Special Edition 2006
Graduates First Class
When Hofstra alumnus and Board of Trustees Chair John Miller decided to establish his legacy at Hofstra through a $6 million donation, he thought about where his money would have the greatest impact. He chose Hofstra University Honors College (HUHC).
HUHC Dean J. Stephen Russell and Chair of the Board of Trustees John Miller.
"I just think Honors College is something that will help put Hofstra on the map," said Miller, who earned a B.B.A. at Hofstra in 1979. "I think it has had the effect of elevating the entire University in terms of SAT scores."
As a Hofstra University trustee emeritus and donor, Ambassador Arnold A. Saltzman had directed funds to help establish Honors College, setting up a residence hall mentoring program for its students and later instituting a lecture program that centers on a State of the Union message.
"It was no secret that [HUHC] would receive students with higher SATs and higher educational aspirations," said Ambassador Saltzman, now a trustee emeritus of the University. "Since they would spread out among the other students, they would, in effect, raise the whole level of the educational experience at Hofstra."
Launched in September 2001 with 93 students, the college accepts about 150 students each year. Currently, about 700 students are enrolled there. Supporters say it already has had a positive effect on the University. "Honors College has grown into something very important now, and they're achieving wonderful results," Ambassador Saltzman said.
For Christina Cipriano '05, one of the 73 students in HUHC's first graduating class, Honors College was a place to grow, an environment that encouraged her to explore different areas of study.
"Honors College was a great learning experience, a truly welcoming and resourceful environment, where I made professional relationships and some of my best friends for life," said Cipriano, a recipient of the prestigious 2005 Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholarship. She is now pursuing an Ed.M. in international education policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education with plans to apply to a Ph.D. program in government and social policy. "I believe the most important impact Hofstra University Honors College had was that it allowed me to pursue interdisciplinary independent research. And in giving me the opportunity to pursue my interests, it gave me a path toward a future."
In some ways, seeing the first Honors College class graduate was the culmination of many years of planning for Dean J. Stephen Russell. In other ways, it is also just the beginning.
"We only just graduated the first class in May," said Dean Russell, seated in his office in the Axinn Library. "Those 73 students are the only ones out there, and none of them are in the Senate yet. But it's only been eight months. ..."
Still, having graduates who have gone on to the University of Virginia and Hofstra Law Schools, Columbia, Harvard and various other graduate, law and medical schools is not a bad beginning. And if Dean Russell seems confident that his graduates will go on to great things, it is due in no small part to the unique nature of the college... | more |