NYU hosted the first university course for academic credit ever offered on a New York metropolitan-area television station. Produced by CBS-TV in association with NYU, the Sunrise Semester series began in 1957 as an experiment and ran for almost 25 years. The first course offered in this Emmy-Award winning series was “Comparative Literature 10: From Stendhal to Hemingway,” taught by Dr. Floyd Zulli, Jr., an assistant professor of romance languages at the College of Arts and Science. The 3-point course studied the development of the novel from Stendhal’s The Red and the Black to Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. To receive college credit, 177 students paid $25 per point. More than 700 students applied and some 120,000 others followed the course—without credit—on television. The series heralded the era of distance learning, solidified a creative partnership between CBS and NYU, and reinforced the power of television as a medium to educate.
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