Hunter College High School

Hunter College High School

Hunter College High School in Manhattan

View of Hunter College High School
Mihi Cura Futuri
My care is the future
71 East 94th Street
New York City, New York
United States
Type Public, Selective Magnet
Established 1869
School district New York City Department of Education
Oversight Hunter College
Principal Dr. Tony Fisher
Director Dean Ketchum
Faculty 87[1]
Grades 712
Enrollment approx. 1,200[1]
Student to teacher ratio 13:1[1]
Campus Urban

Home:Purple     , Gold     

Away: Black     
Athletics conference PSAL
Team name Hawks
Accreditation MSA
Average SAT scores 2208
Average ACT scores 32.6[1]
Newspaper What's What
The Observer (unofficial)
Yearbook Annals
Feeder schools Hunter College Elementary

Hunter College High School is a secondary school for intellectually gifted students located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It is administered by Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY). Hunter is publicly funded, and there is no tuition fee. According to the school, "students accepted to Hunter represent the top one-quarter of 1% of students in New York City, based on test scores."[1]

Hunter has been ranked as the top public high school in the United States by both The Wall Street Journal and Worth.[2][3][4] The New York Times called Hunter "the prestigious Upper East Side school known for its Ivy League-bound students" and "the fast track to law, medicine and academia."[5] Publicly available data indicate that Hunter has the highest average SAT score, the highest average ACT score and the highest percentage of National Merit Finalists of any high school in the United States, public or private.[6][7]

Hunter graduates excel in many fields, most notably academia, law, medicine, writing and performing arts. Hunter graduates are known for breaking down race, class and especially gender barriers in their professions.

Hunter's alumni include Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, Hamilton (musical) creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, actresses Cynthia Nixon, Ruby Dee, Diane Lane, and (first African-American Emmy winner) Olivia Cole, authors Audre Lorde, Cynthia Ozick and Hortense Calisher, MSNBC host Chris Hayes, youngest ever EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony) winner Robert Lopez, first female NIH director Bernadine Healy, the first female presidents of four major universities and colleges, the first female Solicitor General of the United States, the first female Supreme Court Justices of three states and first female Chief Justices of two, and three Pulitzer Prize, two National Medal of Sciences, a National Medal of Arts, a Kennedy Center Honors, a Wolf Prize, a Lasker Award, a National Academy of Sciences Public Welfare Medal (its highest award), a Presidential Medal of Freedom, a King's Medal for Service in the Cause of Freedom (UK), a MacArthur Genius Award and numerous Emmy, Tony and Grammy winners.


Hunter was established in 1869 as "The Female Normal and High School", a private school to prepare young women to become teachers. The original school was composed of an elementary and a high school. A kindergarten was added in 1887, and in 1888 the school was incorporated into a college. The high school was separated from what would become Hunter College in 1903. In 1914, both schools were named after the Female Normal School's first president, Thomas Hunter.[8] The school was almost closed by Hunter College President Jacqueline Wexler in the early 1970s.

Hunter was an all-girls school for its first 78 years, with the official name "Hunter College High School for Intellectually Gifted Young Ladies". The prototypical Hunter girl was the subject of the song Sarah Maria Jones, who, the lyrics told, had "Hunter in her bones." In 1878, Harper's Magazine published an approving article about the then-new school:

The first thing to excite our wonder and admiration was the number – there were 1,542 pupils; the second thing was the earnestness of the discipline; and the third was the suggestiveness of so many girls at work in assembly, with their own education as the primary aim, and the education of countless thousands of others as the final aim, of their toil.

Girls all the way from fourteen to twenty years of age, from the farther edge of childhood to the farther limit of maidenhood; girls with every shade of complexion and degree of beauty; girls in such variety that it was amazing to contemplate the reduction of their individuality to the simple uniformity of their well-drilled movements. The catholicity and toleration crystallized in the country's Constitution prevail in the college: about two hundred of the students are Jewesses, and a black face, framed in curly African hair, may occasionally be seen.

