Alumni, parents, friends, faculty, and fans are introducing the new funds and ideas that set NYU apart. These generous benefactors are committed to making NYU a one-of-a-kind experience for students across the globe.
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Constance Silver (SSSW ’78, ’79) and Martin Silver (Stern ’58)
The Silver School of Social Work has received a visionary $16 million gift from Constance Silver and Martin Silver to harness the emerging power of big data to identify the root causes of society’s most pressing challenges and achieve broad and transformational social impact. Within that gift, the NYU McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research has secured $5 million. The funding secures a place for the Silver School of Social Work and the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at the forefront of leveraging data science and artificial intelligence in social work research, education, and impact.
One of the largest cash gifts ever given to a school of social work, this multidimensional gift provides funding to the McSilver Institute to establish an Artificial Intelligence Hub. This groundbreaking hub will be used to address poverty and challenges related to race and public health equity. Of equal importance, the gift will help NYU Silver and the social work profession at large develop evidence-informed “smart” interventions to equitably tackle urgent problems, among them family violence, impediments to health and mental healthcare, and mass incarceration. The gift funds the creation of a Center on Data Science and Social Equity as well as an endowed professorship in data science and prevention.
Constance McCatherin Silver is a psychoanalyst, social worker, educator, philanthropist, artist, and member of NYU’s Board of Trustees. Throughout her life, Silver has shown fierce dedication and courage as a champion in the fight against inequality. Her husband, Martin Silver, is a business leader and founder of Life Resources/DCI Biologicals, an innovative plasma collection company. Together they have transformed the field of social work, setting the highest bar as philanthropists committed to social change and bettering lives through investment in innovation and advancements that address society’s most pressing issues.
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J.G. (Stern ’12) and Taffi Ayodele (CAS ’04, Stern ’13)
J.G. and Taffi Ayodele have gifted a piece of art titled Àdúrà Abiyamo by the Nigerian-bred, Brooklyn-based artist Laolu Senbanjo, otherwise known as Laolu NYC, to NYU Africa House. The mixed-media piece uses digital, oil, charcoal, colored pencils, and 24-karat gold and depicts a mother and her child in a moment of deep prayer and meditation. NYU Africa House is devoted to the study of contemporary Africa, focusing on economic, political, and social issues on the continent and programs in the arts. Part of Africa House’s core mission is to advance the understanding of the links between Africa and the rest of the world, through social, historical, economic, and other lenses. J.G. and Taffi, both NYU alumni, are cofounders of Thando’s, a fashion/tech company based in New York and Lagos, Nigeria, that is creating a platform for African artists to design unique fashion products for the world through a crowdsourced process. Taffi is a member of NYU’s Board of Trustees.
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Cary Joji Fukunaga (TSOA)
Since his debut at the Sundance Film Festival, Cary Joji Fukunaga has made a name for himself as a prolific director, writer, and cinematographer. In recognition of this success and his time at NYU, Fukunaga has established a new production grant and mentorship program to elevate BIPOC voices and stories in the film industry. The inaugural award was made this spring to Rashad Frett, a current student in the Graduate Film program. Frett will participate as a mentor in the Cary Fukunaga Production Award mentorship program with mentees selected from participants in Tisch’s Future Artists, a free arts education program for high school students taught by Tisch’s renowned faculty and designed for groups that are historically underrepresented in media. As Fukunaga said upon establishing the award, “Creating opportunities, instilling confidence, and establishing links from one generation to the next is one way we can effect real change in the industry.”
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Richie Jackson (TSOA ’87)
In honor of the NYU LGBTQ+ Center’s 25th anniversary, NYU alumnus and parent Richie Jackson made a gift of $50,000 to launch the Richie Jackson LGBTQ+ Service Fellows program. As a student, Jackson was involved with the LGBTQ+ community on and off campus. Jackson is passionate about supporting LGBTQ+ community organizations locally and nationally, and his gift was inspired by his deep commitment to creating pathways for the next generation of LGBTQ+ leaders and activists. He is the author of Gay Like Me, published by HarperCollins, and a longtime supporter of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. The Richie Jackson LGBTQ+ Service Fellows program will establish partnerships between the NYU LGBTQ+ Center and LGBTQ+ community organizations to place undergraduate student fellows in a yearlong paid internship and cohort experience.
