The City College of New York will rename its Division of Social Sciences the Colin L. Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. The City University of New York Board of Trustees approved the name change at its April 29 meeting after hearing testimony from General Colin L. Powell and students from the Colin Powell Center for Leadership and Service, the leadership and public policy center at CCNY established in 1997.
The school’s formal inauguration was scheduled to take place on May 2. Powell was scheduled to speak and receive the CUNY Chancellor’s Medal from Chancellor Matthew Goldstein. A capital campaign for the school has raised more than $30 million.
The Chancellor’s Medal, the university’s highest executive honor, recognizes extraordinary contributions to CUNY, commitment to education and outstanding public service. Past recipients include Jonas Salk, Coretta Scott King, John Cardinal O’Connor, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Other speakers will include actress Linda Powell, advertising executive Linda Kaplan Thaler, journalist and author Tom Brokaw and CCNY President Lisa S. Coico, all of whom serve on the Powell Center Advisory Committee. Linda Powell is Powell’s daughter.
“I am humbled and honored that the governing bodies of City College and, now, the City University, have viewed this change as a major step in enhancing all academic programs under the banner of this school,” Powell said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing my involvement with the activities and the faculty involved with the school.”
“General Powell epitomizes the CUNY success story,” Goldstein said. “Since he left the military and his role as Secretary of State, he has given unstintingly to City College students through his public policy center. With this new recognition, we hope that the same principles that inspired General Powell – the principles that he has personally sought to instill in the students he has worked with at the center – will inspire generations of students to come.”
Said Coico: “I have no doubt that the Colin Powell School will become known as one of the best places in the world to study issues of equity, democracy, citizenship and service.”
Powell, a member of the City College of New York Class of 1958, was the first African American to serve as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and U.S. Secretary of State.
The Colin Powell School will contain the departments of Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, Psychology and Sociology, and house programs in Black Studies, International Studies, International Relations, Latin American & Latino Studies, Pre-Law, Public Service Management and Women’s Studies.