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Project Education: At MCNY’s 50th Anniversary, Late Founder’s Legacy “Amplified” …

Distinguished New Yorkers Honor a College with History of Teaching How to Serve Others

An early photo of Audrey Cohen with David Dinkins.

Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) celebrated its founding with a 50th Anniversary Gala on Thursday, October 23 at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. Themed “Amplify the Dream”, the gala highlighted the school’s dynamic history. All proceeds will benefit MCNY’s supportive programs and scholarships. The gala’s honorary chair was Mayor David Dinkins, New York City’s first Black mayor.

“I am honored to serve as honorary chair of MCNY’s Anniversary Gala,” said Mayor Dinkins. “For half a century, MCNY has not only produced professional citizens in New York City but those who are also socially responsible and share a commitment to give back and make our society a better place for all New Yorkers.”

Humphrey A. Crookendale, Dean of School of Public Affairs and Administration, MCNY, (left) and MCNY Alum and Larry Scott Blackmon, Vice President, Community and Government Affairs, FreshDirect.

The gala honorees included: Helen LaKelly Hunt (Changemaker), Dr. Edison O. Jackson (Trailblazer) and Rick Baker (Champion). Robert Sargent Shriver will be honored posthumously.

Born out of the idealism and turbulence of the 1960s, MCNY was founded by Audrey Cohen, an innovative educator who believed the key to a truly effective education lays in uniting the classroom with the professional world. She launched the Women’s Talent Corps in 1964, addressing a dual need for both jobs and training. The program prepared motivated women with experience in their low-income neighborhoods for jobs to help implement and support change in their communities. Simultaneously, the Women’s Talent Corps worked to create a new level of “paraprofessional”, a term coined by Cohen for positions in organizations and agencies – teacher’s assistant, guidance counselor assistant, paralegal.
Audrey Cohen, educational visionary and activist, founded the Women’s Talent Corps in 1964. Through development and training for new professional positions, the Talent Corps created employment for thousands of people. It became The College for Human Services, later Audrey Cohen College, and today Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY). MCNY, now celebrating its 50th Anniversary, continues the tradition of offering highly motivated learners an education that combines applied skills and professional knowledge to effect personal transformation and positive change in the workplace and community. MCNY is a not-for-profit, accredited, independent college.

Internationally respected Wealth Management Advisor Rick Baker (left) stands with his greatest inspirations: parents John E. Baker and Eleena Baker and wife Lina Lopez.

Full year-round offerings accelerate degree completion, and a unique approach to learning permits close integration of workplace activities and study. MCNY is conveniently located in SoHo/TriBeca at 431 Canal Street, New York, NY 10013 and in the Bronx at 529 Courtlandt Ave., Bronx, NY 10451. For more information on MCNY, visit or call 800.33.THINK.

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