Justice is Served
As President Jeremy Travis prepares to step down after 13 years as John Jay’s fourth president, he leaves behind a series of milestones that have fundamentally transformed the College, and the lives of those who study, teach, and work here. From the moment students enter John Jay at Freshman Orientation (left) to their departure as new alumni at Commencement, and in all manner of moments in between, many thousands have felt the influence of President Travis. On the following pages, Justice Matters recalls some of the many high points of the Travis administration.
With John Jay’s 50th anniversary looming, the challenge was to raise $50 million to support student scholarships and other important initiatives. In 2014, one year ahead of schedule, the ambitious Campaign for the Future of Justice met and surpassed its goal, with a sweeping array of gifts and grants both large and small. Included in the campaign were leadership gifts from John Jay College Foundation chairman Jules Kroll and his wife, Lynn, and from alumnus and foundation trustee Dr. Andrew Shiva and his wife, Anya. A new campaign is currently under way to raise $75 million by 2020.
In August 2010, John Jay welcomed its first-ever all-baccalaureate class, capping a four-year process that led to its designation as a senior college of the City University. Included in that transition was the phasing out of associate-degree admissions at John Jay, and the creation of the CUNY Justice Academy, a consortium involving John Jay and six CUNY community colleges. As of this writing, the first members of that 2010 entering class have graduated and gone on to become the “fierce advocates for justice” that their John Jay education prepared them to be.
In 2008, President Travis created the Justice Awards, which are presented annually to individuals who have made a significant impact on the international, national, and community levels. The first such award was bestowed on New York State Chief Judge Judith Kaye, a staunch and long-time supporter of John Jay. The 2014 Justice Award was presented to Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel (c.), seen here with President Travis and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. As President Travis has noted: “The Justice Awards are given to those who, like the ancient philosophers, understand that justice is a ligament that holds society together.”
In 2012, John Jay joined CUNY’s prestigious and highly competitive Macaulay Honors College, which provides students of exceptional academic ability with unique
educational experiences and unparalleled opportunities beyond the classroom. Students in the Macaulay Honors College at John Jay receive full four-year scholarships and a number of other financial and academic benefits. Joining seven other CUNY colleges in Macaulay, President Travis said, “reflects the University’s judgment that John Jay has the ability to attract and challenge the very best students. That’s a great tribute to us, to our mission, and to our faculty.”
The John Jay campus took a long-awaited step forward, upward and outward in 2011 with the opening of its new building, which added more than 600,000 square feet of classrooms, offices, lecture halls, laboratories, performance spaces, and more to the College. From land acquisition to groundbreaking to grand opening, members of the John Jay community were able to watch as the campus expanded to fill the entire block between 10th and 11th Avenues, from 58th to 59th Street. One of the crown jewels of the building is the rooftop campus common that students themselves named the Jay Walk. And connecting the new facility to Haaren Hall (“the T building”) is John Jay’s 9/11 Memorial commemorating the 67 members of the College community who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.