It Gets Into Your DNA

Andrew Salomon

From the moment he arrived at Purchase College as a new member of the Journalism faculty, Andrew Salomon knew he was in the right place. Purchase immediately felt like home.

But not all career transitions are as smooth, especially for fledgling journalists. "Journalism is a very difficult profession especially early on in one's career." says Salomon. "It is hard for journalists, particularly those just out of college, as they often lack the resources to pursue the stories they really want to chase." It was this notion that led Salomon to create the The Richard & Marylee Salomon Fund, an endowed fund that presents an annual award of $2,000 to a graduate from the last 10 years to complete a story of substantial news value.

Back in 2009, Andrew Salomon was enjoying a successful career as a journalist, working as the national news editor at Backstage magazine. But when he was approached by Ross Daly, Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Purchase College, and asked if he would consider joining the Journalism faculty, the choice was easy. It felt like a natural extension of his journey. "There's a great dovetailing with academia because as journalists we're about discovering, about being intellectually challenged, and following our curiosity wherever it leads."

Teaching journalism was something he had always imagined doing. He was inspired by his professors at Columbia as well as his parents, Richard and Marylee Salomon, who instilled in him a deep respect for education. They unequivocally supported his pursuits and worked hard to ensure that he and his siblings could attend college without assuming debt. He sees his gift as a way of paying forward a tiny measure of the financial freedom his parents gave him. "It's also my way of passing on their values and their unqualified support."

Salomon considers Purchase to be his home away from home. "It fosters a spirit of giving because everyone is so giving to you," he says. "It gets in your DNA." He hopes that his students will have the same sort of transformative experience at Purchase that he has had, and that they know how the faculty here value the work they do even after they graduate. "I want to foster a deeper connection between the students and Purchase after they leave, create stronger bonds between alumni and the school."