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The Li Ka Shing Foundation and Cynthia and Victor Li
To overcome the stigma commonly associated with mental illness and disseminate evidence-based mental health interventions worldwide, the School of Global Public Health will soon launch the Li Ka Shing Foundation Initiative for Global Mental Health and Wellness. The Li Ka Shing Initiative is funded by a generous gift of $500,000 with the ambitious goal of developing the next generation of leaders who will advance knowledge, policy, research, and practice, reframing mental health and wellness within the global public health paradigm. Led by Lawrence Yang, PhD, vice chair and associate professor of social and behavioral sciences and director of the Global Mental Health and Stigma Program at the School of Global Public Health, this new initiative will enable the initial development of evidence-based mental health interventions to be rapidly disseminated, including via potential partnership with ongoing global mental health work funded by the National Institutes of Health.
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Madison Love (TSOA ’17)
Madison Love is a multiplatinum songwriter and executive producer who knows how to achieve big goals as a young artist. As a student at the Clive Davis Institute, Love cowrote the 2016 song “Bad Things” by Machine Gun Kelly and Camila Cabello, and was quickly propelled into the spotlight as the song went platinum four times over. To date, she has penned such hits as “Him & I” for Halsey and G-Eazy, Selena Gomez’s “Rare,” Lady Gaga’s “Sour Candy,” and wrote multiple songs on the latest Demi Lovato album, Dancing with the Devil…The Art of Starting Over. Rolling Stone featured Love in its recent Future of Music issue, recognizing her by an apt title: powerhouse. In order to empower other young artists to pursue their goals, Love established the Madison Love Future Fund. The fund will support one young artist to attend the Tisch Summer High School Program in Recorded Music as well as support top priorities of the Clive Davis Institute. Love is committed to helping NYU Tisch identify and support ambitious, hardworking, curious high school students interested in pursuing a life in the arts.
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Jonathan M. Tisch
The School of Professional Studies (SPS) Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality announced the establishment of the Jonathan M. Tisch Chair, which was endowed through a generous gift made by Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch. A major supporter of SPS and the Tisch Center, Tisch serves as chairman and CEO of Loews Hotels & Co. and cochairman of the board of Loews Corporation. Assuming this inaugural faculty position is Nicolas Graf, PhD, the current associate dean of the Tisch Center. “Having spent my professional career in hospitality, it is an honor to help support the future leaders of this dynamic industry,” says Tisch, who in 2016 was voted “Hotelier of the World” by HOTELS magazine for his leadership in the travel and tourism industry. “Associate Dean Nicolas Graf has done an exceptional job leading the Tisch Center to new heights, and I look forward to continuing to work with him in the years to come.” In addition, Tisch, with his siblings Steve and Laurie, made a recent gift in support of the Robert Preston Tisch Sports Institute at SPS.
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The Winston Foundation
The Winston Foundation has made several recent gifts to support NYU students. In spring 2020, during a time of unprecedented crisis, the foundation made a gift of $150,000 toward COVID-19 emergency relief to support the well-being and educational futures of students affected by the pandemic. The foundation also initiated a grant of $75,000 to help underserved and minority high school student populations across NYC through a contribution to NYU’s College Prep Academy program based at the Steinhardt School’s Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools. In addition to these two gifts, the foundation has made contributions of $45,000 to scholarship support for the Girls STEM program at Courant, $50,000 to the Stern Annual Fund, and $100,000 to NYU Shanghai. The Winston Foundation’s generosity is led by director Barbara Rifkind, who is founder of Arise Advising and married to Adam Brandenburger, the J.P. Valles Professor at Stern and faculty director of the Program on Creativity + Innovation at NYU Shanghai.