What Is the History of Lehman College?


Quick Answer

Lehman College is a senior liberal arts college that opened in New York in 1968. Prior to World War II, only female students attended Lehman College.

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Soon after the United States entered into World War II, the students and faculty at Lehman College turned over the campus to the U.S. Navy. In 1946, the first American meetings of the U.N. Security Council took place in the school’s gymnasium building. In 1986, the Southern New York State Division of the United Nations Association provided the school with a commemorative plaque that appears outside of the gymnasium building.

In 1947, the Lehman College started accepting servicemen, but the men studied in separate classrooms. In 1951, the school became fully coeducational and introduced a four-year curriculum. In 1967, the campuses separated into different units, and one of the campuses was named after Herbert H. Lehman, a four-time governor of New York State.

Every year, on or about March 28, the school invites a distinguished speaker to give the Herbert H. Lehman memorial lecture. Since the establishment of the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in 1980 as well as the opening of Lehman College Art Gallery in 1984, the college has become a cultural hub for the region. The college’s performing arts departments present dozens of plays, exhibitions and concerts. Lehman College’s child care center opened in 2013. The facility features a multipurpose room, a natural playground and an after-school space.

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