The aim of the entire course through which the Normal students pass is not so much to burden the mind with facts as it is to develop intellectual power, cultivate judgment, and enable the graduates to take trained ability into the world with them.

The school began admitting boys in 1974 as a result of a lawsuit by Hunter College Elementary School parents, a development which was described in the New York Daily News with the headline "Girlie High Gets 1st Freshboys." In January 1982, the school was featured in a New York Magazine article entitled "The Joyful Elite."[9] Hunter was the subject of the 1992 book Hunter College Campus Schools for the Gifted: The Challenge of Equity and Excellence published by Teachers' College Press.[10]

The high school has occupied a number of buildings throughout its history, including one at the East 68th Street campus of the College (1940–1970). For several years in the 1970s, it was housed on the 13th and 14th floors of an office building at 466 Lexington Avenue (at East 46th Street). Since 1977, it has existed in a building designed to resemble the armory which previously existed on the site at East 94th Street between Park and Madison Avenues on the Upper East Side. Formerly, this was the site of the 94th Street Armory; today, part of the armory's facade (including two large towers) stretches the entire block of Madison Avenue in front of the school. The greater part of the armory building has been demolished. Because of its design, including narrow windows, Hunter is affectionately called "The Brick Prison."[11][12][13] The building contains both the high school (grades 7-12) and the elementary school (K-6), which are collectively known as the Hunter College Campus Schools.

In 2015, The New York Times reported on a study which gauged the emotions of New Yorkers based on their Twitter messages. Hunter College High School was described as "the saddest spot in Manhattan".[14]

Tony Fisher is the principal of the high school. Dean Ketchum is the principal of the elementary school and is the Director of the Campus Schools. Sonya Mosco is the deputy director of the Campus Schools.


Admission to the high school is only granted in seventh grade, and is a two-step process. Students from the five boroughs of New York City who have high scores on standardized tests are eligible to take the Hunter College High School entrance exam in the January of their sixth grade school year. Eligible students must first meet Hunter's standards in reading and mathematical proficiency on fifth-grade standardized exams, namely public school students must score at the 90th percentile (statewide) or above on both the New York State reading test and math tests, while private and parochial school students must score in the 90th percentile (of all of the private school students in the country) or above on both the reading and math tests administered by their schools.[15] Note that this results in an eligible pool of much less than 10% of New York City fifth graders for two reasons. The first is that much fewer than 10% of New York City public school students score above the statewide 90th percentile on either test. The second reason is that a student must score in the top 10% on both reading and math tests (so for example, a student scoring in the 99% percentile in math and the 89% percentile in reading will not be eligible to sit for the test, even though their overall score is in the 95th percentile). Thus, of about 65,000 fifth-graders in New York City, only 2,500 will be eligible to take the test. Most of those, between 2,000 and 2,300, do sit for the test and of those, between 182 and 185 are offered admission. Thus, "students accepted to Hunter represent the top one-quarter of 1% of students in New York City, based on test scores."[1] For example, in 2015, 182 (8.8%) of 2064 test takers were offered admission.[16]

Approximately 45 students from Hunter College Elementary School also enter the 7th grade class each year.[1] Beginning with incoming students in the 2010–2011 school year, elementary school students must make "satisfactory progress" by fifth grade in order to gain admission to the high school.[17] Prior to this, students at Hunter College Elementary School were guaranteed admission into the high school.

In total, an entering 7th grade class contains approximately 225 students, known as "Hunterites," about 200 of whom will graduate from the school. Those who leave go to other magnet schools, private schools, local public schools or leave the city. Some of those who leave are expelled, usually for low grades. The total enrollment from grades 7 through 12 is approximately 1,200 students.[1]

Concerns about admission policies

Author and alumnus Chris Hayes stated in Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy that the school's sole reliance on the one test for admissions reproduces societal inequalities; that students whose families cannot afford intensive test prep courses are less likely to earn competitive scores on the entrance exam. As a result, in recent years, the number of African-American students admitted to the school has been increasingly disproportionate to their presence in the public school system. Hayes quotes Hunter College High School's 2010 graduate Justin Hudson's commencement speech:

If you truly believe that the demographics of Hunter represent the distribution of intelligence in this city then you must believe that the Upper West Side, Bayside and Flushing are intrinsically more intelligent than the South Bronx, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Washington Heights, and I refuse to accept that.[18]


Hunter College High School in Manhattan.

