Volume 19 • Issue 22 | October 13 - 19, 2006

Downtown Express photos by Jefferson Siegel

Pace University president David Caputo cut the 100th anniversary cake last week.

Pace still close to home 100 years later

By Lori Haught

Pace University started out as a one-room school in the New York Tribune Building 100 years ago. As the city has grown, so has the school, spanning two large campuses in Lower Manhattan and Pleasantville.

Brothers Homer and Charles Ashford Pace’s standardized business curriculum across the country and founded the school on Park Row in 1906. Friday, Oct. 6, a birthday party, complete with cake, games, and professors in period costume, concluded the yearlong celebration of the centennial anniversary.

The year has been wrought with well-known speakers like former President Bill Clinton and author Maya Angelou, as well as conferences and events.

It’s hard to imagine 100 years ago when the two brothers took out a loan of $600 to rent a classroom which became the Pace School of Accountancy and encompassed 10 men and three women whom the Paces taught the finer points of business.

The Pace Institute was approved for college status in 1947 and became a university in 1951. Although it now stands on the same site as the original classroom (the old Tribune building was torn down to make way for One Pace Plaza across from City Hall), it moved around Manhattan in it’s early years. It’s first permanent home was at 41 Park Row in Lower Manhattan.

Alan Rabinowitz, now a business person and part time professor at Pace, was the student editor of the Pace College Press 50 years ago and attended last week’s centennial celebration.

“It was a very close campus, you knew everybody,” Rabinowitz said of 41 Park Row, where all the classes were held.

He said that the 50th birthday party was also memorable, with honorary degrees being given to big names and a processional from 41 Park Row to St. Paul’s Church on Broadway and Vesey.

Pace celebrated 100 years in style, ringing the bell to start NASDAQ, opening the first day of their Harriet Jacobs conference, and handing out 10,000 specially wrapped editions of the New York Times each day for three days. The birthday party included stilt walkers, a barbershop quartet, carnival food, games, and a five-tier cake in Pace colors of blue and gold. The evening concluded with a concert in Pleasantville headlined by Ludacris.

“We look back 100 years and we see passion from students and faculty that made Pace what it is today,” said Reggie Thomas, the president of the student body of the Downtown campus in his speech at the birthday party.

Everyone who spoke expressed one unified sentiment, may the next 100 years be as wonderful as the first.


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