The chancellor of the City University of New York, Matthew Goldstein, has decided that he will step down this summer after 14 years of service. Chancellor Goldstein's work affected my college experience directly so this news is particularly meaningful to me. When he took it upon himself to revamp the city university program, one of his initiatives was what is known today as the Macaulay Honors College (back in 2001 it was known as the CUNY Honors College). When I first entered the Macaulay program, Matthew Goldstein was among the first individuals that I met. I remember that he shared a close relationship with Dr. Laura Schor, the founding dean of the program. They brainstormed and collaborated together, and even when Chancellor Goldstein was not around, his name was mentioned and his presence was felt. I also remember those occasions when he was around. Although it feels like ages ago and my memory may not be 100%, I remember attending a cocktail party at a fancy reception hall in Manhattan with Chancellor Goldstein, Dr. Laura Schor, and Mr. Benno Schmidt (who at the time I believe was on the CUNY board of directors, and now serves as chairman of the board) warmly welcoming us freshmen into the Macaulay program. It became apparent, during my time in the program and afterward, that Chancellor Goldstein was responsible for a tremendous amount of fundraising during the time that he served as chancellor. Even the evening of the cocktail party, I recall the chancellor at the microphone talking about the "largess" that was responsible for making the honors program a reality. Although that may have been the first time I came across the term largess, I quickly understood that the chancellor was talking about the great generosity from donors that had made the Macaulay program possible...no doubt a result of Mr. Goldstein's aggressive fundraising efforts. I remember being introduced to Roger Hertog, a generous benefactor of Macaulay, whom Chancellor Goldstein must have had in mind when speaking about largess. I also remember attending a CUNY-TV taping, featuring Matthew Goldstein interviewing Roger Hertog, which I remember being an interesting experience at the time, but in retrospect seems like an even more interesting experience now that I have a richer understanding of and appreciation for those individuals. Hertog was just one donor among many. More recently, the program benefited from the generosity of a man named Bill Macaulay. As a result, the program now boasts a beautiful building on West 67th Street off of Central Park West which serves as a home base for Macaulay students and alumni.
Over the last couple of years, I have continued to cross paths with Chancellor Goldstein on occasion. I had the pleasure of hearing Chancellor Goldstein speak at the Macaulay building for an event honoring the current dean, Ann Kirschner. I recently exchanged brief words with him at a Crain's panel event on education. Whether he knows it or not, his tenure as chancellor has influenced me greatly. I don't know that I have ever had the opportunity to personally express that to him in the past. Thank you Chancellor Goldstein for all your hard work. I have personally benefited a great deal from the program that you helped shape. You will be missed as chancellor and I wish you good luck with your next endeavor.