Q&A with Stephen J. Friedman, President of Pace University

Stephen J. Friedman became president of Pace University on June 4, 2007.  We sat down with him recently to talk about everything Pace and life in Lower Manhattan.

How has Pace changed since you took the helm in 2007?

Pace has increased enrollment, built a stronger financial foundation, and opened a new Performing Arts Center. A new residence hall will open at 182 Broadway in the fall and another at 33 Beekman will open in fall 2015. We are seeing more and more young people from across the country reaching for the kind of education we offer.

Why do students of today select Pace?

Students and their families choose Pace because we provide them with an education of great value and we do it in the most exciting city in the world; Lower Manhattan is a uniquely beautiful and exciting part of the city. We are also a place where young people from all backgrounds can accomplish great things when they find their passion, work hard, and have the guidance of expert, dedicated faculty. Let me give you just one example. This fall, a team of Pace economics students earned first place in the 2012 New York Federal Reserve College Challenge, beating 33 other colleges from the mid-Atlantic region, including Princeton, Cornell, Hamilton, and NYU. They went on to place third at the national Federal Reserve Board competition in Washington, DC.

What does it mean to lead Pace?

I am deeply proud to be a part of a university whose mission is to transform lives and generate ideas that can help solve some of the world’s most pressing problems. Leading Pace has brought me more joy, challenge, and satisfaction than I have ever experienced in my professional life.

How has Pace changed Lower Manhattan?

In many ways, Pace and Lower Manhattan have evolved together. Over the past century, as Pace has grown from one classroom into a comprehensive university, we have helped to make Lower Manhattan a wonderful place to work and live. At the same time, Lower Manhattan has made Pace a wonderful place to live and learn. We derive so much energy and excellence from being located in this remarkable corner of the world.

Pace also has built up its cultural offerings over the years.

We launched the Pace Presents performing arts series, bringing world-class music, theater, and dance to the public. We host renowned theater companies, along with our excellent student productions. We’ve not only become a cultural hub for Lower Manhattan, but one of the city’s premier destination schools for all aspects of the performing arts.