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Whitman School receives substantial gift to create Kuhn Real Estate Center
Whitman School receives substantial gift to create Kuhn Real Estate Center October 06, 2006Amy Schmitzaemehrin@syr.edu
The field of real estate has recently become more profitable, attracting interest from all over the nation and across the globe. Skills needed to succeed within the real estate industry now must adapt to the expansion of the market into international networks, and the study of finance and real estate are merging to produce optimal results.
Accordingly, the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University has received a generous seven-figure gift to form the James D. Kuhn Real Estate Center within the Department of Finance. In addition, Kuhn ’70, G’72, set up the Leo and Sunnie Kuhn Scholarship for studies in real estate. The gift was announced today at an event at the Whitman School.
“I am honored to support the Whitman School with this gift so that students can realize the importance of the growing field of real estate,” says James Kuhn, president of Newmark & Co. Real Estate. “The study of real estate is of vital importance to the ever-growing global marketplace. It is of great interest for students to understand the importance of the field of study and develop skills in these areas so they successfully know how to optimize real estate assets and investments.”
Ed Pettinella, CEO of Home Properties; Nancy Cantor, president and chancellor of SU; and Peter Koveos, the Kiebach Chair in International Business and chair of the Whitman finance department, joined Kuhn and spoke at the event.
“Not only will the Whitman School benefit from this generous gift, but all of SU will be able to work together in this field of study,” says Melvin T. Stith, dean of the Whitman School. “There is already a strong effort in progress for a cross-campus collaboration including the School of Architecture, the College of Law and the Maxwell School. We are grateful to Mr. Kuhn for such a timely and significant gift.”
The Whitman School has already undertaken projects to develop the real estate center. New courses such as a class designed around case studies in real estate investment have been added to the curriculum. The Whitman Real Estate Club was established recently and is the fastest-growing student club in the school. There is also anticipation that non-credit and certificate programs will be available for practicing professionals. Joint courses and events will benefit students who are looking for careers in property management, commercial real estate development, community planning, real estate consulting, investment analysis and fund management. Additionally, the Whitman faculty will vote on a new undergraduate real estate minor for the 2006-07 academic year.
“We are grateful for this gift because of the importance of the study of real estate,” says Koveos. “We believe that with the money from this gift, we will be able to develop the area of real estate by adding a new minor and a series of new courses. We have already begun to attract new and outstanding faculty for the program.”
Milena Petrova joined Whitman this fall as a full-time assistant professor of finance. Her research interests include real estate finance and investment.
Kuhn, along with his mentor and partner, the late Bernard Mendik, built the Mendik Co. from 1978 to 1996, when it was sold to Vornado, a public real estate investment trust. Kuhn is now the president of Newmark Knight Frank, the fourth-largest global real estate brokerage firm in the world. He received a B.B.A. degree and an M.B.A. degree from SU in 1970 and 1972, respectively.
For more information, contact Amy Mehringer, Whitman communications manager, at (315) 443-3834 or firstname.lastname@example.org.