Provided by New York University
One hundred and seventy five years ago, Albert Gallatin, the distinguished statesman who served as secretary of the treasury under President Thomas Jefferson, declared his intention to establish "in this immense and fast-growing city . a system of rational and practical education fitting for all and graciously open to all."
At that time, 1831, most students in American colleges and universities were members of the privileged classes. Albert Gallatin and the University's founding fathers planned NYU as a center of higher learning that would be open to all, regardless of national origin, religious beliefs, or social background.
While the University's commitment to these ideals remains unchanged, in many ways Albert Gallatin would scarcely recognize NYU today. From a student body of 158, enrollment has grown to nearly 40,000 students attending 14 schools and colleges at six different locations in Manhattan and in over 20 study-abroad countries around the world. Students come from many foreign countries. The faculty, which initially consisted of 14 professors and lecturers (among them artist and inventor Samuel F. B. Morse), now totals over 3,100 full-time members.
New York University's mission is to be an international center of scholarship, teaching and research defined by a culture of academic excellence and innovation. That mission involves retaining and attracting outstanding faculty, encouraging them to create programs that draw the best students, having students learn from faculty who are leaders in their fields, and shaping an intellectually rich environment for faculty and students both inside and outside the classroom. In reaching for excellence, NYU seeks to take academic and cultural advantage of its location in New York City and to embrace diversity among faculty, staff and students to ensure the widest possible range of perspectives, including international perspectives, in the educational experience.