Queens College Announces Fundraising Campaign Goal Of $100 Million
At a recent ceremony dedicating the new Selma and Max Kupferberg Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, Queens College President James Muyskens announced the public phase of the college’s unprecedented fundraising campaign, “Leading the American Dream: The Campaign for Queens College.”
Describing the occasion as “one of the great days in Queens College history,” he said, “Our goal of $100 million is both ambitious and necessary if we are to offer tomorrow’s leaders the kind of life-changing education they deserve.”
Among the government, corporate, community and cultural leaders who gathered for the ceremony outside Colden Auditorium were Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and New York City Council member Jim Gennaro, who presented Mr. and Mrs. Kupferberg with a New York City Proclamation in their honor. New York State Regent Saul Cohen, former president of Queens College, and Regent Geraldine Chapey also attended.
Close to $70 million has been pledged or raised so far through the college’s annual fund outreach to alumni, major gifts, and corporate and foundation grants. Ten million dollars—the leading gift of the campaign and the single largest donation in the college’s history—was given recently by Selma and Max Kupferberg.
The funds will be used for arts programming at Queens College and for renovations to Colden Auditorium, Goldstein Theatre and LeFrak Concert Hall. The new Kupferberg Center for the Arts will encompass not only the former Colden Center, but also the Godwin-Ternbach Museum; Queens College Art Center; Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance; Department of Media Studies; Aaron Copland School of Music, and Louis Armstrong House Museum and Archives.
Max Kupferberg, who was among the 400 students present when Queens College first opened its doors in 1937, is the founder of Kepco, Inc., an electronics equipment manufacturer and mainstay of the Flushing business community since its founding in 1946. During the war, Kupferberg, a young physicist, and his late twin brother, Ken (class of 1941), were recruited to work at the top-secret Manhattan Project in Los Alamos. “I’m at the stage of my life where money should be given away, and I always have been interested in Queens College and what they’ve done for this community,” he says.
Primarily, “Leading the American Dream: The Campaign for Queens College” will provide student and faculty support. That will mean the awarding of more scholarships (donations have made more than 2,000 scholarships possible since 2001), an increase in faculty-mentored research opportunities, innovative new programs, educational enrichments such as the expansion of Study Abroad, and incentives to attract the strongest new faculty members.
Funds from the campaign will also finance a variety of capital projects on Queens College’s 77-acre campus. In addition to renovating its art venues and amphitheatre, the college plans a new Athletics Center and the installation of the technology and infrastructure that modern education demands.
“I still believe in the American dream, that a person of modest means can receive an excellent education, work hard, and rise to the top,” comments Michael Minikes, class of 1965, campaign co-chair and Senior Managing Director and Treasurer, The Bear Stearns Companies, Inc. “Queens College makes this possible. It is a gateway to opportunity, especially for first-generation college students, so many of them immigrants. This is why the college’s Foundation enthusiastically supports The Campaign for Queens College. We know we can make a difference by helping a great college connect with leaders in business, the arts, and the community. For me, it is a wonderful way to pay the college back for all I received as a student.”#