It was, he stated, to be the “main campus of our state university system for professional training in the visual and performing arts” and, as such, Purchase College would help “preserve the university as the open gateway to opportunity…where the only qualifications that count are the qualities of will and heart and mind of our young people.”
Over the last 40 years, the students, faculty and administration of the College have actively pursued Gov. Rockefeller’s founding vision of an educational community where the arts, the liberal arts, and the sciences flourish and mutually reinforce one another.
With the generous approval of Mrs. Nelson A. Rockefeller—and in recognition of the continuing importance of Gov. Rockefeller’s vision to the place of the arts in higher education—Purchase College inaugurated the Nelson A. Rockefeller Awards at its 40th anniversary gala in 2007. Rockefeller Awards are presented to individuals who have distinguished themselves through their contributions to the arts.
Jane and Donald Cecil
Generous philanthropists to theatre, dance, music, the visual arts, and education.
Jazz Master, clarinetist and composer. The only artist to ever have won Grammy Awards in both Classical and Latin Jazz categories.
Playwright. Pulitzer Prize winning author of Ruined, Intimate Apparel, and Crumbs from the Table of Joy.
Eminent artist known for evocative sculptures, drawings, and prints. In Whitney Biennial and major museum collections.
An American icon. Choreographer, author, Emmy award winner, an international force in Modern Dance.
Susie Essman '77
Comedian, film and television actress, co-star of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm.