Lehman College of the City University of New York (CUNY) was established in 1968 as a four-year public liberal arts college. It was originally known as the Bronx campus of Hunter College and was located on the historic DeWitt Clinton High School campus.
In 1967, the New York State Legislature appropriated funds to construct a new campus for the Bronx campus of Hunter College. The new campus opened in 1968, and the college became an independent entity known as Lehman College.
The college was named in honor of Herbert H. Lehman, former New York governor, U.S. senator, and philanthropist. Lehman was a longtime advocate for public education in New York and a supporter of the City University of New York.
Since its founding, Lehman College has grown to become a comprehensive college with a diverse student population of around 14,000. The college offers over 90 undergraduate and graduate programs in fields such as arts and humanities, sciences, social sciences, and education.
Lehman College of the City University of New York has produced several notable alumni who have made significant contributions in their respective fields. Here, we will describe some of the most recognizable alumni of Lehman College:
The first Dean of Lehman College was Dr. Leonard Lief. He served as the Dean from 1968 until 1979. During his tenure, Dr. Lief played a crucial role in the establishment and growth of Lehman College. Some of his notable accomplishments include the expansion of the college’s course offerings, the development of new academic programs, and the recruitment of highly qualified faculty members.
Dr. Lief was also instrumental in securing funding for the construction of several new buildings on the Lehman College campus. Overall, his contributions were instrumental in transforming Lehman College into a highly respected institution of higher learning.
1. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor: Justice Sotomayor graduated from Lehman College in 1976 and went on to become the first Latina to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. She is also the third woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
2. Actor/screenwriter/producer Stanley Tucci: Tucci earned a Bachelor of Arts in Drama from Lehman College in 1982. He has since become a well-known actor, starring in popular films such as “The Devil Wears Prada,” “The Hunger Games,” and “Captain America: The First Avenger.”
3. Businessman Ralph Lauren: Lauren, the founder of the Ralph Lauren Corporation, studied business at Baruch College before transferring to Lehman College to pursue a degree in business. He left Lehman before graduating to start his company, but he is still considered one of the college’s most famous alumni.
4. Musician Carole King: King attended Queens College before transferring to Lehman College in the early 1960s. She left college to pursue a career in music and went on to become a legendary singer-songwriter, with hits like “You’ve Got a Friend” and “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.”
5. CNN anchor Anderson Cooper: Cooper graduated from Yale University, but he attended Lehman College for a semester during his undergraduate studies. While at Lehman, he worked as an intern at ABC News.
These are just a few of the recognizable alumni of Lehman College. The college has a long history of producing successful graduates, and it will undoubtedly continue to do so in the future.
In recent years, Lehman College has gained recognition for its commitment to student success and social mobility. It has been named a Hispanic-Serving Institution and has earned recognition as a top performing institution for social mobility by U.S. News & World Report and the Wall Street Journal.
Lehman College remains an important institution of higher education in the Bronx and a vital contributor to the City University of New York system.