Parents of William ’17 (City College) and Thomas ’18 (Hunter College)
Interview by Edward Gregory, P’17 (College of Staten Island)
The Newman family has deep roots in higher education dating back to when Douglas Newman, a student at Columbia University, met Maura Milligan of Barnard College at the Columbia library. Four sons later, they find themselves with two scholars in Macaulay Honors College. William attends Macaulay at City College and younger brother, Thomas, recently accepted Macaulay at Hunter. Upon their recent Dean’s Circle gift of $10,000, the parents reflect on what Macaulay means to their family.
Macaulay: How did you become a Macaulay family?
Douglas: Our son, William, originally applied to Wesleyan. He lasted about nine days and decided it wasn’t for him. He took a year to consider his options while he worked in a bakery in Dobbs Ferry, experimented in electronic music, and ultimately applied to Macaulay.
Maura: William felt that he wanted to be in the city. Macaulay seemed it had the best of both worlds. It’s a small environment within a larger learning environment. He has the personal attention of being in a small school, but with the resources of City College and the whole CUNY system.
Douglas: The experience for him has been good. He’s happy as a clam at Macaulay. He stays in the Towers residence and is close enough to come home when he wants to.
Macaulay: What is William’s favorite class or activities?
Maura: He’s really enjoying Writing for Science. He wasn’t sure he’d enjoy it, but he really likes it. He’s been working hard and hasn’t had much time for the activities except for skateboarding with friends there.
Macaulay: … and Thomas?
Maura: Thomas has accepted Macaulay at Hunter. He’s going to study liberal arts. He’s creative; he’d like to study film.
Macaulay: What is it like to be a Macaulay parent?
Douglas: We feel lucky to have our son in a place where he is getting a good education. We feel that Macaulay has embraced us.
Macaulay: What is your parenting style?
Maura: With four sons, it’s hard to stay on top of them, so we give broad outlines. We monitor what he’s doing, but we want him to own the experience. We take a light hand with William. And it’s like that with all our children. We expect them to work hard. And if they have issues or if we see something developing we talk about it. We try to be a guiding force.
Macaulay: How do you see your role in Macaulay?
Douglas: We wanted to express our thanks by making a gift to help the college. We respect and appreciate what Macaulay is doing and their clear enthusiasm.
Macaulay: Any other thoughts?
Douglas: Macaulay makes an effort to reach out to the business community for their scholars. These students have a reputation for being inspired, aspirational, and are valued in the work place. As to William, he’s happy. He feels at home at Macaulay.