Dowling College

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Robert W. Dowling, namesake for Dowling College
Dowling College is a private co-educational liberal arts college with three campuses spread across Long Island, New York, United States. The college's main campus in Oakdale, New York sits on the site of William K. Vanderbilt's former estate, which is now known as Fortunoff Hall. The Brookhaven Campus in Shirley, New York, sits adjacent to the Brookhaven Airport and is the home to Dowling's aviation program, as well as the college's Division II athletic program. The new athletic complex houses a baseball stadium, soccer field and lacrosse complex. Dowling's Melville Center is located within the corporate headquarters of Long Island's most lucrative companies, in the business district of Melville, NY. This location provides optimal training for the college's MBA candidates.

More than 4,000 full and part-time undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students make up Dowling's four schools; the School of Education, School of Arts & Sciences, Townsend School of Business, and School of Aviation. The college is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools,[3] New York State Education Department, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, The International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, and approved by the FAA as an Air Traffic - Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) School.

Dowling College is named for Robert W. Dowling.



Dowling, who was a friend of Adelphi University dean Allyn P. Robinson, provided a grant of $3 million in 1968, which allowed the Adelphi campus in Oakdale, New York to become Dowling College.

Citation from Dowling College

Citation from Dowling College to Robert W. Dowling, Doctor of Humane Letters:

ROBERT W. DOWLING, able financier and industrialist, you have revealed the strong sense of responsibility that is the strength of our democratic society. As city planner, builder extraordinary, and devoted friend of all the arts, you have not only enhanced our skylines, but you have deepened our vision.

Your concern has known no national barriers; you have ably served your nation and the world by drawing men together through the universal sharing of the arts. As an humanitarian you have sought to bring healing to men, and beyond that to prevent the tragedies we inflict upon ourselves.

Your leadership in education has been notable through the years. We celebrate particularly the fact that you have given to this institution far more than a distinguished name, far more than the vital resources so important to its future. You have shown a concerned commitment to today’s youth and a faith in their future. ROBERT W. DOWLING, as a mark of gratitude, of deep respect and honor, we are proud to confer on you Dowling College’s first Honorary Degree, Doctor of Human Letters.

Robert W. Dowling

Robert W. Dowling (9 September 1895 - 28 August 1973) was a real estate investor and philanthropist in the New York City area. At the age of 18, Dowling became the first person to swim around Manhattan Island in New York City. His 28.5-mile circumnavigation took 13 hours 45 minutes in 1915. In 1917, he competed in a 64 km (40-mile) upstream river swim in the Hudson River. A few years later, as a Navy officer during World War I, Dowling proposed that swimmers set two mines into enemy harbors. He continued to swim 2 miles in the ocean off of East Hampton, Long Island in his 60s. Dowling was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 1970 as an Honour Swimmer.

Professional Career

Following his father's death in 1943, Dowling took over his father's company, City Investing Company, a real estate firm. A multi-talented entrepreneur and visionary, he was among the producers of the original Sound of Music. Dowling won a Tony Award in 1948 for his contribution to theatre as result of his ownership of the Fulton Theatre, Morosco Theatre and Coronet Theatre and Gaity Theatre. He was also head of the New York City Office of Cultural Affairs and owned 7 theaters in New York City and produced movies. He was president of the National Urban League and a director of the Negro College Fund.

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