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Long Island University Marks 75 Years of Access and Excellence

Anniversary dinner will raise funds to create scholarships in memory of University students
killed in September 11th attacks


Paola Curcio-Kleinman,Associate Vice President for Marketing and Public Relations
University Center,
Long Island University

For more than 75 years, Long Island University has provided access to the American dream through excellence in higher education. The University was founded in Brooklyn on December 9, 1926 by a group of civic leaders who recognized the need for an institute of higher education that would serve the region’s diverse and rapidly expanding communities. The anniversary of its establishment will be formally marked with a dinner on December 6, 2001 at the Brooklyn Marriott Hotel.

In light of the September 11th attacks, which claimed the lives of four University students, and also several alumni and students’ family members, Long Island University will establish endowed scholarships in memory of the students who died, linking their lives to those of future students in perpetuity. In addition, it will establish a September 11th scholarship fund to assist those University students who may have emergency scholarship needs due to the loss of immediate family members. Both initiatives will be partially funded by proceeds from the anniversary dinner. “These scholarships will help restore the intellectual capital that was so painfully lost in the terrorist attacks,” declares University President David J. Steinberg.

The University’s continued commitment to provide access to quality education in the face of adversity is a reaffirmation of the ideals cherished by its founders. From the beginning, it rejected the quota system that prevailed at existing colleges, which excluded religious and racial minorities. The institution was committed to admitting students solely on the basis of merit, offering them access to the American dream through excellence in higher education.

The fundamental premise that all people are entitled to a quality education has been the motivating force behind 75 years of outreach, expansion and personal accomplishment. Attuned to the evolving needs of the New York metropolitan area, the University merged with the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy and established five additional campuses in Brookville, Southampton, and Brentwood on Long Island, and in Rockland and Westchester counties, becoming the eighth-largest private university in the country. Over the years, these centers of learning have continued to fulfill the mandate of the original mission. The University has also made an indelible impact on Long Island’s cultural landscape with its NPR-affiliated Long Island University Public Radio network, a wealth of museums, concerts and cultural programs, and the Rose and Gilbert Tilles Center for the Performing Arts. Its Friends World Program, comprised of many overseas sites, has expanded its reach on a global level.

Underscoring the University’s mission and rise to prominence, the anniversary event also will recognize 75 honorees. President Steinberg notes, “these individuals and families represent the best of all those connected to the University. Many of our honorees and alumni are builders of Long Island University; others have used their University education as a springboard to become leaders making a difference in the world.” Among them are Louis Lemberger, a pharmacy alumnus and one of the developers of the revolutionary anti-depressant drug, Prozac; Velma Scantlebury-White, a Brooklyn Campus graduate who rose from humble beginnings as a Barbados schoolgirl to become one of only a few female African-American transplant surgeons in the world; Howard Lorber, a C.W. Post graduate and the CEO of Nathan’s Famous, Inc.; John Kanas, a Southampton College graduate who is chairman, president and CEO of North Fork Bank; and the Manzione family. Mother, Nancy Manzione has worked for the University for more than 24 years, putting seven of her eight children through C.W. Post – three doctors, two attorneys, one dentist and one engineer. Their achievements illustrate how education can empower people from all walks of life to realize their dreams and make significant contributions to society.

For three-quarters of a century Long Island University has committed itself to providing access to quality education and nurturing the values central to the American dream. In these challenging times, it is devoted to playing an integral role in the healing and rebuilding process. “Higher education is a bulwark for civilization” states President Steinberg. “Enlightened understanding, a genuine tolerance, a clear respect for pluralism and an abiding appreciation of that which is beautiful in life are the hallmarks of our dreams for our nation and the world.”

For information about the December 6th event, contact: Felice Kobrick 516-299-4196

For information about scholarships, contact: Jamie Meehan 516-299-2754

Posted 10/01/2001

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