In light of Hunter's academic excellence, The Wall Street Journal ranked it as the top public school in the United States and noted that it is a feeder to Ivy League and other elite colleges.[2][19] Worth likewise ranked Hunter as the top public school in the country.[4] The New York Times called Hunter "the prestigious Upper East Side school known for its Ivy League-bound students" and "the fast track to law, medicine and academia."[5] Publicly available data indicate that Hunter has both the highest average SAT score and the highest average ACT score of any school in the United States, public or private, though complete data is needed to be conclusive.[1][20]

Hunter offers "a wealth of opportunities for brilliant kids" according to the New York Post.[21] All Hunter students pursue a six-year program of study. The curriculum is a college preparatory program that provides a liberal arts education. The majority of subjects are accelerated such that high school study begins in the 8th grade and state educational requirements are completed in the 11th. During the 12th grade, students take electives, have the option to attend courses at Hunter College (for transferable credit), undertake independent academic studies, and participate in internships around the city.

Students in grades 7 and 8 are required to take courses in communications and theater (a curriculum that includes drama, storytelling, and theater). Students in grades 7–9 must take both art and music, each for half a year, and then choose one to take in tenth grade. One of the four available foreign language courses (French, Latin, Chinese, or Spanish) must be taken each year in grades 7–10, and Advanced Placement (AP) language electives are offered through the 12th grade. A year each of biology, chemistry, and physics must be completed in addition to the introductory science classes of life science and physical science in the 7th and 8th grades, respectively. During 7th and 8th grades, students must also participate in the school's science fair; the fair is optional for older students. After the introductory 7th grade social studies course, 5 semesters (spanning two and a half years) of global studies must be completed, followed by 3 semesters of American history. A series of English and mathematics courses are taught from 7th through 11th grades. (The math curriculum is split into a track of "honors" and a track of "extended honors" classes for students of different strengths after 7th grade). If students pass a placement test, they are able to skip a grade and attend classes of a higher grade (for example, a student who passes the test in 7th grade and is currently in 8th grade can take 9th grade "extended honors" mathematics.) Two semesters of physical education are taught each year, including swimming in the 8th grade (held at Hunter College). In 9th grade, students are required to take a CPR course for one semester. Starting in their junior year, students are allowed to take a limited number of electives and AP courses. The senior year, however, is free of mandated courses except for a year of physical education electives and courses to fulfill leftover educational requirements.

Hunter's English Department incorporates reading novels and writing analytical papers beginning in the 7th grade. Students have historically graduated with strong writing and reading comprehension skills, reflected by the school's high average SAT scores in critical reading and writing, and by the number of students who have earned recognition by the scholastic writing awards.

Upper-level electives and AP courses are offered by all six academic departments. AP courses include: AP Computer Science, AP Calculus AB and BC, AP Microeconomics and AP Macroeconomics, AP Psychology, AP European History, AP Chemistry, AP Physics C, AP Biology, AP Statistics, AP Spanish, AP French and AP Latin (Virgil). The English Department previously offered AP English and Literature but has since replaced it with the elective Advanced Essay Writing. Other electives include: Introduction to African-American Studies, "Race, Class, and Gender", International Relations, US Constitutional Law, Classical Mythology, Photography, Astrophysics, Advanced Art History I & II, Organic Chemistry, Creative Writing, Joyce's Ulysses, Shakespeare's Comedies and Romance/Shakespeare's Tragedies and Histories, and Physiology. Hunter's AP offerings are currently being evaluated by the Faculty and Curriculum Committee. The class of 2013 took 366 AP tests (~1.8 per student) with an average score of 4.5.[7]

There were 87 faculty members in 2013. 89% had advanced degrees. Many teachers are scientists, writers, artists, and musicians. Many come to Hunter with university-level teaching experience. The student/faculty ratio is 13:1, much lower than the city's other selective public schools (e.g. Stuyvesant = 22:1).

