At a ceremony today with Mayor Michael Bloomberg to rededicate the newly restored Washington Square Arch, New York University President John Sexton announced that the University would contribute $1 million dollars to a renovation of the park that is currently being planned.

The University currently gives some $200,000 each year to support Washington Square Park. This money provides for personnel, including parks enforcement patrol officers, a gardener, and a maintenance man. In addition, the University will be donating $300,000 to set up a fund for the ongoing maintenance of the Washington Square Arch, to prevent it from again falling into disrepair. And each April, hundreds of NYU volunteers clean and paint the park and plant flowers, an effort underwritten by the University.

John Sexton said, “From its conception, New York University has been a university not only in but of the city. We are indivisible from this city - we do not have walls around our campus, and our paths are city sidewalks. Thus, it is fitting to find at the very heart of our University a magnificent and historic public park.

“Washington Square Park is one of the glories of Greenwich Village, and our connection to it is profound. Our University has looked over this open space for 170 years, and each year for the past 29 years, our most important ceremony, Commencement, has been held here, as it will again this spring. I have spoken with thousands of alumni and alumnae, and among their most vivid memories is that joyous ceremony in Washington Square. So I believe it is right and appropriate that as citizens of this community, we lend our efforts to raise funds to renovate this cherished part of our neighborhood, and step forward with the first major gift, helping to restore a park that gives so much sustenance to the people of the NYU community.”

New York University was established in 1831 and is one of America’s leading research universities. It is one of the largest private universities, and it has more international students than any other college or university in the U.S. Through its 14 schools and colleges, NYU conducts research and provides education in the arts and sciences, law, medicine, business, dentistry, education, nursing, the cinematic and dramatic arts, music, public administration, social work, and continuing and professional studies, among other areas.

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