Arthur Zankel Music Center
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Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
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Zankel in the News
Press Release June 2, 2006
SKIDMORE COLLEGE RECEIVES $42 MILLION FROM ZANKEL ESTATE
Donor Arthur Zankel leaves $120 million to institutions he valued
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Skidmore College has received what is by far the largest gift in its history - an anticipated $42 million from the estate of financier and philanthropist Arthur Zankel. Skidmore is the recipient of the largest portion of the Zankel estate, which is distributing approximately $120 million to six institutions and organizations involved with education, the arts, and charitable causes.
Zankel, a longtime Skidmore friend and benefactor, was the father of two Skidmore graduates and a 10-year veteran of the college's board of trustees. He died in July 2005.
The $42 million bequest includes a gift of $15 million announced by Skidmore in December 2005, before the full extent of the Zankel bequest was known. As stated at that time, the initial $15 million will serve as the lead gift for a new state-of-the-art music facility to be located near the front entrance of the Skidmore campus. Named the Arthur Zankel Music Center, the 48,000-square-foot building, designed by Ewing Cole, will include three distinct components: a recital hall, an academic wing, and a spacious lobby that will serve as a connector between the two. The 700-seat recital hall, designed to accomodate a wide array of performances and events, will feature superb acoustics and a full-height glass wall behind the stage, overlooking campus green space. This facility will become a valued cultural resource not only for the college but also for the entire region.
The remaining portion of the bequest will be used to support key initiatives at the college, including the establishment of a Zankel scholarship program based on need for New York City-area students and the creation of a program of study in arts administration. Approximately $13 million will go into the Skidmore endowment as unrestricted funds.
The bequest gives a tremendous boost to Skidmore's $200-million Creative Thought Bold Promise fundraising campaign. Launched in June 2004, the campaign has raised $115 million, already eclipsing the $86.5 million raised in the college's previous campaign, a 5-year effort that concluded May 1998. The focus of the Creative Thought Bold Promise effort is on endowment, with roughtly 60 percent of the goal targeted for that purpose, while the broader goal is to strengthen Skidmore's financial foundation, enabling it to compete with the country's best colleges for top faculty and students.
"I can't overstate the remarkable affirmation this gift represents for Skidmore College and the effect it will have on our future," said Skidmore President Philip A. Glotzbach. "We will see its important quite visibly in the marvelous new Arthur Zankel Music Center. We also will see it in the talented scholarship studetns we will attract through the new Zankel scholarship program. Above all, this gift will inspire us to move ahead in bold and creative ways to educate our students for the complex challenges they will face in the world today."
In addition to the bequest to Skidmore, the estate is making gifts to institutions and organizations taht reflect Mr. Zankel's lifelong commitment to educational, cultural, and human-service causes. Recipients include Carnegie Hall, Teachers College of Columbia University, the United Jewish Appeal, the Society of Illustrators, and the Zankel Fund.
"As a longtime friend of Arthur, I have keenly felt his loss," said Suzanne Thomas, chair of Skidmore's board of trustees and a graduate of the college. "He always inspired us to think big and to take on challenges."
Continued Thomas, "Arthur knew the college as both a trustee and a paretn. He watched two of his sons, as well as a nephew, earn degrees from Skidmore, and he valued how that experience can transform the lives of young people. His bequest makes clear how precious a Skidmore education was to him."
About Arthur Zankel
A lifelong resident of New York City, Zankel was co-managing partner of High Rise Capital Management, which he founded in 2000. Prior to that he was with First Manhattan Co., an investment management firm, for 35 years, becomign a co-managing partner and then senior partner. He is credited with playing a key role in the 1998 merger of Citibank and Travelers Group insurance company.
Zankel served on the board of directors of Citigroup, Travelers Property-Casualty, and other corporations, and was a trustee of the UJA Federation, the New York Foundation, and Carnegie Hall, which led to the construction of a new Carnegie concert space named in their honor.
Zankel's connections to Skidmore were many. Two of his four sons graduated from Skidmore, Kenneth in 1982 and James in 1992, as did a nephew, Harun Zankel, Class of 2001, and a daughter-in-law, Pia Scala Zankel, Class of 1992. As a Skidmore trustee, he was known for his astute leadership of the board's investment committee - particularly for his role in shepherding the college's endowment to new heights - and for his incisive contributions to discussions, frequently enhanced by his wonderful sense of humor. Under his guidance the endowment grew by more than 600% over the past 15 years, from $35 million in 1993 to more than $220 million today, regularly posting returns that placed it among the top performing college and university endowments in the country.
A generous Skidmore donor, he endowed a professorship in management and the liberal arts and the Zankel Lecture Series, which fosters discussion of business issues from a societal and ethical perspective. Zankel also provided support for student scholarships and for the college's Office of Special Programs.