A collection of frequently visited links on Hofstra.edu.
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In the few years since we began to publish the annual President's Report, it has become commonplace for us to state that the prior year was an extraordinary time for Hofstra University. In the annals of Hofstra's almost 75-year history, however, the year 2008 was -- by any measure -- an extraordinary year for our University.
In the past year, our dream of creating one of the most innovative new schools of medicine in the country became a reality. With the hiring of the school's founding dean, Dr. Larry Smith, and our unique partnership with North Shore-LIJ Health System, the nation's third largest system, we began to map out a curriculum that meshes classroom and clinical experiences in new ways, combining the learning of the science of medicine and clinical experiences, bringing together students, patients and members of the health care team from day one. We anticipate admitting the medical school's first class in 2011, subject to obtaining preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education and necessary New York state approvals.
The School of Medicine's vision of a "learning community" emphasizes case-based, team-based inquiry and scholarship, questioning, and reflection. Its vision includes the cultivation of personal and social responsibility, as well as a commitment to lifelong learning, and promotes student-centered learning based on a patient-centered curriculum.
In spring 2008 the Hofstra University School of Medicine in partnership with North Shore-LIJ Health System received a $25 million grant from the New York State Senate, which provides the school with funding toward the more than $125 million necessary to build the state-of-the-art facilities the school requires.
New academic centers, such as the Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency, The National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra UniversitySM, the Center for Condensed Matter Research, the Center for Technological Literacy, and the Center for Civic Engagement, were created or expanded. Faculty authored groundbreaking studies on autism and education, and analyzed media and labor trends in national surveys.
The highlight of our year, however, was on October 15, 2008, when Hofstra hosted the third and final presidential debate between now-President Barack Obama and Senator John McCain. Thousands of members of the international and national media, national politicians and leaders descended on Hofstra's campus to witness history being made, and our students and faculty had front-row seats as the debate -- now known popularly as the introduction of "Joe the Plumber" -- played out. On behalf of the Hofstra community, I had the privilege of ringing the NASDAQ opening bell on October 14, greeting the candidates, and meeting the congressional and political leaders who came to campus for the debate.
Visits to our Web site more than doubled, and there were thousands of media mentions and hundreds of feature stories about Hofstra programs, student engagement, and faculty expertise. The media monitoring estimate of potential viewership for the stories and related mentions of Hofstra was almost 13 billion people worldwide. It is, of course, impossible to fully assess the public relations impact of the debate. Some of the impact is not immediately measurable, but will hopefully be reflected in long-term reputational gains and enhanced name recognition. No one could argue, however, that the debate and surrounding programming and media coverage exceeded all expectations and truly put Hofstra on the map, while providing our students with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Educate '08, our unprecedented, yearlong program of academic courses, events, lectures, conferences, exhibits and performances focused on the election and the history of the American presidency, was an outstanding success, attracting thousands of students, alumni and community members to the Hofstra campus to become involved in the 2008 presidential campaign. Guests included James Carville and Mary Matalin, George Stephanopoulos, Robert Rubin and Paul O'Neill, Gloria Steinem, Ari Fleischer and Dee Dee Myers, Maureen Dowd and William Kristol, Mario Cuomo and Richard Haass, and dozens of respected journalists, historians and policy makers. Students came out in large numbers to hear the speakers and for the Hofstra Rocks the Debate concert with Jason Mraz and the Comedy Central Indecision '08 tour.
And last year, despite the economic downturn, we announced the completion of our most successful capital campaign ever, having raised $110 million to fund student scholarships, faculty scholarship, technology and facilities. Generous alumni, friends and other donors provided Hofstra with the resources needed to enhance its place among nationally renowned institutions of higher education.
The success of Hofstra University belongs to each of us -- to our outstanding faculty, who place an equal value on research and teaching; to our more than 110,000 alumni, who are leaders in public service, business, the arts and media, education and health and human services, and law; to our students, who for the seventh consecutive year had increasingly excellent academic credentials, with an average SAT score of 1182, a more than 100-point increase in less than a decade. Students from across the country continue to enroll at Hofstra, and for the second year, more than half our students came from states other than New York.
We continue to invest in scholarship and financial aid for our students, state-of-the-art facilities, and small classes. We continue to place an emphasis on public programs, such as our renowned "Great Writers, Great Readings" series; the annual Shakespeare Festival; a world-class Division I athletic program; conferences and exhibits hosted by the Hofstra Cultural Center and Hofstra University Museum; performances by the Departments of Music and Drama and Dance, and Hofstra Entertainment; and the many events and programs offered by Hofstra's Breslin Center for the Study of Real Estate, the Scott Skodnek Business Development Center, and Continuing Education.
The University recently launched Define '09: New Challenges, New Solutions, a yearlong series of programs that will examine the new presidential administration, its policies and initiatives, the challenges we currently face, and ways to address our country's most pressing issues. Designed to keep our students and our community engaged in politics and civic involvement, this program builds on the success of Educate '08 and the hosting of the October 15 debate. We already have presented several successful programs as part of Define '09, including appearances by Anderson Cooper, Donna Brazile and David Plouffe, and look forward to an interesting and engaging year.
Through prudent management and careful stewardship, Hofstra University remains a stable and excellent institution, even in the current economy. Student interest and alumni engagement is stronger than ever, and we continue to grow to meet the needs of our varied constituents As we prepare to commemorate our 75th anniversary, beginning on September 23, 2010, we have much to celebrate.
A constant in our history has been our continuous momentum. Hofstra University has always placed an emphasis on respecting our great academic traditions while forging new paths and moving forward -- utilizing new technology, creating new academic programs, and enhancing academic quality. Our momentum continues, and our University is better positioned than ever. With your support and involvement, there is no telling how far Hofstra University, and our alumni, faculty and students, can go.