Starting today, businesses, organizations, and people across New York City are gathering together to announce that they’re All In on NYC.
It’s a marketing slogan, but it’s one that serves an important point. The pandemic hit New York State hard in its early days. Tragically, we lost more lives here than in any other state. But then we successfully battled back. Our world-class hospitals and healthcare workers learned how to treat the disease, and how to save lives. Our smart and savvy people took lockdown rules seriously, staying home, staying distant, and wearing masks. And New York City remains a great place for education.
The New York City region is and always has been an amazing place to go to school. As we always say at Pace University, when you come to Pace, New York City is literally your campus. City Hall is across the street from us, the Brooklyn Bridge is next door, and something like a dozen subway lines, which can take you anywhere in any borough, are within a few blocks. There are research opportunities and professional connections, and world-class avenues for channeling your passions, be they creative or entrepreneurial or political or scientific or all of the above. There are passionate, motivated people everywhere.
In the wake of the pandemic, we feared some students might be reluctant to come back to the New York City region. In fact, domestic enrollment numbers have been impressively stable, although we’re enrolling fewer international students this year than usual because of the difficulties in international travel.
They know that New York City is as fantastic a place to go to college as it has always been—and now, in fact, perhaps even better than before. Our recovery can and should be a model for the rest of the country. New York City is always where things happen first.
New York and its neighbors in the northeast are now the safest part of the country, with the lowest spread of the virus. In New York City and throughout the state, where testing rates remain high, the rate of positive tests has been at 1 percent or lower since the beginning of August. Perhaps because we were hit so hard early on, everyone here is doing what they need to do to keep the virus at bay.
Despite what you might read in the news, New York City is coming back to life. Through some of our recent beautiful weather, our parks have been full, our streets have been bustling, and diners have been enjoying meals on sidewalks around the city. We’re being careful, we’re socializing outdoors and at a distance, but we’re getting back to our new normal.
Museums have reopened—and with capacity limits and few tourists, they are quiet, contemplative, aesthetic delights. Theaters remain closed, but our creative arts are figuring out other ways to perform—outdoors, in parks, in some cases one-on-one. We remain the finance, media, and Fortune 500 capital of the country—and at Pace, where experiential education is a big part of our Pace Path model, many of the thousands of internships we place our students in are continuing, whether with safe social distancing or remotely.
Each fall, I teach our intro-to-college course, called UNV 101. This semester, I’m also teaching a timely course on campaigns and elections. I’m doing both in a format called HyFlex, with some students in a lecture hall with me at a safe distance (and with masks, of course) and others joining us remotely. It’s wonderful to have the chance to interact with students again. The young people who come to Pace—who choose to go to college anywhere in New York City—are also bold, ambitious, and unapologetic. This year’s students are all that and more. They’re brave and they’re determined, and they’re totally committed to getting the most from their education and taking advantage of everything New York City has to offer, even if they have to do that with a mask on.
New York City is open for business. New York’s colleges are open for business. Students are still coming here—from across the country and even around the world—to take advantage of an unparalleled college experience in the city at the center of the universe.
They’re New York tough. We’re New York tough. And we’re All In on NYC.