Located in Hempstead on Long Island, Hofstra University is a private, nonsectarian institution about 25 miles east of New York City. It began in 1935 as an extension of New York University and was called "Nassau College - Hofstra Memorial of New York University at Hempstead, Long Island." The school gained independence in 1937 as Hofstra College, and earned university status in 1963.
Hofstra is known for a series of prominent Presidential conferences, at which the administrations of former US Presidents are debated by leading political figures and intellectuals. The university organizes a wide range of other international academic conferences, holds an annual Shakespeare festival in its own replica of the Globe Theatre, and has both an arboretum and a bird sanctuary.
The school boasts over 1000 faculty members, more than 7000 full-time undergraduates, and a total of about 12,000 students overall. Hofstra holds full accreditation in 19 academic areas, which is noteworthy since fewer than 100 colleges and universities in the US can say the same.
Hofstra faculty have founded and edited a number of leading national and international academic journals, including law reviews and journals. Hofstra has hosted an annual festival of William Shakespeare plays for more than 50 years. Shakespeare productions are performed in Hofstra's Globe Theatre replica in the John Cranford Adams Playhouse. The university also hosts an annual Irish Festival, and an annual "Italian Experience" which today is a popular Long Island tradition and one of the largest festivals of its kind in the country.
Hofstra University is home to a number of institutes and centers, including the Center for Children, Families and the Law, the Center for Civic Engagement, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development, the Center for Teaching and Scholarly Excellence, the Center for Technological Literacy, the Diane Linder-Goldberg Child Care Institute, the Institute of the Arts, the Hofstra University Cultural Center (HUCC), the Institute for Real Estate, the Long Island Studies Institute and many more.