Nearly 99% of Hunter's classes of 2002 through 2005 went directly to college, and about 25% of these students accepted admission into an Ivy League school.[2] Worth reported that 9.4% of Hunter's classes of 1998 through 2001 attended Harvard, Yale or Princeton (the highest rate of any public school in the United States).[4] In 2006–2007, 73 of the graduating seniors were accepted into at least one Ivy League school, constituting approximately 40% of the whole class.

In the graduating class of 2015, out of about 190 students, Hunter received 89 total acceptances from the Ivy League, and ultimately, 56 students (~30%) matriculated into one of the eight Ivy League schools. There are six guidance counselors serving the student population. Each junior and senior is assigned a college guidance counselor.

Hunter students win many honors and awards during their high school careers,[22] including numerous scholastic writing awards. Hunter wins approximately 23% of all New York State Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. 74 members of the Class of 2013 (38%) were National Merit or National Achievement Scholarship Semifinalists.[1] Of particular fame are the winners of the Regeneron Science Talent Search (formerly Intel and Westinghouse STS)- the first-place winner in 2005 was Hunter senior David L. V. Bauer ('05), while the 1991 winner was Adam Cohen ('97, now a professor in the Chemistry and Physics Departments at Harvard). In addition, two of New York State's four 2005 Presidential Scholars were Hunter College High School seniors. Sandra Fong ('08) represented the United States in the 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing. She competed in the rifle shooting competition.

Publicly available data indicate that Hunter has both the highest average SAT score and the highest average ACT score of any school in the United States, public or private, though complete data is needed to be conclusive. For the graduating class of 2012, the average SAT score was a 2207.[20] The class of 2013 averaged 2200[1] on the test and the class of 2016 averaged 2208. The class of 2013 scored an average of 32.6 on the ACT.[1]

Extracurricular activities

Hunter offers many extra- and co-curricular offerings for a small school: 28 varsity teams, 14 co-curricular organizations, five music groups, four theater groups, student government, 22 publications and approximately 60 clubs. Clubs are diverse in their topics, and include politics, film, music, and knitting. Clubs and organizations at Hunter are all student-run, with faculty members as advisers. During club open house, members of the student body have the opportunity to spend their lunch time meeting representatives of clubs.[1]

Student government

The General Organization (G.O.) represents the student body. The executive board is composed of tenth through twelfth graders, elected by the student body, and includes a president, administrative vice president, activities vice president, treasurer, publicity secretary, and recording secretary. These officers organize school activities and communicate with the administration and faculty, frequently becoming involved in school policy. The G.O. organizes school-wide events such as Spirit Day, a school-wide outdoor recreation day usually held in October, and Carnival, held at the end of the school year.

Term Councils are grade governing bodies. They elect two senators for each grade who share their concerns with the G.O. They also plan grade-wide events such as dances and fundraisers, as well as the Semiformal and Prom.

Co-curricular activities

Students can choose to further pursue their academic interests through school activities such as the National Economics Challenge, Hunter United Nations Society, Fed Challenge (economics), Mock Trial, Debate Team, Math Team, the Hunter Chess and Go Teams, Quiz Bowl, Science Bowl, History Bowl, First Robotics, and the Washington Seminar. The Economics Challenge (run by the Council for Economic Education) team was formed in 2013 by two juniors and one sophomore, who subsequently led the Hunter team to become National Champions of the David Ricardo division in their inaugural year. The Hunter Chess Team has won numerous tournaments and championships. The Washington Seminar on Government in Action was introduced in the 1950s; students selected for this program research public policy issues throughout the year; arrange meetings with various public figures in Washington, D.C.; and then meet with them for questioning and discussion regarding their researched issue during a three-day trip in May. The Mock Trial team was the top team from New York City in 2015. The debate team is completely student run and is nationally recognized and attends various tournaments throughout the year including tournaments at universities such as Harvard, Yale and Princeton. The Middle School debate team is a top-ranked team, that took the top three spots at the Middle School Public Debate Program's National Invitational Tournament at Claremont McKenna College in 2013.[23] Hunter's Quiz Bowl team was started in 2006, and was nationally ranked in its inaugural year. The Quiz Bowl team went on to gain the title of national champions at the 2012 PACE National Scholastics Competition and at the 2016 High School National Championship Tournament. The History Bowl team were national champions in the 2012 National History Bee and Bowl during its second year. The Robotics team, started in 2009, takes part in First Robotics Competition won the Chesapeake regional in 2012. The Science Bowl Team placed 4th and 9th at the National Science Bowl championships in 2011 and 2012.

