Binghamton alum Stuart Koenig makes major gift to Harpur College

Image Credit: Jonathan Cohen.
Photography: Jonathan Cohen.

Time Warner Center, comprising offices, retail space, three performance venues for Jazz at Lincoln Center, a luxury hotel and more than 200 condos within its twin glass towers, has been called a city within a building. As Stuart Koenig ’73 tells Binghamton students, it’s the career accomplishment of which he feels most proud.

“While I didn’t get in a crane and actually build it, I helped raise equity capital and financing. It was a successful project that far exceeded investor expectations, and it has become an icon of New York City real estate,” says Koenig, who spent most of his career in private equity real estate and was senior partner and chief operating officer of the real estate division of Ares Management LP before retiring.

Koenig wants to help today’s students feel a similar sense of accomplishment. Last year, he pledged a $1 million gift to Binghamton University, most of which created the Harpur High-Impact Learning Endowment to support the financial needs of up to 10 students per year so they can pursue opportunities that prepare them for the workforce.

A small portion of the funds will build one-button multimedia studios on campus, with the lion’s share supporting programs such as the Harpur Fellows Program and Liberal Arts to Careers Externship (LACE). Koenig is a founding donor to Harpur Edge, which gives students a jump-start on their future by providing connections to resources on and off campus, sponsoring enrichment programming and supporting student-driven initiatives.

The Harpur Fellows Program gives select undergraduates the opportunity to pursue a self-designed project that serves the community and contributes to their intellectual growth. LACE enables Harpur undergraduates to job-shadow Harpur alumni in the workplace.

“When I was at Harpur, things like LACE didn’t exist,” says Koenig, who serves on the Binghamton University Foundation Board of Directors. “I want students who qualify to be able to get hands-on experience and take advantage of these high-impact learning opportunities without having to worry about travel or living expenses.”

Koenig sees a lot of himself in today’s students. He grew up in a working-class section of the Bronx, his family had modest means, and he and his siblings were first-generation college students.

“I’ve been very fortunate,” Koenig says. “I have two wonderful children and had a successful career. I’ve felt a kinship to Binghamton for years and wanted to give back. I got an MBA, which opened many doors for me, but I feel a greater affinity for the liberal arts foundation. Having the ability to communicate and manage people came from my experience at Binghamton.”

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