Independent Sector of Higher Education Honors Arthur O. Eve with the 2014 John Jay Education Award

CICU News Date: 
03/05/2014

Arthur O. EveIndependent Sector of Higher Education Honors Arthur O. Eve with the 2014 John Jay Education Award

2014 marks the 45th anniversary for the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program, named in his honor

Albany, NY — Former Deputy Speaker and member of the New York State Assembly, the honorable Arthur O. Eve from Buffalo was honored in Albany on Monday evening for his unwavering commitment to public service and education with the 2014 John Jay Higher Education Award.

Mr. Eve is credited with expanding The City University of New York’s College Discovery and Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge (SEEK) programs to private, not-for-profit and state colleges and universities. For more than four decades, the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) at independent colleges and universities and is sister program at The State University of New York have opened the door to higher education. His efforts on behalf of economically and educationally challenged students ensure that each year thousands of students have an opportunity to pursue higher education as the gateway to a better life. HEOP, named for Mr. Eve, celebrates its 45th anniversary year in 2014.

The ceremony was held in conjunction with the 58th Annual Meeting of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU), New York’s private, not-for-profit college and university presidents. The John Jay Higher Education Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Independent Sector of higher education in New York State. Created by the cIcu Board of Trustees in 1980, it is named for John Jay, a Chancellor of the Board of Regents, author of the New York State Constitution, Governor of New York State and the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Father Joseph M. McShane, Chair, CICU Board of Trustees and President, Fordham University, said: “We are pleased to celebrate Arthur O. Eve, a man who is responsible for enabling thousands of New York students to realize their college aspirations. The true legacy of Arthur Eve’s namesake and landmark initiative, the Higher Education Opportunity Program, are the students that the program serves, what those HEOP graduates have done and what they will do in the future."

Laura L. Anglin, president of CICU, said: “It is fitting to honor former Assemblymember Arthur Eve in this special year as 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the Tuition Assistance Program, TAP and the 45th anniversary of the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program or HEOP. Together, TAP and HEOP—along with our other opportunity and student aid programs—make it possible for thousands of students across New York State to pursue a college education.”

Meshach Cummings, an Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program student at Union College in Schenectady, NY, said: “For me, HEOP simply represents the triumph of success over any challenges. Being part of this program, that seeks to embed confidence and determination in each of its students, has opened the often-closed doors to higher education and corresponding career paths for myself and thousands of other students across New York State.”

College opportunity programs provide a broad range of services to New York State residents who, because of academic and economic circumstances, would otherwise be unable to attend a postsecondary educational institution. The state’s first opportunity program, College Discovery, was established in 1964 at the City University (CUNY) community colleges to provide counseling, tutoring and supplemental financial assistance to disadvantaged students. It was followed in 1966 by SEEK (Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge) in the CUNY four-year colleges. In 1969, Assemblyman Arthur O. Eve championed the creation of the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) at independent colleges and universities in New York State and also influenced the creation of the Educational Opportunity Program at the State University of New York. Today, there are currently more than 4,600 students participating in 56 HEOP projects at 50 independent colleges and universities in New York State. HEOP students graduate at rates above the national average of all students.

The text of the citation follows:

“The Board of Trustees of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities herewith presents the John Jay Higher Education Award to The Honorable Arthur O. Eve

A dedicated public servant, strong student advocate and prominent leader in the civil rights movement, we honor you for your unwavering commitment to public service and education. From your election to the New York State Assembly in 1966 until your retirement in 2002, you served the New York State Assembly (143rd and 141st districts) for 18 consecutive terms. As Deputy Speaker of the Assembly from 1979 to 2002, you were the highest-ranking African American in the New York State Legislature.

A champion of higher education in the State Legislature, you are credited with expanding The City University of New York’s College Discovery and Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge (SEEK) programs to private, not-for-profit and state colleges and universities. For more than four decades, the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) at independent colleges and universities and its sister program at The State University of New York have opened the door to higher education. Your efforts on behalf of economically and educationally challenged students ensure that each year thousands of students have an opportunity to pursue higher education as the gateway to a better life. Since their inception, these programs have graduated more than 200,000 students. If not for your vision and leadership, these students may never have had a chance to fulfill their college dreams and become educated members of society.

We applaud your advocacy for causes of education, economic development, job training and development, and social services. With your strong belief that a nation should be judged by how it attends to its disadvantaged citizens, you stand among the giants in providing educational opportunity through the programs that bear your name.

It is because of this commitment and dedication to public service and education the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities hereby presents this award with our appreciation for your legacy to past, current and future generations of students in New York State.”

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About the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU)
The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) represents the chief executives of New York's 100+ independent (private, not-for-profit) colleges and universities on issues of public policy. Member colleges compose the largest private sector of higher education in the world and confer most of the bachelor's degrees (54%), master's degrees (73%), and doctoral and first-professional degrees (79%) earned in New York State. www.cicu.org

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Contact:    Terri Standish-Kuon, terri@cicu.org; Jennifer Miller, jennifer@cicu.org

                  

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