Musical extracurriculars

Students with substantial musical training can choose to enroll in the String Ensembles, Band, and/or Chorus groups. In 2002, the music groups toured in Spain, performing a number of collaborative pieces. They toured Greece in 2006 and Budapest in 2008.

The string ensembles are divided into "Strings" and "Chamber Orchestra", the latter being a much more selective group. They have performed a number of both contemporary and traditional pieces. The band is a woodwind-brass-percussion ensemble, and their focus is mainly on contemporary music, though they sometimes branch off into classical pieces such as Mozart's Horn Concerto in E Flat. Chorus is divided into the concert choir and the chamber choir. The concert choir is a larger group than the chamber choir, and consists of members from the tenth to twelfth grades. There is also a selective jazz chorus, founded by former music teacher Campbell Austin, which focuses solely on jazz and pop. The Jazz Band performs arrangements of jazz music.

Students may also audition for Junior Orchestra (grades 7–8, except in special cases) or Senior Orchestra (grades 9–12, except in special cases), which perform in the two semi-annual concerts at Hunter, the Winter Concert and the Spring Concert. The concerts for the Junior Orchestra and Senior Orchestra are divided into two distinct concerts, the "Middle School Concert" and the "Winter (or Spring) concert", respectively.


Hunter's sports teams are extremely competitive given the school's size; several, including both Girls' and Boys' Volleyball, Swimming, Fencing, Golf, Tennis, and Lacrosse are usually among the top 10 in the city. The number of varsity teams- 31 -that compete in the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) is also exceptional number given the school's size.[24][25] These sports are cross-country (boys' and girls' varsity), soccer (boys' varsity, junior varsity and middle school and girls' varsity and middle school), swimming (boys' and girls' varsity and co-ed middle school), volleyball (boys' varsity and girls' varsity, junior varsity and middle school), golf (coed and girls' varsity), basketball (boys have two middle school teams, one junior varsity team, and one varsity team, while the girls' have one middle school and one varsity team), indoor track (boys' and girls' varsity, middle school, and recently it was extended to the elementary school as well), outdoor track (boys' and girls' varsity, middle school and elementary), baseball (boys' middle school and varsity), softball (girls' middle school and varsity), lacrosse (boys' and girls' varsity and junior varsity), tennis (boys' and girls' varsity), ultimate (boys' and girls' varsity), bowling (boys' varsity), fencing (boys' and girls' varsity), badminton (boys' and girls' varsity), handball (coed varsity) and wrestling (boys' and girls' varsity and co-ed middle school).

Many teams are called "Hunter Hawks" because the school mascot is a hawk.[26] Some exceptions, however, are the boys' volleyball team (Hunter Hitmen), the girls' volleyball team (Headhunters), the girls' swim team (Hunter Duckies), and the Ultimate Frisbee teams (Hunter Halcyons).

In the 1983–84 school year, the Hunter Heat, Hunter's bowling team, finished as the top team in Manhattan, Staten Island, and the Bronx, losing to Cordozo High School (number one team in Queens and Brooklyn) in the PSAL city championship. Benjamin Sobel ('12) bowled for Ohio State University after great success in the high school level, both in PSAL and nationally.[27]

In 1984 the boys' cross country team, in its second year in existence, defeated George Washington High School for the Manhattan Championship. The boys' X-C team upset a George Washington squad that had not lost the Manhattan X-C championship in twelve years.

