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CUNY Dominican Studies Institute

Join the CUNY DSI Family! Become a Friend of CUNY DSI

A Thank You Note from CUNY DSI Director Dr. Ramona Hernandez.


Queridos y Queridas,

Thank you for taking the time out to learn about the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute and I would like to extend an invitation for you to become an official member of the CUNY DSI family by joining our Friends of CUNY DSI campaign.  Yes, we are asking for your financial support, but more than that, we are asking that you become an important partner with us in assuring the future growth of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute.
By becoming a member of the CUNY DSI family, you express in unequivocal terms your commitment to the future growth of the Institute, your support for the academic and cultural work it carries out, and your belief that people of Dominican descent in the United States deserve to have a world-class academic institution devoted to documenting and preserving their cultural and historical legacy.


A History of Community Support

Throughout its history, but especially in the formative years, the Institute has been able to count on the support of friends and colleagues. Many of you can remember that our Library, which now has more than 4,000 bibliographical references, including an important audiovisual collection, was started by Sarah Aponte with a call for donations to the Council of Dominican Educators. To this day, Sarah can still walk into the homes of Council members and walk out with a suitcase full of books. Even more amazing, more than 50% of the entire collection was donated by members of the community!

The Institute has been built by vision, passion, hard work, endless hours, many gifts-in-kind, and steadfast support from the City University of New York, from our home college The City College of New York, and an extraordinary capital grant from the New York City Council for the construction of our new Archives and Library facility to house the Dominican Archives and the Dominican Library, two entities without equal in the United States. But, like all other not-for-profit institutions, we are looking to build alternative funding sources as budget cuts start to impact our ability to grow and expand. And we need to expand to reach the level that academic research on Dominicans, and the dissemination of that knowledge, ought to have.

Building an Endowment to Secure the Future

I have identified the growth of our endowment as the most important opportunity we have to assure the Institute's ability to survive and grow. As you know, an endowment is a very special savings account, one that is created, invested, and managed in such a way that the interest generated, and only the interest, is used as a steady source of income for its beneficiary institution.  But the capital invested in the account needs to reach a sizable level, so that the interest allows for the type of initiatives we want to fund. Our challenge is to grow this account to a sum that will generate enough income to help shelter the Institute from the vicissitudes of external funding.

You may, of course, prefer to designate your gift for a specific area of operation such as the Institute's Dominican Archives or Dominican Library. When you are ready, please click on the DONATE TO CUNY DSI AND JOIN OUR FAMILY OF SUPPORTERS link to access our donation form. You will find a menu of options from which to choose the one that is dearest to you.

I hope that you will join us by sending your membership gift in support of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute. Send what you can, any amount you send will be deeply appreciated, and please encourage your family and friends to donate. Every gift is a demonstration of support for the Institute's future.


Ramona Hernandez, Ph.D.
Director, CUNY Dominican Studies Institute
Professor of Sociology, The City College of New York