NYU Alumni Magazine Spring 2008

Letter from the President

Since 1831, the idea of NYU being in and of the city has guided us as scholars and citizens. But more and more, we have also realized that we are an institution in and of the world—sitting as we do in the heart of the most cosmopolitan, polyglot city on Earth. NYU thrives on ideas and talents from nearly every nation, and as a result, however farflung some places may be from this metropolis, we cannot ignore the most clawing questions they face. For many that question is what to do about poverty, an abhorrent reality for almost half the world population. In this, our 10th issue, we uncover the roots of this inequality and the range of ideas and research on how it might be rectified (“Critical {Eye On} Aid”).

This is not to say that we have in any way forgotten our beloved city. In addition to the endlessly popular "Best of New York," you'll also find in these pages a review of a galvanizing art movement spawned in our own backyard, which is now the subject of a Grey Art Gallery show ("The New York School"), as well as a profile of alumnus Charles Simic,who once sharpened his wry wit on the city's sidewalks and this year added U.S. Poet Laureate to his list of distinctions ("The Poet Considers").

Finally,we look at the one thing that far too often these days plagues us, in New York City and beyond: fear—and the astonishing work that NYU neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux is doing to counter it ("Anxiety on the Brain"). We hope that despite the gravity of some of these topics, you'll find there is much to be hopeful for this spring.

—John Sexton

Photo © Matthew Septimus