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Quick Takes: Rebuilding in Manhattan, Vennard to Close, Cornell Adds to Aid Program, College Stereotypes, Haverford's Unusual Coach

November 14, 2008
  • City and state officials joined Thursday in New York City to announce that funds had been secured to rebuild the Borough of Manhattan Community College's Fiterman Hall, which was destroyed on 9/11. Restoring the facility has been a top goal for the college ever since, but the requisite $325 million in funding has not been easy to obtain. On Thursday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the city would contribute $139 million. An insurance settlement will provide $80 million and the rest will come from the state and from the City University of New York, of which the college is a part.
  • Vennard College, a non-denominational Christian college in Iowa, will close for good at the end of the semester. An announcement of the closure cited a deficit and the inability in recent years to increase enrollment beyond 70-100 students.
  • Many of the private colleges that announced major expansions of their aid programs last year -- before the economic downturn was in full force -- have been making a point of saying that they will stand by their new policies. Cornell University on Thursday announced that it was expanding its aid program. Last year, the university announced that it was eliminating the loan expectation for those with family incomes below $60,000, and Thursday Cornell announced it was also eliminating the parental contribution. In addition, new loan caps were added for students from families with higher incomes but who are still eligible for aid.
  • ESPN announced Thursday that it would not continue developing an ad campaign for college basketball games it broadcasts -- after the Web site Awful Announcing published a leaked advertising agency casting call for the ads that suggested they were being based on stereotypes about colleges and those who attend them. Some of the stereotypes sought.... For Duke University: "Our guy for Duke UNIVERSITY is a smart, with it, young WHITE male. He's handsome. He's from money. He is, in short, the kind of guy everyone can't stand. He is the kind of guy everyone wants to be." For the University of Memphis: "MALE. What can we say about Memphis? He's a southern BLACK kid, really culinary and polite. He's artistic, and draws comic books really well." For Syracuse University: "MALE. Jewish kid from Long Island that is loving the college experience. It has opened up a world he never knew existed. All you can eat buffets in the cafeteria — who knew? To Syracuse, everything is a party."
  • A profile in The New York Times explores the career of Tom Donnelly, the men's cross country and track coach at Haverford College. Donnelly is known for throwing away the "coach of the year" trophies he wins while helping his athletes achieve unusual levels of success at an academically demanding institution.
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