In 1988 and 1995, the boys' volleyball team won the New York City PSAL title. In more recent years, a few teams have made runs at the city championship. During the 1998–2001 era, an unusual concentration of athletic talent led the basketball team deep into the PSAL playoffs for 3 consecutive seasons. In 2005, the boys' volleyball team finished 4th in the city, the girls' soccer team reached the playoff semifinals, and co-ed fencing finished 3rd in the city. In 2008 the girls middle school soccer team were undefeated in the entire season and won the league. In the winter of 2005, co-ed fencing captured the city title. This was quickly followed, on November 22, 2005, with the Hunter Girls Varsity Volleyball team's defeat of JFK High School to become the New York City Champions.

Boys' and girls' swimming were also successful in 2005. The boys' swimming team defeated its rival, Bronx Science, breaking a 15-year dry spell against the school. The girls had the first ever tie in PSAL Playoff history against Brooklyn Technical High School (47–47). The win was later awarded to Hunter. In 2009 Hunter's girls swim team beat rival school Bronx Science for the first time in nine years by six points.

During the 2005–2006 school year, the girls' volleyball team won the PSAL city championship after many years of falling short of the championship, losing in the semifinals and finals.

The girls' and boys' tennis teams also did well in the 2006 season, with the girls' team ranked 4th in the city, and the boys' team ranked 7th. In 2008, the tennis team reached the A division finals but lost to top-seeded Beacon.

In the winter of 2006 the boys' fencing team won the PSAL city championship for the second year in a row, beating rival school Stuyvesant in the finals. It has since captured the silver medal in winter 2008, losing to Stuyvesant in the final, and the bronze medal in winter 09, again losing to Stuyvesant, after beating them twice during an undefeated regular season to win the division championship. It proceeded win the city championship again in 2011, followed by bronze in 2012, and silver in 2013. Following another undefeated season, the team took first place in 2014, winning in a single-touch tie-breaker against rival Brooklyn Technical High School.[28]

In the 2009-2014 seasons, the Girls' Varsity Fencing Team won five consecutive PSAL championships.[29]

Hunter's varsity baseball and basketball teams were relegated to the B Division at the beginning of the 2006–07 school year, and reacted well to these changes. Both teams made deep playoff runs, with basketball losing in the second round, and baseball upsetting the second seeded team and losing in the quarterfinals. In the spring of 2008, the baseball team lost in the second round of the playoffs to eventual finalist and top-seeded Bayard Rustin. In the 2008–2009 school year, the varsity basketball team rejoined the A division and achieved an impressive undefeated record.

At the beginning of the 2007–08 school year, Hunter's boys varsity soccer team also moved to the B Division of the PSAL, and finished the season with a 7–1 record, culminating in a heartbreaking playoff loss.

In 2010, Hunter's boys varsity soccer team, under the lead of returning Coach Asumana Randolph, defied all odds by winning their division, and winning the first round of playoffs in overtime, a game which in past seasons has been the last. They went on to win the quarter finals, playing the defending champion, Queens Vocational, and also to win semi-finals. Hunter continued their streak to the championship, where they played Monroe Campus and won in a shut out; 3–0, becoming the first Hunter Boys' soccer team to win the PSAL championship. A rough game, the championship was won at the cost of broken leg of Captain Emmett Kim, who was injured while scoring a goal. Standout Julian Ricardo also was injured, tearing his ACL, but continued to play on. Coach Asumana Randolph, ecstatic about the magnificent season, promised the team an African dinner; motivation which helped them push through each playoff round.

