Hofstra University is a private, non-profit, nonsectarian university in the United States. Its main campus is on Long Island in the village of Hempstead, New York, approximately 7 miles (11 km) east of New York City. Long Island's largest private college, Hofstra originated in 1935 as an extension of New York University (NYU) under the name "Nassau College – Hofstra Memorial of New York University at Hempstead, Long Island"; in 1939, the institution separated from the NYU system and gained independence as Hofstra College, and in 1963, it gained university status. Comprising 10 schools, including a School of Medicine and a School of Law, Hofstra is noted for a series of prominent Presidential conferences, as well as being selected to host United States Presidential Debates in 2008, 2012, and 2016—the only school to do so in three consecutive campaign cycles.
|Truesdel Peck Calkins||1937–1942|
|Howard S. Brower||1942–1944|
|John Cranford Adams||1944–1964|
|Clifford Lee Lord||1964–1972|
|James H. Marshall||1972–1973|
|Robert L. Payton||1973–1976|
|James M. Shuart||1976–2001|
The college—established as an extension of New York University (NYU)—was founded on the estate of a wealthy couple, a lumber entrepreneur of Dutch ancestry, William S. Hofstra (1861–1932) and his second wife, Kate Mason (1854–1933). The extension had been proposed by a Hempstead resident, Truesdel Peck Calkins, who had been superintendent of schools for Hempstead. In her will, Kate Mason provided the bulk of their property and estate to be used for a charitable, scientific or humanitarian purpose, to be named in honor of her husband. Two friends, Howard Brower and James Barnard, were asked to decide what to do with the estate. Another Hempstead resident, Truesdel Peck Calkins, remarked to Brower that he had been looking for a site to start an institution of higher education, and the three men agreed it would be an appropriate use of the estate. Calkins approached the administration at New York University, and they expressed interest.
The college was founded as a coeducational, commuter institution with day and evening classes. The first day of classes was September 23, 1935, and the first class of students was made up of 159 day and 621 evening students. The tuition fee for the year was $375. The college obtained provisional charter status, and its official name was changed to Hofstra College on January 16, 1937.
Hofstra College separated from New York University in 1939 and was granted an absolute charter on February 16, 1940.
Hofstra’s original logo was a seal created by Professor of Art Constant van de Wall in 1937. The insignia was derived from the official seal of the reigning house of the Netherlands, the House of Orange-Nassau. Used with the permission of the monarch of the Netherlands, the seal also included the Dutch national motto Je Maintiendrai, meaning “I stand steadfast” (literally “I shall maintain”) in French.
In 1939, Hofstra celebrated its first four-year commencement, graduating a class of 83 students. The first graduates had strong feelings for the new institution. When they were allowed to choose whether they would receive degrees from New York University or Hofstra, they overwhelmingly chose Hofstra degrees. Academic recognition of Hofstra was affirmed when the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools accepted Hofstra for membership on November 22, 1940. Early in 1941 the college was elected to membership in the American Association of Colleges.
In 1950 Calkins Gymnasium was the site of the first Shakespeare Festival. It was performed on a five-sixths-sized replica of the Globe Theatre.
With the approval of the New York State Board of Regents, Hofstra became Long Island’s first private university on March 1, 1963. Also in that year, the Board of Trustees resolved to make Hofstra architecturally barrier-free for individuals with physical disabilities, stating that all students should have access to higher education. This later became federal law, and Hofstra was subsequently recognized as a pioneer. Other forward-thinking programs and events followed, including the New Opportunities at Hofstra (NOAH) program, which was established the following year. NOAH is Hofstra’s Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program.
In 1963, Mitchel Air Force Base was closed by the military and declared surplus property. The university asked for part of the area to be used for educational purposes, and was subsequently granted 110 acres (0.45 km2). Remnants of the concrete runways from the Air Force base are now parking lots for Hofstra's North Campus.
In 1963, the Hofstra University Museum was established.
The university reorganized its divisions into “schools” in the 1960s. Hofstra was authorized by the Board of Regents to offer its first doctoral degrees in 1966. In 1968, the Hofstra Stadium became the first to install Astroturf outdoors in the East, and the New York Jets began holding their summer training camp to the North Campus, until 2008, when the Jets moved to Florham Park, New Jersey.
The Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary at Hofstra University has a collection of diverse trees and reflecting its Dutch origin, displays an array of rare and colorful tulips in the Spring.
There are 3,381 faculty members (including more than 2200 in the school of medicine system), 6,913 undergraduates, with a total of 11,240 students overall, including all full and part-time undergraduates, graduates, law and medical students.
The campus has approximately 113 buildings on 240 acres (97 ha). The part of the campus located south of Hempstead Turnpike (NY Route 24) and west of California Avenue is located in the Village of Hempstead. The part of the campus north of Hempstead Turnpike and east of California Avenue is located in Uniondale and East Garden City. Hofstra also offers an MBA program as well as other classes in New York City from a center in Manhattan.
Hofstra is a national university, presently ranked at #133, according to the 2017 edition of U.S. News & World Report. According to the 2017 Times Higher Education World University Rankings it was within the Top 1000 Universities in the world, ranked at #325 for the United States and in the 601-800 range worldwide.
Hofstra University was ranked as the #63 'best value school' by US News and World Report. The online MBA program was ranked #36, online graduate education was ranked #56, part-time mba was ranked #89, part-time law school was ranked #44, rehabilitation counseling was ranked #37, in the nation.
The Hofstra University Honors College, whose admissions policy is more selective than that of the university as a whole, offers rigorous educational opportunities for high-achieving students. The School for University Studies provides a program for students whose abilities are not reflected in standardized test scores; while New Opportunities at Hofstra (NOAH) is designed for students whose educational progress to date has been restricted by limited educational opportunities or economic status.
According to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, Hofstra is considered a large research university.
In the fall of 2011, the university welcomed the first class of students in its new Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine. In 2012, it established its School of Engineering and Applied Science, featuring programs that partner with regional industry leaders, and its School of Health Sciences and Human Services, housing a new master of public health program.
The Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine was ranked #55 in primary care and #71 in research, according to US News and World Report, despite only being 2 years since its first class graduated.
Hofstra University hosted the third and final 2008 presidential debate (between Barack Obama and John McCain) on October 15, 2008. The debate, the first presidential debate in New York since the 1960 debate between John F. Kennedy and then Vice-President Richard M. Nixon, focused on economic policy and domestic issues. It is remembered for McCain's introduction and frequent references to "Joe the Plumber".
Hofstra's successful bid to host this presidential debate in 2008 provided the springboard for a broad, campuswide program called "Educate '08," featuring a year of free lectures, conferences and other events about politics and public policy. The program featured national media and political figures as guest speakers, including George Stephanopoulos, Maureen Dowd, Ari Fleischer, James Carville and Mary Matalin. "Educate '08" gave way to "Define '09", a program which brought to campus various speakers to examine the impact of the historic election of the nation's first African-American president and the policy challenges facing the Obama Administration.
In September 2009, Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz announced the appointment of two senior presidential fellows at the university's Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency: Republican strategist and former presidential advisor Edward J. Rollins and former Vermont governor, presidential candidate and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. In October 2011, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced it had chosen Hofstra for its second 2012 presidential debate on October 16, 2012, the "town hall" debate (between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney). Hofstra University hosted the first 2016 presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on September 26, 2016.
Hofstra University teams had the unofficial nickname of the Flying Dutchmen. The school's official team name became "The Pride" in 2004, referring to a pair of lions which became the school's athletic mascots in the late 1980s. The Pride nickname evolved from the Hofstra Pride on- and off-campus image campaign that began in 1987, during the university's dramatic recovery and growth. This followed a financial crisis in the 1970s that forced the layoff of more than 100 employees. In 1977 Hofstra wrestler Nick Gallo won the 126 lb weight class at the NCAA National Championship and was a member of the 1976 and 1980 U.S. Olympic Freestyle Wrestling teams, he was also given the title "Most Outstanding Wrestler" in the 1977 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. The school's revival was credited in large part to the man who led the university from 1976 to 2001—educator, government official and former Hofstra football star Dr. James M. Shuart. Hofstra Stadium, the school's main outdoor athletic facility, has been named James M. Shuart Stadium since 2002.
Prior to 2008, the New York Jets held summer training camp at their on-campus headquarters before moving to their new headquarters in Florham Park, New Jersey. The area has since been used for the construction of the medical school building, which was completed in 2015.
On December 3, 2009, the university announced it was terminating the football program. Under NCAA rules, any football players who chose to transfer to other schools were eligible to play immediately, and not subjected to normal residency waiting periods. Scholarship-holders who wished to stay at Hofstra were permitted to keep their scholarships. Funds previously used for the football program went into the creation of the medical school, and enhancing a variety of programs, including hard sciences and engineering.
On February 26, 2011, Hofstra Senior Day, the university retired the basketball jersey number 22 to honor senior Charles Jenkins before the end of the season. Jenkins, the school's all-time leading scorer, ranked fifth in the nation at 23.3 points per game last season (as of February 22, 2011) and was the front-runner to win Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year honors. "I think it's very rare," head coach Mo Cassara said by phone to reporter Jeff Eisenberg. "We have 25 other athletes that have had their numbers retired here at Hofstra, but none of them have ever been retired while they were still here at their last games. He's been such an integral part of this university on so many levels that we thought that was the highest honor we could give him." No other Hofstra athlete in any sport has received the same honor, though Wake Forest's Tim Duncan and Duke's Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley and Grant Hill all had their jerseys retired before their last home games.
The Hofstra University Pride Wrestling team competes in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association, as wrestling is not supported by the Colonial Athletic Association.
The Hofstra Chronicle is the only student newspaper of Hofstra University, established in 1935. The paper is in tabloid format and is published 12 times each semester and once a summer. The Chronicle is supported by the student activity fee and advertising.
The university operates Long Island's oldest public radio station, WRHU-FM (88.7). The noncommercial broadcaster was founded in 1950 as WHCH, a campus-limited station, and received its broadcast license on June 9, 1959, using the call letters WVHC. The station became WRHU (for Radio Hofstra University) in 1983. WRHU currently serves as the radio home of the New York Islanders.
The university has had a long history of Greek-Lettered organizations dating back to its founding. The local chapter that started Greek life on Hofstra's campus, Alpha Theta Beta (ΑΘΒ), is still active today. In the early 1990s, as Hofstra began to grow so did its social organizations. Many national chartered chapters were founded in 1989. One of the local chapters, the Wreath and Foil sorority, founded in 1937, became Phi Sigma Sigma. One of the more notable changes in the 1990s was the removal of many local chapters and growth of nationally chartered fraternities, such as Zeta Beta Tau, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Kappa Sigma, and a business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi (1989). Tau Epsilon Phi and Tau Kappa Epsilon are the oldest fraternities on campus, both arriving in 1969. The Alpha Phi sorority is the oldest nationally recognized sorority on campus, founded in 1872.
Overall Greek-lettered organizations contribute to much of the philanthropy on campus, well as much of the school spirit. During events like Homecoming parades, students and alumni notice a majority of Greek-lettered floats. And the Sinterklaas celebration, a fifteen-year-old tradition of a holiday village built and constructed annually by members of the Greek lettered community for local children to play in and around during the December holiday season. One of its largest events, Greek Week held in the Spring semester, is a week long series of events of competition. Mainly sports, well as toga skits, banner competitions, a can castle, for local homeless shelters, and a relay race the community generates a lot of attention. The Greek-Lettered community is often noted for maintaining many traditions, and loyalty towards their alma mater. In addition, these organizations are noted for creating much of the social life on and off campus.
Since 2001, when the newest President of the University took office three additional social organizations have colonized and chartered chapters on campus: the Delta Chi fraternity, the Delta Gamma fraternity, and the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. The Phi Delta Theta fraternity applied successfully for colonization in the Spring 2010 semester. The Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity applied successfully for re-colonization in the Spring 2010 Semester. The Phi Kappa Theta fraternity applied successfully for colonization in the Spring 2015 semester. The Alpha Phi Omega fraternity applied successfully for colonization in the Spring 2016 semester. Three social organizations, the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, and the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity, remain inactive.
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