(September 6, 2016, New York, NY) In a culmination of the 15-year anniversary of the William E. Macaulay Honors College at The City University of New York, Chancellor James B. Milliken has named Dr. Mary Corliss Pearl as Dean of the college. Dr. Pearl, who has served as Interim Dean of Macaulay Honors College since Jan. 30, 2016, was selected following a national search.
“Dr. Pearl is a distinguished scientist, environmentalist and educator who has demonstrated exemplary leadership in a number of significant positions, including provost and Interim Dean at Macaulay,” said Chancellor Milliken. “She is deeply committed to expanding opportunities for the highest-quality college experience for some of New York’s most talented and academically gifted. Since its launch in 2001, the Honors College has been enormously successful, attracting increasing numbers of top students to a program that prepares them well for top graduate and professional schools and exciting careers.”
Dr. Pearl expressed appreciation for the appointment and looks forward to beginning the next phase of the future of Macaulay Honors College: “I am thrilled to be able to advance my efforts on behalf of Macaulay. Nothing is more satisfying to me than being able to transform the lives of New York’s most promising students. I look forward to working with a wonderful team of students, faculty, staff, board members, advisors, and volunteers to ensure that our students have every opportunity to achieve their dreams. It is hard to imagine a more worthy investment in the future of New York than to build Macaulay into the finest honors college anywhere.”
CUNY Board Chairperson William Thompson also expressed support for the appointment: “As I have become familiar with Dr. Pearl’s record at Macaulay and elsewhere, I am convinced she’s the right leader for our Honors College today. She and the Chancellor are committed to an agenda that will not only continue to improve the Macaulay experience but find ways to expand its reach to even more deserving New Yorkers.”
Macaulay Honors College Foundation Board and City College alumnus Chairman William E. Macaulay ’66 praised Dean Pearl’s appointment: “I have been working closely with Dr. Pearl and have appreciated her commitment and enthusiasm for the students and their academic and personal growth. I look forward to continuing our efforts to provide a stellar environment for New York’s highest achieving students.”
In 2006, the college was designated the William E. Macaulay Honors College after a $30 million gift from Macaulay and his wife Linda. The search committee that identified Dr. Pearl as a finalist consisted of CUNY Trustees, faculty, students, a CUNY college president and two members of the Macaulay Honors College Foundation board of directors. Charles Shorter, a member of the CUNY Board of Trustees who served as chair of the search committee for the new Macaulay dean said: “I could not be more pleased with the appointment of the next dean. The search committee considered many outstanding candidates from around the country and always considered Mary Pearl to be among the top candidates. The fact that she has demonstrated her commitment to Macaulay and CUNY over the last few years is a huge plus as she hits the ground running as dean.”
Macaulay student Sara Louie ‘17 (City College), the first president of the school’s Scholars Council, and a member of the Dean’s Search Committee, praised the appointment of Dr. Pearl: “It’s the personal touch that really makes Dean Pearl stand out. Her weekly ‘It’s Friday!’ emails to students make us feel part of something more. In the building, it’s not uncommon to see Dr. Pearl talking to students or stopping by an event. Her willingness to listen to students personally and support their aspirations makes her stand out. I can’t wait to see where Macaulay goes under her leadership.”
During her tenure at Macaulay Honors College as provost and interim dean, Dr. Pearl has created and secured funding for Macaulay’s New Media & Digital Content Lab, new curriculums in multidisciplinary science, computer science, and data analytics, and new programs in study abroad and writing improvement. She has raised millions in grant support for execution of Macaulay programs. Dr. Pearl also started and secured a grant last year to pay for an improved pre-health career advisement program.
Prior to her leadership at Macaulay, Dr. Pearl served as the founding dean and administrative vice president of Stony Brook University Southampton. For 15 years, she was president of the EcoHealth Alliance, a global organization dedicated to innovative conservation science, where Dr. Pearl helped build careers of local scientists and educators in twenty high-biodiversity countries around the world and created innovative research programs. The organization grew tenfold during her tenure.
Macaulay Honors College was designed in collaboration with CUNY’s senior colleges to offer exceptional advising, hands-on internships and research opportunities, global learning opportunities, and a commitment to provide the skills and experiences for each student to excel in college and beyond.
The Honors College has grown from an inaugural class of 189 to a current student body of over 2,000. Some 28 nationalities are represented in a recent freshman class of 548, and approximately 60 percent of Macaulay’s students are either immigrants or the children of immigrants. Honors College students have received offers and fellowships to top graduate and professional schools, including Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Duke, Stanford, the University of California/Berkeley, CUNY and Oxford. Among the awards and honors won by Macaulay students are Rhodes, Truman, Goldwater, Fulbright, Salk, Coro, Beinecke, National Science Foundation, and NYC Urban Fellowships.
Macaulay Honors College at The City University of New York offers exceptional students a uniquely personalized education with access to the vast resources of the nation’s largest urban university and the largest city, New York City. Selected for their top high school records and leadership potential, Macaulay students receive a full tuition scholarship, a laptop and technology support, and an Opportunities Fund to pursue global learning, research and service opportunities. Macaulay students enroll in one of eight CUNY senior colleges: Baruch, Brooklyn, City, Hunter, John Jay, Lehman, and Queens Colleges and the College of Staten Island. For more information, see macaulay.cuny.edu.