Private philanthropy has been a driving force behind CUNY's renaissance. Gifts totaling $1.4 billion have fostered growth and development across the University, from providing scholarship support and recruiting top notch faculty to equipping state-of-the art labs and teaching facilities. The generosity of private donors has enabled CUNY to usher in a new era of excellence befitting the country's largest urban public university.
Among these many generous contributions are a number of gifts that have been transformative for individual colleges. These gifts have had a profound impact on individual colleges at a critical moment, focusing on key strategic priorities and leveraging significant additional public and private resources. The University now pays special tribute to 10 donors whose gifts have played a leading role in CUNY's renewal. We are proud to share the stories of their outstanding gifts and to highlight the impact of their philanthropy on the colleges, on CUNY and on New York City.
The Lois V. & Samuel J. Silberman School of Social WorkHunter College
In 2008, Hunter College received a gift of $40 million, the largest in the college's and CUNY's history. It will be used to construct a building in Harlem for the School of Social Work. In honor of the gift, the school will be named the Lois V. and Samuel J. Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. The $135-million eight-story building will be constructed in East Harlem and will also house the CUNY School of Public Health. "The move is an exciting step forward," said Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab. "Now we'll have a 21st-century building to match our 21st-century vision for the School of Social Work."
The donors, Lois and Samuel Silberman, have a rich history of support and leadership at Hunter. They provided more than $5 million to build the East 79th Street building that housed the School of Social Work for nearly 40 years. The building stood on land formerly occupied by the family's townhouse. Samuel Silberman, a businessman and philanthropist who also supported numerous Jewish and humanitarian causes, was with his wife, an honorary member of the Hunter College Foundation's Board of Trustees and received many honors from the college, including an honorary doctorate. He died in 2000. Lois Silberman, who is 87, told the New York Times her husband would have been pleased about the new building.
Macaulay Honors College at CUNY
In 2006, philanthropist, financial advisor and investment manager William E. Macaulay pledged $30 million for the purchase of a building in a landmark district on Manhattan's Upper West Side as the permanent home for the CUNY Honors College, and to add support to its endowment. Mr. Macaulay is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of First Reserve Corporation. The CUNY Board of Trustees honored him by renaming the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY. Specializing exclusively in the energy industry, First Reserve is one of the ten largest private equity firms in the world.
Mr. Macaulay's gift for the purchase of the gothic revival structure at 35 West 67th Street has provided the Macaulay Honors College with state-of-the-art classroom space, a lecture hall, seminar and meeting rooms, administrative offices, a dining hall and other common gathering spaces for students. Mr. Macaulay said: "One of the most important things we, as parents, and as a society, can do is to give our youth the best possible education. I want to help ensure that young people today can get a high quality education just as I received at CUNY some four decades ago. The turnaround at CUNY over the past several years under Matt Goldstein has given me the confidence and inspiration to help support the University through this gift." Mr. Macaulay, a 1966 Honors graduate of City College, where he majored in Economics at what is now Baruch College, is a member of the CUNY Business Leadership Council.
The Grove School of Engineering
The City College of New York (CCNY)
Andrew S. Grove, a member of the City College of New York Class of 1960 and a co-founder and former chairman of Intel Corp., the world's leading producer of microchips, pledged $26 million to his alma mater, and the CUNY Board of Trustees gratefully acknowledged the gift by naming The Grove School of Engineering at CCNY. "Dr. Grove is the quintessential City College graduate: He entered CCNY in 1957 as a recent immigrant, with no knowledge of English, and went on to graduate at the top of his class. He then did as much as anyone to usher in the information revolution that changed the face and pace of our world." said Gregory H. Williams, President of The City College, who noted that this gift is the largest ever made to CCNY. "His gift will bring world-class opportunities for generations of gifted engineering students, and enable The City College School of Engineering to take its place among the best schools of engineering in the nation."
"The City College of New York represents the bookends to my professional life - from the cold January day in 1957 when I found my way to the admissions office to the chance encounter with the winner of the Intel Science Talent Search on the day he was starting at City," said Grove. "This institution is a veritable American-dream machine. I hope to help keep it that way." Chancellor Goldstein lauded the gift from Dr. Grove as "an enormous vote of confidence for The City College and CUNY. We thank Dr. Grove for recognizing and supporting the extraordinary role City College and CUNY play in providing access to high quality education and to talented students from diverse backgrounds and in helping to build a workforce with strong technology skills."
