NYU Silver at 60 | 1960–2020
While the first students enrolled in what is now known as NYU Silver walked through the doors at 3 Washington Square North on September 26, 1960, the roots of the School date back to the first half of the twentieth century.
NYU offered its first social work courses in 1934 through the Division of General Education in partnership with the New York City Home Relief Bureau and the New York State Temporary Emergency Relief Administration to create an educated workforce for New Deal programs. The Graduate Division for Training in Public Service, which would be the future home of the Department of Social Work, was founded in 1938.
In conjunction with the Lavanburg Corner House—a philanthropic foundation devoted to eradicating juvenile delinquency—NYU formed a graduate education program in 1949 that combined classroom work with service at Youth House, a temporary, city-operated shelter for juvenile delinquents. The Graduate Division of Public Service and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences’ Sociology Department offered four graduate courses to students.
An additional 10-year, $400,000 commitment by the Lavanburg Corner House helped establish a Department of Social Work in the renamed Graduate School of Public Administration and Social Service in 1953. Two years later, NYU granted 34 Master’s in Social Service degrees—the first of their kind at the University.
In May 1960, the University voted to establish an independent Graduate School of Social Work, which became a reality that September. As NYU Silver marks our 60th year, we are celebrating our history of excellence and embracing the future. We are pleased to share highlights from our first six decades.