Hunter's History and Mission
Founded in 1870 by Irish immigrant and social reformer Thomas Hunter as a teacher-training school for women, Hunter College has long enjoyed a distinguished reputation for liberal arts and sciences and professional schools. Completely co-educational since 1964, Hunter is the largest college in the City University of New York (CUNY) and is one of the oldest public colleges in the country, dedicated from its earliest days to serving a student body which reflects the diversity of New York City. Hunter takes pride in the success it has had over the years in enabling the people of New York to combine the strengths of their varied experiences with the skills they need to participate effectively in the wider society. Committed to the achievement of a pluralistic community, Hunter College offers a curriculum designed to meet the highest academic standards while also fostering understanding among groups from different racial, cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
Today the College is a microcosm of New York’s global, multicultural society. Hunter students come from more than 150 countries and speak approximately 150 languages, and many are the first in their family to attend college.
Hunter is a comprehensive teaching, research, and service institution that serves New York and the nation by providing students with a top-flight education. Many programs emphasize preparation for specific careers, but, at the same time, a principal aim of the College is to help students develop their rational, critical, and creative powers. Thus, Hunter graduates have the intellectual tools needed for success in many fields and can pursue more than one career in their lives—as today’s economy often demands.
Hunter College is made up of five schools: Arts and Sciences; Education; Health Professions; Nursing; and Social Work. The College’s main campus is located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where a complex of four buildings interconnected by skywalks houses the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education. The campus’s official address is 695 Park Avenue, but the four buildings occupy various sites running from 67th Street to 69th Street and from Lexington Avenue to Park Avenue.
The Schools of the Health Professions and the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing are located at East 25th Street on Hunter’s Brookdale Campus. Also at the Brookdale Campus is the Brookdale Center on Healthy Aging and Longevity. In 2011 the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter will open in a new building in East Harlem, which will also house the School of Social Work, which is now located at East 79th Street.
Hunter graduates are admitted to medical schools at a rate far higher than the national average. Hunter graduates are frequent recipients of coveted prizes and awards, including Fulbright and Mellon Fellowships and Howard Hughes Pre-doctoral Fellowships. They are also regularly accepted into graduate programs at many of the nation’s most prestigious universities.
Hunter’s faculty is made up of a corps of dedicated scholar-teachers, many of them nationally renowned leaders in their fields. They have won scores of major grants and many have won highly prestigious awards including Guggenheim fellowships and MacArthur awards (the “Genius Grant”).
The Hunter College Scholarship and Welfare Fund offers scholarships to highly qualified Hunter students. Some scholarships also include a free room at the Hunter College Residence Hall located on the Brookdale campus. The Fund also offers scholarships to graduating seniors who go on to graduate school.
Many Hunter students participate in campus clubs, intramural sports, and intercollegiate athletic teams. Hunter offers what is widely considered the premier athletic program in the City University of New York. The College’s softball and tennis teams, as well as men’s and women’s volleyball and basketball, consistently win CUNY championships.
Collections in the Hunter College libraries are housed in the two libraries located at the 68th Street campus—the Leon and Toby Cooperman Library and the Zabar Library (which contains digitized art material)—as well as in the branch libraries at the Brookdale campus and the School of Social Work. Combined, these libraries hold some 800,000 volumes, 5,800 periodical print subscriptions, and a non-print collection that includes more than 1.2 million microforms, 46,000 electronic periodical subscriptions, and some 15,000 audiovisual materials. The 250,000 slides in the former Art Slide Library, now the Zabar Library, have been digitized and are available online.