During his senior year of high school, he and his family saw an issue of Money magazine which listed New College as a “best buy” institution. “There were several things I liked,” Matthew says. “The idea of the contract system, narrative evaluations and less focus on core curriculum and more focus on mastery of subject matter.” He adds with a chuckle: “My parents were focused on the ‘best buy’ part!”
His AOC was literature. Matthew credits his time at New College as the perfect training for his future career as a lawyer. He says, “I think you can draw a straight line from the training in good persuasive writing that I received as an undergraduate at New College to the grades I got on my law school exams a few years later. There’s very little that allows you to jump out in front of the pack as a law student and a lawyer than the ability to write, and New College is very good at helping good writers to become great writers and struggling writers to become good writers.” After New College, Matthew graduated from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Today, he practices law in the New York City area.
Matthew enjoyed the open and curious environment at New College. His fellow students were the kind of people he always longed to be around. “Intelligent, curious, interested in learning for its own sake. I often think about how lucky we were to have that experience.”
When Matthew refers to his education at New College, others are often astonished that there is a public college with the model that New College has. He says, “It’s not for everyone. But for the kind of person that New College it is right for, like myself, there’s hardly anything like it. Especially as a public school as opposed to an expensive private school. It’s worth having it in the world for those for whom it is the right thing.”
Matthew has been a supporter of the college for over 20 years. He has a message to his fellow alums: “Remember what New College meant to you while you were there. Remember how special it was and how rare it was. When you give money to New College, you are funding something that is not easy to find anywhere else. New College is unique among colleges in a way that few institutions are unique among their peers.”