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January 31, 2006


Multipurpose Room and Adjoining Forum Enhance College Experience With Space for Lounge, Refreshments, Social Events, Performances and Exhibits

NEW YORK, January 31, 2006 – The City College of New York (CCNY) today opened the Lillian and Harold Hoffman Student Center and Forum, a 4,900 square-foot multipurpose facility that offers students a place to relax, socialize, study and present extracurricular programs.  The new facility was made possible by a gift from CCNY alumni Lillian J. and Harold M. Hoffman, members of the Class of 1951 and Class of 1949, respectively.

“City College was our first encounter with the world beyond our circumscribed environment,” said Mr. and Mrs. Hoffman, who both grew up in the Bronx.  “Our education at the “Harvard of the Poor” opened our eyes to the joys of learning and opened doors to endless opportunities.  We, together with our children and grandchildren, are thrilled to be giving back to our alma mater.”

Designed in partnership with City College students, the new center consists of a 3,400 square-foot multipurpose room and an adjoining 1,500 square-foot auditorium known as the Lillian and Harold Hoffman Forum.  The facility is located on the first floor of the North Academic Center building.

“Our students have eagerly anticipated the opening of the Hoffman Student Center and Forum,” said Dr. Gregory H. Williams, President of The City College of New York.  “Its facilities for clubs, professional societies and social activities gives them the supportive environment they need as they move through the college experience.”

The multipurpose room, which is enclosed in glass panel walls that give it an expansive feel, is equipped with seating, tables and computer carrels that can be used for relaxing, socializing and study.  The furniture can be moved to accommodate dance, music, drama programs and other events.  A coffee and snack bar at the center of the room will offer refreshments.

The Forum will be used for theatrical performances, special seminars and lectures.  Its walls have been designed to highlight student artwork and will be used for rotating exhibits presented under the sponsorship of The City College Art Department.

“The Hoffman Center is the newest of the special facilities being created by The City College to provide its students with the full benefit and enjoyment of the college experience,” added Dr. Lois Cronholm, CCNY Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. 

Last year, CCNY opened a new Student Enrollment Center that houses the admissions, registrar and financial aid offices in a single location.  The Towers at The City College, the first residence hall built in CCNY’s 158-year history, is scheduled to open for the Fall 2006 semester.

The gift from the Hoffmans also provides for the renovation of an adjacent student game room, to be known as the Hoffman Game Room, and establishes an annual program fund for the Center.  Work on the game room is expected to be completed this spring.

Earlier, the Hoffmans separately established an endowed scholarship to benefit honors students at The City College.

Before enrolling at The City College, the Hoffmans, who met as teens, both attended James Monroe High School in the Bronx.  After graduation, Mr. Hoffman attended Yale Law School and went on to become a founding partner in the law firm of Kronish, Lieb, Weiner & Hellman, where he remains of counsel to the firm.  In addition, Mr. Hoffman is also a Village Justice in Great Neck Estates, New York, where the couple resides.

Mrs. Hoffman, a graduate of the School of Education, taught first grade.  In later years, she was a research associate in the Psychiatry Department of the Long Island Jewish Medical Center and a member of the hospital’s Bioethics Committee.

About The City College of New York

For over 158 years, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines.  Over 12,200 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Science, the School of Architecture, the School of Education, the Grove School of Engineering, the Center for Worker Education and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education.