William and Anita Newman Vertical Campus
William and Anita Newman's 2004 gift of $25 million to Baruch College was, at the time, one of the largest in the history of public higher education in New York State. It was given in support of Baruch College's award-winning 800,000 square foot Vertical Campus facility, which opened in 2001, housing the Zicklin School of Business and the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences. The complex was re-named by the CUNY Board of Trustees, the William and Anita Newman Vertical Campus. Mr. Newman's extensive support for Baruch surpassing $40 million in total, includes the Steven L. Newman Real Estate Institute, the Newman Real Estate programs, comprising Master's and undergraduate programs in the School of Public Affairs and the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch, the Newman Family Chair in Real Estate, and key support for the reconstruction of the William and Anita Newman Library.
William Newman graduated from Baruch College in 1947 with a BBA and received an honorary doctorate from the College in 1997. A real estate legend, Mr. Newman was the founder and chairman of New Plan Excel Realty Trust, Inc., one of the nation's largest real estate companies. He has received the Wall Street Transcript's gold, silver, and bronze medals for national leadership in the real estate industry and is also a former chairman of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts. Mr. Newman's wife, Anita, who died in 2007, attended Hunter College and received an honorary degree from Baruch College.
The Starr Foundation
The City University of New York
The Starr Foundation has been among the most generous foundation donors to CUNY contributing more than $20 million to CUNY colleges. The Starr Foundation was established in 1955 by Cornelius Vander Starr, an insurance entrepreneur who founded C.V. Starr & Co. and other companies later combined by his successor, Maurice R. Greenberg into American International Group, Inc. Mr. Starr, a pioneer of globalization, set up his first insurance venture in Shanghai in 1919. He died in 1968 at the age of 76, leaving his estate to the Foundation.
Several CUNY colleges have benefited from the Starr Foundation's commitment to public higher education. Baruch College has received more than $11 million including $6 million establishing the C.V. Starr Scholarships to assist economically disadvantaged students and to build The Starr Career Development Center. The Foundation helped establish what is now the Macaulay Honors College with a $3 million grant to create a permanent endowment to support Starr Scholars each year.
The Starr Foundation was also one of the founding donors of the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at The City College of New York (CCNY). Its $5 million grant created the C.V. Starr Library, which consists of archives and memorabilia documenting a history of public service in New York City and will serve as a locus of research and conferences concerning barriers to full participation in public service by underserved minorities. Starr has also supported a number of smaller programs and centers across the university including the Brooklyn College Academy, the Out-in-Two program at Borough of Manhattan Community College, the Zicklin Academy of Finance at Baruch College, the City University's Teaching Opportunity Program and the Hunter College Brookdale Center on Aging.
The Larry and Eris Field Building
Larry and Eris Field pledged a gift of $10 million in 2004 to support of the future renovation of 17 Lexington Avenue, Baruch's original academic building. The building was renamed the Lawrence and Eris Field Building. In addition, the Fields have donated more than $15 million to Baruch including gifts to fund the Larry and Eris Field Family Chair in Entrepreneurship and the College's Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship. The founder and principal of NSB Associates in Beverly Hills, Larry Field has more than three decades of experience in the real estate development and investment business both in New York and Southern California. He is a founding director of the California Housing Council, and has served on the boards of numerous charitable and civic organizations. Mr. Field is a trustee of the Baruch College Fund Board, a member of its Executive Committee, and an active member of the College's fundraising campaign. He holds a Bachelor's (B.B.A.) from Baruch College of the City of New York.
The Leonard and Claire Tow Center for the Performing Arts
In 2003, Brooklyn College announced that alumni Leonard and Claire Tow had agreed to donate $10 million to Brooklyn College for a new Center for the Performing Arts on campus. Brooklyn College is widely recognized for its dynamic arts curriculum and talented students and faculty. The Tow Center for the Performing Arts demonstrates the College's enduring commitment to performing and visual arts. The Tow Center will be housed in an architecturally distinguished new building with rehearsal and performance space, set design and construction workshops, ground-floor exhibition space, a theater, a grand lobby and arcade, and classroom, meeting and reception rooms. As the center for a collaborative consortium of the performing arts, the Tow Center will attract top theorists and practicing artists and top students and faculty to its rich learning environment.