In 2011, both the Boys' and Girls' varsity lacrosse teams won the PSAL Bowl Division Championships. In 2013 Boys' Lacrosse won the City Championship against Tottenville.[30] That season, prior to winning the City Championship, they were ranked third overall among all city schools, both public and private (after first-ranked Dalton and second-ranked Tottenville).[31]

In the 2012 season, the Boys' Middle School Soccer Team were the Citywide PSAL Champions winning the finals against Salk.[32]

In the 2016 season, the Girls' varsity golf team won the citwide PSAL championship, defeating Bronx Science High School 5-0 in the finals.[33]

The Athletic Association (AA) is an organization of varsity athletes that promotes school spirit and the interests of student athletes. The AA organizes intramural tournaments, sells Hunter apparel, and promotes sporting events. The AA coordinates and executes Sports Banquet and the annual Junior-Senior football games during Spirit Day as well.

Student publications

Hunter has many student publications, including What's What, the official school newspaper since 1922, and its rival independent paper, The Observer. Weekly circulations include "What's On", a joint presentation of the G.O. and What's What. Student-produced magazines include Argus (poetry and prose), The Hunter Economist (political and economic commentary), Chapter 11 (satire), Tapestry (science fiction and fantasy), Radicals (math), The Desk (literary magazine for lower-termers), Annals (the school's yearbook), The Idealist (social justice), The Leading Strand (science), F-Stop (photography), Bound (music), Hunter Political Magazine, Violet (popular culture and fashion magazine), Rewind Magazine (movies and media), "Storyboard" (graphic stories), "Artillery" (student art), T.H.A.T. Theatre Review (theater), "Food For Thought" (recipes, restaurant reviews, and food-interest stories), and Polyglot (foreign language literature).

Theater productions

The Hunter theater program is an active one, often with a season of four main-stage productions and many other showcase productions. In a season of four main-stage productions, they normally fall into these categories: a Shakespeare play; a Musical (Musical Repertoire, often referred to as REP); Hunter Classics, for students in grades 7 through 9; and the Brick Prison Playhouse, showcasing several student-written plays. There are likewise two Theater Production Practicum (TPP) showcases, with student-directed one-act plays (through the class TPP), as well as a 7th grade play festival. Many cultural clubs also produce performances highlighting their culture.

School events and traditions

Students at Hunter often enjoy various social events that are sponsored by the school administration, faculty and the student-run General Organization. These include:

Several formal dances are arranged throughout the year:

Several classes and extracurricular groups hold annual trips outside of New York City. International trips include the bi-annual AP Art History trip, the Shakespeare Etc. club trip, and trips taken by various school-run musical groups (such as Jazz Band or Chorus).


Hunter graduates excel in many fields, most notably academia, law, medicine, writing and performing arts. Hunter's many distinguished alumni include Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, actresses Cynthia Nixon, Ruby Dee, Diane Lane, and Olivia Cole, authors Audre Lorde, Cynthia Ozick and Hortense Calisher, MSNBC host Chris Hayes, youngest ever EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony) winner Robert Lopez and three Pulitzer Prize, two National Medal of Sciences, a National Medal of Arts, a Kennedy Center Honors, a Wolf Prize, a Lasker Award, a Presidential Medal of Freedom, a King's Medal for Service in the Cause of Freedom (UK), a MacArthur Genius Award, a National Academy of Sciences Public Welfare Medal (its highest award), and numerous Emmy, Tony and Grammy winners.

Hunter graduates are known for breaking down race, class and especially gender barriers in their professions. For example, at Harvard Law School alone, Hunter alumnae have been the first Asian-American faculty member (Dorothy Chin Brandt), female Asian-American tenured professor (Jeannie Suk), female Assistant Dean (Chin Brandt) and female Dean (Elena Kagan). Hunterites have also been the first African-American Emmy winner (Olivia Cole), as well as the first women to serve as: NIH director (Bernadine Healy), Solicitor General of the United States (Kagan), Deputy National Security Advisor, Deputy CIA Director, presidents of four major universities and colleges, president of the Conference of Supreme Court Chief Justices, Supreme Court Justices of three states and Chief Justices of two, and (the first and only female) winner of the National Medal of Sciences in Engineering.

Notable alumni include:[34]


Hunter is an open campus, allowing students to go outside during lunch and free periods.

See also


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Coordinates: 40°47′8.92″N 73°57′14.04″W / 40.7858111°N 73.9539000°W / 40.7858111; -73.9539000

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