Mike Selnick - 1964 BEE
Imagine. A free education at one of the best engineering universities in the country. I owe City a lot. It fulfilled its promise to me as a child of immigrant working class parents.
House Plan. Wiley '63. Friday nights in our off-campus loft at 23rd and 7th Avenue. Slide rules! E-size drawings in Drafting class. Making an error, finding it late and having to erase and move half of one huge drawing to the left by 1/2 inch. Oh, man! Then laughing hysterically with my buddy. Hot corned beef on rye and a Pepsi on late study breaks. Walking past Lewisohn Stadium when going from North to South Campus. The book store. Finley Center. The bagle man. Great Hall. The classic campus architecture. Thinking, "This is exactly what college should look like." The statue of Lincoln's head and shiny nose in front of Shepherd Hall. The Arch over the road and sidewalk. Social life. Students running for office. My $150 1954 Buick Le Sabre. Picking up and delivering the campus newspaper. Being recruited at Finley Center for electrical engineering position in Washington DC.
Arlene Friedman Simone
1948-1952... I call them the Golden Years. As a physics and math student, I was most interested in the theatre groups at school. They were superb. I remember playing the dancing lead--Miss Turnstiles--in the first amateur production of "On The Town." George Abbott, Jerome Robbins and Comden and Green--the producer, choreographer and writers of the original show, came to see our performance, and told us how much they enjoyed the show. This was produced by the Theater Workshop under the guidance of Wilson Lehr. He even hired Herbert Ross,who later became a movie director, to do the choreography.
So many great shows were produced by the Workshop, and the other theater group, Dramsoc, with quite a few actors, producers and Broadway VIP's coming from the school.
Among some of our productions, was Goethe's "Faustus," along with more musicals, dramas, comedies...a plethora of 'goodies.'
How wonderful it was to be alive and attending CCNY in those glorious days. And we had a reunion at Sardi's in 1983 with 100 of our theater group showing up and reliving the good old days. What a lucky bunch we were!
If anyone is interested in learning more about those days, they are welcome to get in touch.
From 1978 until about 1997 I spent just about every workday in Shepard Hall as either a student or a staff member in the great film prgram that is housed there. Shepard Hall was a wonderland of sorts, with the beautiful gothic architecture and the hidden treasures of murals, sculpture and stained glass. I have nothing but fond memories, especially for the education I got there in filmmaking. I especially remember our editing room on the 3rd floor where the architecture slide library is now. We would edit all night on the moviolas and then go at sunrise to the diner on Amsterdam Avenue and then back to the edit room to show our cuts to the instructor. Couldn't have had a better education in a better place for all the money in the world.
Javier E. Perez
My name is Javier E. Perez and I currently graduated from The City College of New York in June 2007. I was born and raise in NYCHA not far from where the Neo-Gothic campus is located. In addition, I also attended P.S. 129 also known as John H Finley School and then the Adam Clayton Power School (JHS 43). Both of these schools are located in close proximity to the City College campus also known as "Poor man's Harvard". When attending P.S. 129, which is adjacent to the new student's dorm, The Towers, I would often look out the window and say to my self that one day I will graduate from that school. I have fulfilled that dream. Moreover, I am currently working for this outstanding CUNY institution as a College Assistant working in the Admission Department providing encouragement and assistance to freshman and transfer students who also have a passion and dream in some day graduating from The City College of New York.
I attended City College from 1967 to 1972. Those were tumultuous times. With the Vietnam War protests, tensions over racial inequities and CCNY's transition to Open Admissions, there was much to be concerned about.
In the early 1980's, I worked as an engineer for a company that recruited at City. In fact, I was the lead recruiter and also the administrator for equipment donations to City. I got the opportunity to visit the campus several times and saw the school struggling under the weight of both the NYC budget crisis and Open Admissions.
In 2005, I was in New York with my family and decided to take ride up to the campus to show my kids where Dad went to college. I was struck by the feelings of optimism and energy that pervaded the school and were absent twenty years ago. I felt a sense of pride when my kids remarked how attractive the campus was especially the "old buildings".
The City College of New York is in the midst of a renaissance with improving academic ratings and increases in enrollment. The many physical improvements to the campus are a powerful metaphor but no improvement is more substantial and symbolic than the restoration of Hamilton Heights. As an alum, I am pleased. Happy Centennial Birthday CCNY!
Adam Wong '72
"Recalling his student experiences at City College of New York, General Colin Powell '58 said that while his memory of most of his professors has faded, “the memory of Raymond the Bagel Man (who sold giant Pretzels) remains undimmed” (My American Journey, p. 25). -- [ http://www.fgcu.edu/uls/Speakers/ColinPowell/Downloads/ULSColinPowellQuestions.pdf ] University Lecture Series General Colin Power College-level Discussion Questions.
There's a short film, featuring Raymond, his "bagels," and the City College Campus. The film is so evocative of the Uptown campus of the 1950s, that, until a closeup proved that I was mistaken, I thought I saw myself buying one of Raymond's bagels.
"The Balloon and Five Pence" [ http://www.videosear.ch/watch/4157817402/the-balloon-and-five-pence/ ] is too good, and to nostalgic, not to share.
Ron Sternfels (Chem '68)
Where do I begin? My life at City College began the day after the Harlem riots in 1964. Baskerville was still the chemistry building and I remember one day when the bomb squad came to remove an old bottle of a chemical that had become unstable. One lab was being remodeled and beneath the wood floors was found 300 lbs of mercury. I remember taking swimming at 8:00 am in winter at the Wingate pool (bathing suits were forbidden) and then having to run to South Campus for my next class, stopping only to buy a pretzel from Raymond the Bagel Man. I remember the anti-war rallies, the fight to preserve free tuition, Ravi Shankar's weekly concerts and "House Plans" where I made the best friends I ever had. I remember Leadership Training and “T-Groups” that taught me so much about myself. I remember that my first semester fees were $23 total. Most of all I remember the education I received that was second to none and the respect I have had through my career when people find out I went to City College. I so proud that New York has preserved the the campus so that students in years to come can feel the presence of those who passed before them.
My wife of almost 33 years, Betty (Gitlin) Rich ('76), and I were pleased to visit the CCNY campus in October 2007 for our first time since we finished school, this past October. It was wonderful to see the original buildings restored to their architectural beauty.
This website is great because of the pictures of the campus being built as well as the ones from our time at City. I hope many people share their stories and pictures here. Betty and I met in Harris Hall and had our first kiss in front of Shepard. We relived it during our visit.
Mike Rich '76
It is such a wonderful pleasure to see these beautiful old buildings cared for and restored.
A school like City should look as wonderful on the outside as it is on the inside.
Barbara Simon Mazor