The City University of New York (CUNY), situated in one of the world's preeminent
cities, is the largest urban university in the United States and its third-largest
public university system. Nearly 208,000 students are enrolled for degrees on 19
campuses in all five boroughs of New York City. More than 205,000 students take
adult and continuing education courses.
From a college on Manhattan's posh Park Avenue to a beach-front campus in
Brooklyn, CUNY offers students a rich and diverse array of more than 1200 academic
programs-traditional liberal arts, highly specialized professional and careeroriented
courses-and the opportunity to study in a vibrant international capital of
finance, entertainment, communications and the arts.
CUNY traces its roots to the 1847 founding of the Free Academy, which later became The City College of
New York (CCNY). Then, as today, its mission was to "educate the whole people” - to uphold a commitment to
academic excellence while providing equal access to and opportunity for education.
Over the years other public colleges joined CCNY: Hunter in 1870; Brooklyn, 1930; Queens, 1937; New
York City College (now New York City College of Technology), 1947; Staten Island Community College (now
College of Staten Island), 1955; Bronx Community College, 1957; and Queensborough Community College,
1958. In 1961, a graduate school was organized, drawing its faculty from all CUNY senior colleges, and all were
incorporated into The City University of New York.
More institutions have since joined the CUNY system: Borough of Manhattan Community College and
Kingsborough Community College in 1963; John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 1964; Richmond College (now
the College of Staten Island), 1965; York College, 1966; Baruch College, Lehman College, Medgar Evers College,
Fiorello H. LaGuardia Community College, 1968; and Hostos Community College, 1970.
CUNY now boasts 10 senior colleges, six community colleges, a four-year technical college, a doctoralgranting
graduate school-the CUNY Graduate Center-a law school, an accelerated medical program and a
Just as City College welcomed waves of immigrants in the first half of this century, CUNY now enrolls
students from 145 countries who speak 115 native languages. Its student body also reflects the city's ethnic
diversity: 32% of students are black, 31% white, 25% Hispanic and 12% Asian. Qualified New York City high
school graduates and others who meet stated admission criteria continue to find a place at CUNY.
The new CUNY Honors College offers scholarships and special benefits to outstanding high school graduates.
CUNY offers outstanding and award-winning faculty-nearly 6,000 teach full-time- and many highly ranked
and respected programs, from the School of Engineering at CCNY and the School of Business at Baruch to the
School of Social Work at Hunter. More than a third of The Graduate Center's doctoral programs rank among the
nation's top 20, including Music, Art History, French, Linguistics, Hispanic & Luso-Brazil, History, English, Philosophy,
and Chemical Engineering, according to the National Research Council. U.S. News & World Report
places the clinical program at the CUNY School of Law among the country's top ten.
CUNY alumni-from Secretary of State Colin Powell and comedian Jerry Seinfeld to novelist Oscar Hijuelos
and Nobel Laureate Rosalyn Yalow - excel in every field of human endeavor. The University claims 10 other
Nobel Laureates among its graduates. CUNY supplies American business with more chief executive officers than
any other baccalaureate- granting institution. The University is also one of the nation's top producers of black and
Hispanic engineers and physicians.
Ten years after graduation, 80% of CUNY graduates still live in New York State, making contributions in
myriad fields of endeavor and creating jobs for thousands of other New Yorkers.
The City University of New York Athletic Conference
(CUNYAC), which now consists of ten institutions in its senior
college division and five institutions in its community college
division, was first conceived in the early 1970's. It was during
this period that the athletic directors representing the senior
colleges began to meet as a group. Their meetings initially
focused on matters pertaining to scheduling, but it soon became
apparent that their programs had many other significant factors
in common. Of particular note was the similarity in the academic
goals of respective institutions, athletic philosophies, geographic
proximity of their campuses and large numbers of
student-athletes already involved in intercampus competitions.
This underscored the need for greater unification among
CUNY athletic programs. So in 1972, the CUNY Athletic Directors
Association was formed. The major thrust of the Association
was to bring the existing athletic activities into an organized
conference structure. In the next few years, along with men's
basketball (which began in 1966), CUNY Championships in
men's soccer, women's volleyball, softball and baseball were
contested. In 1978, the athletic directors of the ten charter
member institutions (Baruch, Brooklyn, City College, Hunter,
John Jay, Lehman, Medgar Evers, Queens, College of Staten
Island, and York) ratified a constitution which informally brought
the CUNY Athletic Conference into being.
In the years that followed, Brooklyn and Queens College
withdrew from the conference to establish membership in NCAA
Division I and II, respectively. Spearheaded by the work of Dr.
