Thanks to alumni such as Lee Cooperman ’67, whose Cooperman Scholarship Challenge has already helped to establish more than 40 needs-based scholarships, the School continues to attract the best students regardless of their ability to pay.
Dean Glenn Hubbard recently welcomed fellowship and scholarship donors and recipients to a reception held in their honor. Guest of honor Lee Cooperman ’67, chairman and CEO of Omega Advisors and founder of the Leon G. Cooperman Scholarship Challenge, spoke at the event.
Under the Cooperman Scholarship Challenge, which was in effect during the past two years, donors had the opportunity to endow a scholarship at half its usual cost, starting with a gift of $75,000 — with the balance being matched with funds donated by Cooperman. Established in 2007, the Cooperman Scholarship Challenge supported the creation of 41 scholarships, with several more being finalized now.
“Someone with my background wasn’t expected to end up at a place like Columbia,” Cooperman told the more than 200 students, alumni and friends of the School, recalling his upbringing in the Bronx, where his father was a plumber and he attended the city’s public schools. “I was very fortunate to have had a Columbia Business School education, and the lessons I learned at Columbia and the friends I made there have stayed with me throughout my career.”
“I hope that one day those of you who are students now will be able to stand where I am standing, aware of just how fortunate we are to do what we love for a living, and to be able to give back to those who gave us the tools and the encouragement we needed to succeed.”
Several scholarship recipients also spoke at the reception. “Without the worry about tuition debt, the possibilities are much broader, and it is much more feasible for me to keep pushing the boundaries, to keep taking the professional risks I am accustomed to taking, and especially to keep my entrepreneurial ambitions much closer in my sights than they would otherwise have been,” said Marina Severinovsky ’09, a Meyer Feldberg Distinguished Fellowship recipient who worked for a start-up before enrolling at the School.
“Education has always opened doors for me, and the true benefit of financial aid has been that it affords me the opportunity to walk through many more of those doors, especially the ones with bigger risks and greater potential rewards. I am truly grateful for that.”
The more than 200 guests at the reception included Daniele D. Bodini ’72, Carol B. Einiger ’73, Adjunct Professor James L. Freeman, Mario J. Gabelli ’67, Lawrence D. Glaubinger ’77, Paul B. Guenther ’64, Eugene M. Lang ’40, Regina Pitaro ’82 and Stefan H. Robock, the R.D. Calkins Professor Emeritus of International Business. Many Cooperman match donors were also in attendance, including Gale and David W. Bernhaut ’87, Charles C. Cahn, Jr. ’72, Maria L. Chrin ’89, Gail Berry O’Neill ’76 and James S. Yu ’95.
To learn more about giving opportunities at the School, please contact Lisa Yeh, associate dean, at 212-854-5359 or firstname.lastname@example.org.