"The extraordinary generosity that Leonard and Claire have shown their alma mater will transform the arts on campus and we are exceptionally grateful," said Brooklyn College President Christoph M. Kimmich. "New York City has always been a powerful magnet for major talent in the visual and performing arts. Brooklyn College's dynamic curriculum, distinguished faculty, and gifted students create a perfect environment for the broad array of talent that makes New York City its home." Leonard and Claire Tow, residents of New Canaan, CT, are philanthropists dedicated both to Brooklyn College and to the performing arts. Mr. Tow, a communications industry leader, serves as a Trustee of the Brooklyn College Foundation. The Tows also fund an internship program, scholarships, faculty travel fellowships and distinguished professorship awards, as well as undergraduate travel stipends for study or research abroad.
The Selma & Max Kupferberg Center for the Visual and Performing Arts
Selma and Max Kupferberg pledged $10 million to Queens College. Their donation, the largest single gift the college has received, established an endowment to provide annual programming support for the arts at Queens College, as well as much-needed support for renovations to the Colden Center, which was renamed the Selma and Max Kupferberg Center for the Visual and Performing Arts in March 2006.
Mr. Kupferberg completed his BS in physics at Queens College in 1942, and attended New York University until World War II interrupted his graduate studies. With two of his brothers, he became part of the Manhattan Project conducting nuclear research at Los Alamos, New Mexico. After the war, he returned to Queens and with his three brothers, founded KEPCO, Inc., a company specializing in electrical equipment that became one of the borough's most successful businesses.
The New York Life Endowment for Emerging African-American Issues at the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies
The City College of New York
In 2006, Gen. Colin L. Powell, USA (ret.) and President Gregory H. Williams of The City College of New York (CCNY) announced that the New York Life Foundation was giving $10 million to establish The New York Life Endowment for Emerging African-American Issues at the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies. The gift was designed to provide permanent funding for scholarships and programming. "The New York Life Endowment begins to cement the future of the Colin Powell Center by providing a strong, permanent financial foundation that will significantly increase the Center's ability to serve our students," President Williams said.
Sy Sternberg, chairman and chief executive officer of New York Life Insurance Company and chairman of the New York Life Foundation, joined General Powell, the Center's Founder and Distinguished Scholar, in announcing the grant, the largest single grant ever made by the New York Life Foundation, as well as the largest corporate foundation gift ever received by CCNY. "The Center is rapidly becoming a national think tank that has as one of its priorities a focus on issues that affect underserved populations in New York, across America and in the global community." President Williams added. General Powell and Mr. Sternberg are both CCNY graduates.
"There is a tremendous need to conduct policy research on issues of importance to African-Americans and other underserved populations. Equally important, we need to bring African-Americans and other minorities into the policy-making process, by attracting them to and preparing them for policy careers at all levels," said General Powell. "This generous gift from the New York Life Foundation empowers the Powell Center to address these needs, and puts City College squarely at the forefront of a national effort to build a new model for public policy education."
The Zicklin School of Business
Lawrence and Carol Zicklin (Baruch 1957 and Brooklyn 1960) have been unwavering supporters of Baruch College, Brooklyn College, and of CUNY. After making a gift of $18 million to name and endow the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College, the Zicklins have continued to provide numerous additional large gifts to the College in support of faculty, students, and to create the Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity.
Mr. Zicklin, who graduated from Baruch and went on to earn an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, serves as Chairman of The Baruch College Fund and National Co-Chair for the College's capital campaign. Mr. Zicklin spent most of his professional career as managing principal and chairman of the investment firm, Neuberger Berman. He is also a former president of the UJA Federation of New York, and currently serves as a Clinical Professor at the Stern School at New York University and a Lecturer at the Wharton School. Carol Zicklin serves as Trustee on the Brooklyn College Foundation and together the couple endowed the Zicklin Honors Chair at Brooklyn.
Support Your College
- Baruch College
- Borough of Manhattan Community College
- Bronx Community College
- Brooklyn College
- CUNY Graduate Center
- CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
- CUNY School of Law
- CUNY School of Professional Studies
- Hostos Community College
- Hunter College
- John Jay College of Criminal Justice
- Kingsborough Community College
- LaGuardia Community College
- Lehman College
- Macaulay Honors College at CUNY
- Medgar Evers College
- New York City College of Technology
- Queens College
- Queensborough Community College
- The City College
- The College of Staten Island
- York College