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Leading CUNY Donors Kick off CUNY’s First Philanthropy Forum

November 22, 2011 | Partners and Supporters

Last spring, four leading CUNY donors — Sy Sternberg, retired Chairman and CEO of New York Life Insurance Company; Emily Tow Jackson, Executive Director and Board President of the Tow Foundation; Mark Kupferberg, Vice President for Manufacturing and Engineering of Kepco Inc.; and Larry Zicklin, retired Board Chairman of Neuberger Berman — kicked off the University’s first all-day conference on philanthropy with a lively discussion about their philanthropy, volunteer leadership and reasons for supporting CUNY.

The four, who together have brought some $60 million in support to CUNY, were panelists at the CUNY Philanthropy Forum, which drew approximately 160 CUNY alumni and development professionals and University leaders including, Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, Board Chair Benno Schmidt and Vice Chancellor Jay Hershenson.

Emily Tow Jackson is the daughter of Brooklyn College alumnus Leonard Tow, a former chief executive of Citizens Communications and Century Communications. The Tow Foundation has provided $10 million to support the Leonard and Claire Tow Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College and $3 million to the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

Mark Kupferberg, whose father Ken Kupferberg and Ken’s three brothers founded Kepco in Queens shortly after World War II, is a member of the Board of the Queensborough Community College Fund.  Following in his parents’ footsteps, Mark is a generous supporter of the college, to which his parents donated $1 million. The Harriet and Ken Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives at Queensborough College is named in their honor.

Sy Sternberg, a City College alumnus (’65) who served as Chairman of the New York Life Foundation, was instrumental in the Foundation’s $10 million grant to establish the New York Life Endowment for Emerging African-American Issues at CCNY’s Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies.  He has served as a member of the City College 21st Century Foundation Board, the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies Advisory Council, the Macaulay Honors College Board of trustees, and chair of the CUNY Business Leadership Council.

Baruch alumnus Larry Zicklin (’57) and his wife, Carol, are amongst the college’s greatest champions.  In 1998, they endowed the business school with a historic gift; the Zicklin School of Business was named in recognition of that gift.  They later endowed the Center for Financial Integrity, the Lawrence and Carol Zicklin Chair in Corporate Integrity and Governance, and the Zicklin Strategic Impact Fund.  Mr. Zicklin is a past President and current Chairman of the Board of the Baruch College Fund.

The conference, collaboration among the Invest in CUNY Campaign Office, the School of Professional Studies and CCS Fundraising, included workshops with representatives of NYC corporations and foundations, fundraising consultants, and higher education fundraising professionals.  The second CUNY Philanthropy Forum will be held at the CUNY Graduate Center in April 2012.  Learn about the awards for Philanthropic Excellence at http://www.hostos.cuny.edu/news/press/pecunyaward.html