Roscoe Brown, the President of Bronx CC, the CUNY Board of
Trustees passed a resolution in 1987 which formally sanctioned
the existence of the CUNYAC for the eight remaining charter
members and expanded it to include a five-member community
college division (Bronx, BMCC, Kingsborough, New York City
Tech, and Queensborough). Michael Steuerman, the Athletic
Director at Bronx, was named the first ever conference Commissioner
and served in that post until 1991. During Steuerman's
tenure Championships in women's and men's tennis and men's
volleyball were added to the senior college slate, while complemented
by men's basketball, women's volleyball, men's soccer
and baseball for the two-year schools. He also oversaw the
development of the various events as well as increasing the
corporate support for the CUNYAC Championships.
Equally significant has been the work of CUNYAC's corporate
sponsors over the years. Even before the CUNY Board
of Trustees envisioned a formal recognition of the athletic
conference within the CUNY system, Con Edison jumped on
board to support the annual gathering of the top local talent
within the Big Apple that the company serves. That support has
continued and grown substantially through the years, with this
year's championship marking the 27th anniversary of collaboration.
For the first 20 years one person was there all along - Ellis
Bullock, Jr., the former Manager of Con Edison's Community
Although Mr. Bullock officially retired from his post in
1995, his legacy of reaching out to the community on behalf of
Con Edison continues under the strong guidance and leadership
of Ron Delaney. A number of other sponsors have recently
joined the CUNY family, Modell's Sporting Goods, Coca-Cola,
University Student Senate, Hospital for Special Surgery, Sprint
PCS and Burger King, while companies like Brine (soccer),
Rawlings (baseball & softball), Spalding (basketball), and
Tachikara (volleyball) have become official equipment suppliers
for a number of conference championships.
The 1990's have brought some additional changes to the CUNYAC office. Steuerman, the CUNY pioneer, stepped down
from the top post only to be replaced by another seasoned
veteran of the CUNY system. With Ted Hurwitz in charge, a
subsequent change of scenery came about as the conference
headquarters shifted from the west side of Manhattan to the
sprawling APEX complex at Lehman College. Hurwitz therefore
returned to the campus where he has spent over two decades
in various capacities, including a very successful stint as the
women's basketball coach. At the same time, the Conference
finally had the means to upgrade the part-time Sports Information
Director role into a full-time Assistant Director position with Zak Ivkovic filling the post. The move enabled the CUNYAC to
take advantage of numerous new opportunities to advance the
cause of the Division III student-athletes within the CUNY
system. With the cooperation of on-campus cable network
BronxNet, coverage of various CUNY Championships became
an easier reality highlighting athletic achievements of all CUNY
students. The creation of the conference webpage followed
with yearly championships recaps and historical data continuously
being updated to show a rich history of intercollegiate
athletics taking place in its purest form.
It is thus that the CUNY Athletic Conference has come to
pursue its present goal - to promote the highest standards of
intercollegiate athletic competition at the Division III level. The
conference presently recognizes championships through tournament
and league play in 11 sports for men and 11 for women,
an increase by nearly 50% since its inception. CUNYAC recently
added its first women's and men's swimming championships, to
bring it up to 23. Each year more than 2,500 student-athletes
participate on the athletic teams of the CUNY institutions.
In 1996, CUNYAC welcomed back Brooklyn College from
a twelve-year hiatus. In 1999, New York City Technical College
received NCAA approval to upgrade their program from a twoyear
junior college to a four-year senior college program. That
in effect bolstered the senior college division of the CUNYAC
to ten members. At the same time, CUNYAC continued to work
on encouraging implementation of intercollegiate programs at
Hostos Community College, with the Bronx school coming on
board in September 2002. Now with five community college
members again, CUNYAC's efforts to broaden the participation
of student-athletes throughout the CUNY system will continue
on with discussions at LaGuardia Community College in Queens.
After years of hard work, perhaps the greatest achievement
of CUNYAC took place as the 20th century came to a close. The
conference was granted automatic berths to the NCAA Championships
in Soccer, Women's Volleyball, Men's and Women's
Basketball and Softball. Now CUNYAC's best will take their
rightful place among the nation's elite in these sports, much like
our track & field stars have done for years. Recently, CUNYAC
has turned the conference website (www.cuny.edu/sports) into
one of the best in Division III.
The City University's success at the National level culminated
with Kingsborough's men's tennis National Junior College
Championship in 1998. It is the only national title achieved
under the CUNY umbrella since the 1950 CCNY men's basketball
team captured both the NCAA and NIT titles.
Although it took some great people to lead the conference
this far, it will certainly take a monumental effort from today's
student-athletes, the leaders of tomorrow, to work that much
harder to keep CUNYAC on an even keel with the best in the
nation. The City University of New York Athletic Conference is
not just another sports league, judging from the long list of
distinguished alumni - it is the core of the Big Apple.
CUNYAC Operations Manual