The New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies announced today that its Real Estate Institute will be renamed the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate in honor of the Schack family, who over the past 100 years has owned and developed real estate in New York City.

The Schack family has donated a $10 million cash gift—the largest in the School’s history—to provide critical support for students, faculty, research, and physical infrastructure. The contribution is the lead gift in a campaign to build a permanent endowment for the 40-year-old Institute, the University’s home for applied research, graduate study, and continuing professional education in real estate, construction management, and related fields.

The campaign will be announced at the Institute’s annual Urban Leadership Dinner on June 24th at the Waldorf=Astoria. The dinner marks the close of the 40th anniversary year of the Institute. Past and present supporters of the Institute will be honored—including past presidents of its powerhouse industry Advisory Board, like NYU Trustee Larry Silverstein, who led the founding of the Institute at NYU four decades ago.

A Transformational Gift from a Longtime NYC Real Estate Family

The Schack family has been a significant presence in the New York real estate community and within New York University for three generations. Samuel Schack, founder of the original family business Schack & Schack Real Estate, graduated from the NYU School of Law in 1902. He and his son Leonard were active in Manhattan and the Bronx, specializing in the residential, loft, and secondary office markets. Their firm bought and sold properties, which it managed and leased. Leonard’s son Kenneth, a 1970 graduate of the NYU School of Commerce (now the NYU Leonard Stern School of Business), has owned and run his own real estate company, Schack Realty Co. Inc., for over two decades. He is a past chairman of the Young Men’s/Women’s Real Estate Association of New York and received the group’s “Senior Man of the Year” award in 2000. His sister Linda Schack Teitelbaum is a 1963 graduate of the NYU Washington Square College.

“We are profoundly grateful and honored by the trust and respect for the work of the Institute and SCPS that the Schack family has manifested through this transformative act of generosity,” said NYU-SCPS Dean Robert S. Lapiner. “Their gift will help secure the Institute’s ambitions for ever greater academic innovation, achievement, and global engagement. The University is proud to embrace the Schack family by renaming one of our premier centers of excellence the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate.”

“Our family is honored to play a part in the ongoing evolution of the real estate industry by strengthening the Institute’s efforts to advance its curriculum, attract the highest-caliber professors and students, and maintain its leadership position for education in the field,” said Kenneth Schack. “As real estate professionals, we have participated in and observed the dramatic transformation of the business in the past four decades. Now, advanced education in such subjects as financial analysis, portfolio and risk management, law, land use, and economics as well as a developed global focus are required for success in real estate. And, we believe that there is no better place to receive that education than the Institute at New York University.”

The timing of the donation is of special, personal significance to Kenneth Schack, his sister, and their families. “We wanted to make a gift that honored our grandparents Goldie and Samuel Schack and our parents,” he explained. “Our late father Leonard would have marked his 100th birthday this year, and our mother Lola recently celebrated her 93rd birthday. We knew that the timing was right to do this now and the gift to NYU in support of the Institute was the best, most appropriately public honor to them all—one that would celebrate their lives and professional legacies for years and decades to come.”

“NYU was first conceived in the 19th century,” said NYU President John Sexton, “as an institution that would spread higher learning more democratically and respond to New York’s emerging middle and merchant classes by equipping them with students with knowledge and skills that would enable them not only to learn but to prosper. The School of Continuing and Professional Studies is NYU’s direct connection with those originating principles. And, this generous and thoughtful gift from the Schack family reflects not only the stature that the Real Estate Institute has achieved within the field, but the same commitment to professional education that animated NYU’s founders.”

Schack Gift Launches Campaign for Greater Industry Support

James D. Kuhn, president of Newmark Knight Frank and chairman of the Institute’s Advisory Board, has known Kenneth Schack professionally for many years. “Dean Lapiner and I, with the full support of NYU’s leadership, were determined to raise an endowment deserving of the finest real estate program in the country,” said Kuhn. “However, through the generosity of Ken Schack and his family, our timetable has been greatly accelerated. We hope this is only the beginning.”

Last month, Kuhn and his wife Marjorie announced their own innovative leadership gift of $1 million to the Institute, to create The James and Marjorie Kuhn Program to Foster Diversity in Real Estate.

D. Kenneth Patton, divisional dean of the Institute and the Klara and Larry Silverstein Chair of Real Estate Development, is especially pleased about the impact of the Schack family gift. “We are particularly honored that the gift recognizes the Institute as an unmatched resource for the education and development of real estate leaders and for its four decades of advancing the academic and professional standards for an entire industry,” he said.

Support for Faculty, Research, Student Support, and Facility Enhancements

Founded in 1967, the Institute has evolved in tandem with its changing industry from a small, locally focused program into a global center of higher education and applied research. The Institute offers graduate programs in real estate and construction management, enrolls more than 5,000 annually in its continuing professional education courses, and hosts “must attend” annual industry-wide conferences on REITs and real estate capital markets.

The Schack family gift and the larger campaign to create a permanent endowment for the Schack Institute will help it build upon this estimable record and support its future growth and aspirations. In coming years, the Schack Institute seeks to appoint additional fulltime clinical professors, attract distinguished visiting scholars, and provide greater support to the leading industry practitioners who serve as adjunct faculty. To address the increased complexity of the field and keep the curriculum ahead of these changes, the Schack Institute will expand its applied research capacity to benefit the industry and its students. Further, the Institute will increase it globally focused activities—research and field work abroad, exchanges with foreign universities, conferences, and the like.

The seminars, conferences, and other events sponsored by the Institute underscore its public role as “first responder” on breaking real estate developments and host to experts on such issues as ethics, property rights, and sustainability. The Institute hopes to fund an expanded program of these activities, as well as upgrade its conference spaces and classrooms to provide better venues for its events and courses.

The Schack Institute’s well-regarded graduate programs increasingly draw applications for admission from top graduates of leading colleges and universities, both here and abroad. To continue attracting these students—as well as ensuring a diverse student body—the Institute will dedicate resources to scholarships, academic prizes, and other student support structures.

About the Schack Institute and the School of Continuing and Professional Studies— The NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate is one of several comprehensive academic divisions within NYU-SCPS, offering graduate and continuing education programs in real estate, construction management, and related fields. Established in 1934, the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (NYU-SCPS) is among the 15 colleges and schools that comprise New York University, one of the largest private research universities in the United States. Through its faculty, curricula, and vibrant professional and academic networks, NYU-SCPS captures the expertise of key sectors where New York leads globally: Real Estate; Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management; Global Affairs; Philanthropy; Communications Media, Publishing, Design, and Digital Arts; Business, Marketing, and Finance; and the Liberal and Applied Arts, among others. Rigorous and timely programs in these and related areas attract full-time undergraduate and graduate students immersed in university life, working professionals in 14 graduate programs, motivated adults earning undergraduate degrees, and New Yorkers of all backgrounds enrolled in approximately 2,500 continuing education courses, certificate programs, conferences, and seminars annually. NYU-SCPS is widely considered to be the most complete example of NYU’s founding commitment to be “In and Of the City”—and Of the World.

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