City College

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Features, Harlem, History

Shepard Hall at the City College of New York via Wikimedia

Now that “Operation Varsity Blues” has shown afresh the ways in which the nation’s elite can buy admission into prestigious universities, it may be instructive to consider the history City College, the flagship of the CUNY system, and the first free institution of higher education in the nation. Founded as The Free Academy of the City of New York in 1847, City College has long nurtured brilliant students from all walks of life as the “The Harvard of the Proletariat,” and served as an engine of upward mobility for New Yorkers and other strivers from around the world. As the home of the first student government in the nation, the first student-led strike, and the first degree-granting evening program, City boasts a legacy of equity and equality that reflects the best ideals of the city it serves.

Get the full history

Daily Link Fix

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  • Happy Birthday NYC!: The city is 350 years old today. Dang NYC, you’re old. Find out the history behind how New Amsterdam became New York in The New York Times.
  • Don’t Be A Sucker For Duane Reade: According to Scouting New York, you’re paying almost a $1 more there than at, let’s say, CVS. We all know you love getting those $5 coupons after hoarding 5,000 Rewards Points, but after reading the research Scouting New York did you’ll want to ditch that Balance Rewards card.
  • These Kids Were Doing Something Useful While You Lazied Around This Summer: 25 high schoolers were finding ways to solve world issues this summer at Harlem Biospace’s HK Maker Lab. DNAinfo featured the whiz kids that spent six weeks at Columbia learning about biomedical engineering. So what did you do this summer?
  • Why Harlem Is Hotter Than The Rest Of The City: No you’re not crazy; the city does have microclimates. WNYC reports that students and researchers at City College determined that “temperatures vary from one neighborhood to another depending on elevation, building type and other factors.”

Images: Duane Reade in Union Square courtesy of (left); HK Maker Lab by Timothy Lee for DNAinfo (right)


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