CUNY Chancellor Emeritus Remembrance of Vartan Gregorian

Photo of Vartan GregorianACUE is saddened to mark the passing of Dr. Vartan Gregorian, a legendary figure in the world of education and long-time president of The Carnegie Corporation of New York. ACUE was first brought to Dr. Gregorian’s attention by CUNY Chancellor Emeritus, Matthew Goldstein, who received the Corporation’s 2007 Academic Leadership Award. Goldstein also served as founding chairman of ACUE’s board of advisors and shares these remembrances:


The passing of Vartan left a hollow feeling in me, for it is hard to imagine a world without this bright light leading the way.

When Vartan was President of the Carnegie Corporation, he and I became close. We often met for breakfast, usually at 9:30 am, so that he could first make sure his wife Clare was cared for. His sui generis nature, his kindness, and wisdom were gifts to all who knew him well. We served on a number of committees together, which was always a joy.

His work in higher education, especially at Brown University where the endowment grew significantly and star faculty members were recruited, is well known. But perhaps his signature achievement was as President of the New York Public Library. He transformed a beaten down institution into the intellectual and cultural powerhouse that it is today.

It was my pleasure to introduce Vartan to ACUE.  He was intrigued by our mission, believing that higher education must to do a much better job preparing its faculty to teach well. He said as much throughout his career, as recently as the Carnegie-supported report The Future of Undergraduate Education, The Future of America.

Vartan’s endorsement lead to financial support that has allowed ACUE to credential hundreds of faculty across the City University of New York, to the benefit of tens of thousands of New Yorkers. For that, and so much more, we thank you Vartan.

Matthew Goldstein

Chancellor Emeritus City University of New York

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