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Class of 1953...


City College’s President, Harry N. Wright retired and President Buell G. Gallagher took office. President Gallagher was very popular with the Class of 1953 and was described as “one of the finest Public Relations man in our history” in the 1953 Microcosm. He is credited to helping bring together students and faculty at the College.

In addition to a new College President, the Class of 1953 also saw the expansion of CCNY’s campus. Eighteen-and-a-half acres of property stretching from 130th to 135th streets were given to City College, creating the South Campus. As the College expanded its campus, it also opened its doors to new students and created new programs. The College of Liberal Arts allowed women to enroll. The Graduate School of International Relations was established.

During their four years at City College, the Class of ’53 attended many social affairs. There were numerous Lewisohn Stadium concerts, the Sophomore and Junior Proms, Theatron, Annual Boat rides and the First and Second School Wide proms. Close to 250 students attended the Senior Prom which was held on Thanksgiving Eve in the Northern Gardens and Belvedere Room of the Astor Hotel. The Senior Class Council planned a topsy-turvy Senior Day (when the Seniors assumed the positions of Presidents, Dean and instructors), the Senior Class Show, and the Numerical Lights Ball. The Inaugural Ball was held in the Great Hall. The annual Carnival took place in the Academy building.

In addition to these events, several student associations planned social activities on campus. The sorority Dean ‘53 hosted the "Land-a-Leg" booth at the Spring Festival. The group also took charge of a few engagement showers and weddings. Roosevelt ’53 planned its first annual trip to Miami Beach. The Statistical Association held Easter Bunny Hops and Fall Turkey Trots. Hillel organized Passover seders, Succoth festivals, Purim commemorations, and Melaveh Malkah parties.

Several prominent speakers also addressed the CCNY Community. President Harry S. Truman spoke at the Alumni Association’s annual dinner in November. Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke to a great number of CCNY students and faculty gathered in the Great Hall.

The Class of ’53 bore witness to the biggest sports controversy in the College’s history. After winning the 1950 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball and the 1950 National Invitation Tournament, it was uncovered that four CCNY players shaved points in exchange for money. The basketball players were arrested and City College was banned from playing at Madison Square Garden and moved from Division I to Division III.

While basketball and most sports at the College were beset by various maladies and mishaps, the Beaver soccer team constantly improved as evidenced by its two Met championships in four years. The fencing team also managed to provide added laurels to the prominence of Lavender athletic squads. Hal Goldsmith was named National Foil Champ for the sport of fencing. The Class of ’53 also produced some of the finest individual records in wrestling with sterling performances from Dave Lesky, Jerry Steinberger, and Bernie Lloyd.

Many of these class notes are excerpted from the 1953 Microcosm, Editor-in-Chief Herbert Donald Gelber and the 1953 Lexicon, Editor-in-Chief Rober Parket and Aaron Rubin.



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