Borough of Manhattan Community College
Borough of Manhattan Community College was founded in 1963 and opened in 1964 as a small, primarily business-oriented community college offering programs aimed at the business community.
Originally located in two floors of a commercial building in midtown Manhattan, the college focused on preparing students for business careers and on providing a liberal arts education to students who wished to transfer to four-year colleges. The college also created on-site training and management development courses for mid-level employees. BMCC continuously modified its in-house and on-site programs.
During the next two decades, the mission of the college changed in response to the advent of open admissions in the City University of New York in 1970, and later in response to the emergence of new technologies and changes in business and industry. By 1974, enrollment had increased to over 6,000 day and evening students.
A new building spanning four city blocks – from Chambers Street to North Moore Street –was constructed in lower Manhattan to serve as the school’s main campus. It opened in January 1983. BMCC is now the largest college in the City University of New York system, with roughly 25,000 students, and is the first community college in Manhattan.
Donated to the College in September 1993 as the largest single donation ever made to a community college, the building was severely damaged in the aftermath of the World Trade Center tragedy. BMCC launched the 2012-2013 academic year with the opening of the rebuilt Miles and Shirley Fiterman Hall.
Consistent with its stated mission, the College supports the following goals:
- To provide higher education to a diverse urban constituency in support of CUNY's policy of open admissions.
- To provide a collegiate environment conducive to the advancement and reinforcement of teaching and learning.
- To provide all students with a level of proficiency in basic skills to assure their readiness for, and likely success in, college and in the workplace.
- To enable and encourage students to make sensible and informed choices in setting their academic, career and personal goals.
- To provide for all students a general education, which fosters personal development, intellectual curiosity, and critical thinking to enhance informed and effective participation in society.
- To promote multicultural awareness and understanding in our college community and respect for pluralism and diversity in our society.
- To prepare liberal arts and career students for transfer to four-year colleges.
- To prepare students in career programs for employment and career mobility.
- To encourage lifelong learning independent of degree programs.
- To enhance the cultural, recreational and social life of the community.
- To maintain a governance structure that facilitates the participation of faculty, administrators and students in the life of the College and encourages contributions and involvement by alumni and advisory groups.
BMCC moved to 199 Chambers Street in Lower Manhattan, in January 1983. Situated on 4.28 acres, the main campus building spans four blocks from Chambers Street to North Moore Street, and is equivalent in length to the Empire State Building lying on its side. Sweeping Hudson River views are the backdrop for classroom, office and public gathering areas throughout the building, and BMCC makes full use of its proximity to Wall Street and City Hall areas by developing corporate partnerships that result in a wide array of student internships.
Students also benefit from internships and special workshops through BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center, housed on campus in two plush theatres; both offering orchestra and mezzanine seating for up to 937 audience members.
In addition to the 71 classrooms, eight seminar rooms, and numerous labs offering the latest in medical mannequin and other allied health and emergency management training equipment, BMCC’s main campus provides three attractive lecture halls seating up to 200 students. It also features a 913-seat auditorium, a 262-seat theater and a 99-seat drama workshop. The A. Philip Randolph Memorial Library spans two floors and provides 550 quiet study carrels, over 120,000 volumes of books, 50,000 electronic journals and other resources.
BMCC also houses one of New York City’s best video arts and technology labs—including professional quality recording studios for students projects—and a newly renovated, intercollegiate-size swimming pool and gymnasium which can be divided into three regulation basketball courts.
In September 1993, BMCC received the largest donation ever made to a community college, a commercial building donated by Miles and Shirley Fiterman and renamed in their honor. The original Fiterman Hall, located at 30 West Broadway (between Park and Barclay), was just a few short blocks from BMCC’s main campus, and sustained irreparable damage on 9/11 during the collapse of the nearby World Trade Center Towers, as well as when World Trade 7, an office building just across the street from Fiterman Hall, collapsed against it.
Eventually, in the years following 9/11, the original Fiterman Hall was razed and rebuilt. A groundbreaking ceremony for the new Fiterman Hall was hosted by Chancellor Goldstein, BMCC President Antonio Pérez, and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg on December 1, 2009, and in August 2012, a reconstructed Fiterman Hall opened for its first semester of students.
Designed by the architectural firm Pei, Cobb, Freed, & Partners and built by Hunter Roberts Construction Group, Fiterman Hall now houses 80 classrooms, plus computer and science labs, offices, a fine arts center and public café. Seventeen stories high, it provides a rooftop conference facility, and stunning, multi-story glass atriums, sweeping spiral staircases, double-height musical ensemble rooms, dozens of meeting rooms and student lounges, and a bicycle storage area. It increases BMCC’s classroom capacity by a third, and reflects BMCC’s promise to meet the needs of this growing and constantly evolving college community.
The Office of the Secretary