Benno Schmidt Honored
Benno Schmidt, chairperson of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York, will receive the sixth annual Philip Merrill Award of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal Arts Education. The presentation took place at a gala dinner at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia.
The Merrill Award honors those who have made an extraordinary contribution to the advancement of liberal arts education, core curricula, and the teaching of Western civilization and American history.
“At a time when the liberal arts are under siege and many educators are paralyzed by the face of a changing world, Benno Schmidt has emerged a champion for the arts and letters and a forward-thinking innovator committed to delivering quality instruction to all college students,” said Anne Neal, president of ACTA. “Whether protecting academic freedom or building a model community college with strong general education requirements, Benno has been at the epicenter of higher education reform efforts for more than two decades. We are very proud to recognize him for this award,” Neal continued.
CUNY has undergone an academic renaissance under Benno Schmidt’s leadership as chairperson. Before joining the CUNY Board, he led Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s task force on revitalizing the CUNY system. As president of Yale University from 1986 to 1992 he was known for his outspoken defense of freedom of expression and liberal education. Before joining Yale, he was dean of Columbia University Law School where, in 1973, he became, at age 29, one of the youngest tenured professors in Columbia’s history. #