaulay student is designated a University Scholar and receives:

  • A full-tuition scholarship (tuition-waiver) - Students must meet CUNY NYS residency requirements for in state tuition to receive the full tuition scholarship. Out-of-State Students receive tuition waiver in the amount of in-state tuition.[10]
  • Apple MacBook Air laptop
  • Dedicated, specialized advisors through the Macaulay Advising Program (MAP)[11]
  • A NYC cultural passport card that offers free and/or discounted admission to "participating cultural institutions."[12]


Macaulay Honors College students have won numerous local and national awards, such as the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, the Rhodes Scholarship, the Intel Science Talent Search[13] ($100,000 award), The Barry Goldwater, the Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship, Fulbright Fellowship, Bienecke Fellowship, Salk Fellowship, and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.[14]


Macaulay Honors College accepts applications from high school seniors applying for the first time to be freshman immediately following their senior year. Macaulay does not accept transfer students or applicants applying for mid-term entry. The college advises applicants to research the eight CUNY senior colleges which participate in Macaulay prior to submitting an application, which is available online. Applicants to Macaulay are then considered for acceptance to the undergraduate degree program at the CUNY campus designated on their applications.[15]


According to a recent release of facts and figures, applications to Macaulay Honors College have increased exponentially since its founding in 2001. Between 2007 and 2008 alone applications increased a notable 20%. In fall 2015, Macaulay Honors College received 6,272 application, 15% ahead of the application volume in fall 2010 and a sizable 120% above fall 2006. For the admitted freshmen class of 2020, the average high school GPA was 94.1 and average SAT score (combined math and verbal) was 1414. Around 6,300 students apply, and approximately 500 enroll.[16]

Demographic statistics for 2008 showed applications coming from 477 high schools around the nation including 275 different New York City high schools. New York City's Stuyvesant High School had a 6% increase in applications to Macaulay over the previous year; Bronx Science applications increased by 4.6%.[17]


Located at 35 West 67th Street, Macaulay Honors College is half a block from Central Park and three blocks from Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in Manhattan's Upper West Side. The building is accessible by Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus (via the M10, M20, M66 and M104) or subway (via the 1 train at 66th Street–Lincoln Center station).

The building's renovation was completed Spring 2008 and dedicated under the new name of William E. Macaulay Honors College on April 17, 2008.[14] Inside, the ground floor houses a commons area replete with a stage for student concerts, readings, guest lectures, and other events. The main floor consists of a reading room, the Wall of Fame, and a large multi-purpose lecture hall. The reading room contains a small library of books donated to Macaulay by students, faculty, staff, NYC dignitaries, and friends of Macaulay, available for in-house reading. On the second and third floors are classrooms, meeting rooms, informal gathering spaces, visiting professor offices, the dean's office, and a fully equipped film screening room with traditional movie theater seats for seventy-two viewers. Also, the building centers on a three-story open-roof, internal courtyard, painted bright red after the college's colors. The courtyard is open to all and serves as a multi-purpose space within the college; it has been the site for gatherings and events, student theatre performances, and a temporary visiting artist-student collaborative installation. The fourth floor houses the staff offices. The campus is equipped with Wifi throughout the building.[18]


After building completion in 1904, 35 West 67th Street subsequently housed the Swiss Benevolent Society for numerous years. In 1999, it became known as the Steinhardt Building after undergoing extensive restoration and renovation under the direction of philanthropist Michael Steinhardt. Following the completion of the Steinhardt Building's refurbishment, the 92nd Street Y received the building as a donation in 2001 from Steinhardt.

The Gothic revival building was purchased with the donation of the Macaulay family and underwent extensive renovations to prepare it for students and staff. Renovations are now complete and the building is in use by the students and staff of Macaulay Honors College.[5][6]

After Macaulay[edit]

Most Macaulay alumni go on to pursue careers in major New York firms, such as BBC Worldwide Americas, Bloomberg, Google, and more. Macaulay graduates also go on to pursue graduate degrees at prestigious universities such as Caltech, Duke, Stanford, University of California/Berkeley, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, and Oxford.[19][20] [21]

Notable people[edit]






  1. ^ http://macaulay.cuny.edu/about/factsheet.pdf
  2. ^ https://publicuniversityhonors.com/2012/07/21/macaulay-honors-college-cuny-devour-the-big-apple/
  3. ^ "Macaulay Named a Top Honors College for 2018-19 | Macaulay Honors College". macaulay.cuny.edu. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
  4. ^ "Laura Schor — Hunter College".
  5. ^ a b "William E. Macaulay, City College Graduate And Chairman and CEO of First Reserve, Donates Record $30 Million To CUNY Honors College", The CUNY Newswire, Wednesday, September 13, 2006
  6. ^ a b Macaulay Honors College Website
  7. ^ a b "Important Information About Macaulay Honors...College!!".
  8. ^ http://www.macaulay.cuny.edu/about/press/amsterdam-news-090816.pdf
  9. ^ "Three New Board Members Join Macaulay's Foundation Board". Macaulay Now. June 28, 2016. Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  10. ^ http://www.macaulay.cuny.edu/current-students/tuition-aid.php
  11. ^ George and Alice Murphy. "What Does College Really Cost?" NY Daily News. March 10, 2008.
  12. ^ "NYC Cultural Passport | Macaulay Honors College". macaulay.cuny.edu. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
  13. ^ Melago, Carrie. "Twice Brain Power: City Student who won Intel award strikes again with 30G scholarship." NY Daily News. March 28, 2008. Archived March 30, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ a b News Wire. "MEDIA ADVISORY: April 17 Dedication for Macaulay Honors College New Home." April 14, 2008.
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ https://macaulay.cuny.edu/about/factsheet.pdf
  17. ^ [2]
  18. ^ Student Handbook 2008–2009, Macaulay Honors College at CUNY. p.12.
  19. ^ "quick-facts" (PDF).
  20. ^ "Pride of the City – CUNY Newswire". www1.cuny.edu. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
  21. ^ "Macaulay Named a Top Honors College for 2018-19 | Macaulay Honors College". macaulay.cuny.edu. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
  22. ^ "Zoya Feldman '06 (Hunter) and Anthony Volodkin '07 (Hunter)". Macaulay Alumni. February 12, 2012. Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  23. ^ "Edwin G". academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu. Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  24. ^ "Meet Dr. Charles Liu, Director of Macaulay's College of Staten Island Program". Macaulay Now. January 15, 2014. Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  25. ^ http://www.macaulay.cuny.edu/current-students/docs/student_handbook2013.pdf
  26. ^ "Academics - Lehman College". www.lehman.edu. Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  27. ^ "Visiting Professor David Petraeus's Spring 2015 Course". Macaulay Now. November 11, 2014. Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  28. ^ http://macaulay.cuny.edu/community/now/2015/05/new-course-explores-gender-perceptions-and-boundaries/
  29. ^ "Elizabeth Reis". October 31, 2013.
  30. ^ http://www.macaulay.cuny.edu/current-students/courses-fall-2016.php
  31. ^ "Nobel Prize Winner and Director of the National Cancer Institute Dr. Harold Varmus Speaks at Macaulay Honors College Commencement, 6/6/14 – CUNY Newswire".
  33. ^ https://macaulay.cuny.edu/academics/upper-level-courses/spring-2019-courses/the-mouth-spanish-speaking-women-writers-from-the-1500s-to-the-1970s/

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°46′26″N 73°58′49″W / 40.7738°N 73.9802°W / 40.7738; -73.9802