CUNY Leaders Announce New Fundraising Campaign For the CUNY Colleges

March 25, 2009



With enrollment at record highs and philanthropic interest at unprecedented levels, The City University of New York is embarking on the next phase of its successful campaign, Invest in CUNY, Invest in New York: Expanding the Vision, with a gift of $25 million for the School of Architecture at City College and a goal of raising $3 billion by 2015.

The $25 million gift from Bernard Spitzer, a prominent philanthropist, real estate developer and commercial property owner who graduated from City College in 1943, was announced today by Board Chairman Benno C. Schmidt Jr. and Chancellor Matthew Goldstein at a news conference and reception at the CUNY Graduate School and University Center to mark the launch of the new campaign.
Chancellor Goldstein and City College President Gregory H. Williams have recommended to the CUNY Board of Trustees that the architecture school be named The Anne and Bernard Spitzer School of Architecture.

“I strongly believe there are few things more fundamental to the common good than an educated society, and few institutions that contribute more faithfully to that overarching goal than City College,” said Mr. Spitzer. “I feel privileged to support their work, their vision and their future.”

“We are deeply grateful to Anne and Bernard Spitzer for their generous gift, which will have a transformative effect on City College’s highly regarded School of Architecture as it moves to its new home,” said Chancellor Goldstein. “A ‘sturdy son’ of CCNY himself, Mr. Spitzer is enabling CUNY to offer future generations of New Yorkers the extraordinary educational opportunities he and so many other alumni were afforded at the University. This pioneering investment in CUNY is truly an investment in New York.”

Invest in CUNY, Invest in New York–the campaign that established philanthropy as a priority for the nation’s largest public urban university–was launched Nov. 9, 2004. Its original goal, announced by Schmidt, a former president of Yale University, and Goldstein, was for the CUNY colleges to raise $1.2 billion cumulatively by 2012. That goal was surpassed three years early with the raising of $1.436 billion: 76 percent of it from individuals, 17 percent from foundations, 6 percent from corporations and 1 percent from other friends of CUNY.

Today, despite the deep national recession and a trend away from charitable giving, donations to CUNY colleges continue apace, recognizing the University’s academic renaissance, the increasing demand for its programs, and its critical role in educating New Yorkers for the future.

The University is stronger than ever, in part due to these remarkable contributions and the message they send that an investment in CUNY is an investment in New York. Enrollment is at historic levels and growing. New, eminent full-time faculty have been hired. Chancellor Goldstein’s Decade of Science initiative has put cutting-edge science education and facilities in the forefront of CUNY’s resurgence as a higher education destination. And important institutions, from the Macaulay Honors College and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism to the new Graduate School of Public Health, School of Pharmacy and Community College have been established or proposed.

In response to the extraordinary generosity of its donors, The Chancellor’s Society has been created by the University to recognize the more than 200 corporate, foundation and individual donors that have contributed $1 million or more in cumulative gifts and pledges to CUNY colleges and foundations during the Invest in CUNY campaign. These donations, representing 70 percent of the total raised, have been among the most transformative in CUNY’s history, making possible new academic programs, funding of student scholarships and endowment of faculty chairs.
“The need is great, and the time for investment is now,” said Chancellor Goldstein. “With the support of the extended CUNY family, the University can continue to fulfill its mission of providing an accessible, highly valued education to deserving students. An investment in CUNY is an investment in New York’s future.”


In the CUNY publication, “A Tribute to Philanthrophy: The Impact of Private Investment on the Colleges of CUNY, 2009,” BMCC’s philanthropic support for FY00 -FY09 was $23.7 million dollars and its projected philanthropic target through FY2015 is $40 million dollars.

Private gifts assist the college in its support of students, faculty, programs and the renovation of facilities and equipment at the college.

The Miles & Shirley Fiterman Foundation has contributed over $6 million to the BMCC Foundation. These funds support hundreds of full-and part-time scholarships.

Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. and JP Morgan Chase each contributed $500,000 to help refurbish the Student Commons which was converted into makeshift classroom space following 9/11. Merrill Lynch contributed another $100,000 to support the Financial Literacy program.

The Citi Foundation contributed $548,000 to support the Out in Two program and other scholarships.

The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation provided $486,000 to support the Out in Two program.

The Robin Hood Foundation donated $350,000 to BMCC Foundation’s 9/11 Emergency Fund to support scholarships and emergency grants.

The Bank of New York Mellon contributed $210,000 towards the Financial Literacy program and scholarship support.

The Lanza Family Foundation contributed $195,000 toward scholarships for nursing and allied-health students.

The James T. Lee Foundation contributed $180,000 in general support.

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