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University at Albany Announces $5.25 Million Gift, Largest Ever, from Massry Family

UAlbany has received a $5.25 million gift from the Massry family (pictured above). This is the largest donation ever made to University and will support the School of Business along with key University-wide initiatives. (Photo by Paul Miller)

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 8, 2014) – University at Albany President Robert J. Jones announced today that the University has received a $5.25 million gift from the Massry family to support the School of Business and key University-wide initiatives. This is the largest gift ever made to UAlbany and is the largest single donation to any institution or cause by one of the area's leading philanthropic families.

UAlbany will use the gift to:

• Ensure that its new School of Business building, recently ranked the fourth-most
beautiful School of Business building in the world, remains a state-of-the-art resource for teaching, learning and research;
• Fund speakers, conferences, and visiting faculty to enrich the academic experience for
School of Business students; and
• Establish the Massry Community Fellows Program, which will allow students from across the University to pursue internships with local non-profits, where funding for student internships is not normally available. The program’s goal is to strengthen community service, a hallmark of the Massry family, and public engagement, a core priority of the University.

President Jones noted that the gift comes at a pivotal time for UAlbany, and added, "Words cannot begin to express our deep appreciation for this truly historic gift--a gift that embodies the Massry family’s longstanding commitment to the University. With this transformative gift, we can ensure that students in our nationally ranked School of Business continue to receive an exceptional education, strengthen the University’s endowment, and offer students in all our schools and colleges hands-on learning opportunities that also benefit the non-profit organizations that are so critical to the Capital Region community."

School of Business Dean Donald Siegel said the Massry family’s gift will continue to elevate the School among the country’s top business schools. He added, "The Massrys represent the best of what we hope our students become--successful entrepreneurs who make their community a better place to live."

Speaking on behalf of the Massry family, Morris Massry noted, "Having served on the University at Albany Foundation Board for thirty years, I am thrilled to see the momentum occurring across the campus under President Jones’ leadership, and I am delighted that we can contribute to the University’s continued growth."

Norman Massry added, "UAlbany is a great public research university. At a time when state and federal funding of higher education is decreasing, we feel it is important to make this investment in an institution that plays a vital role not only in our community, but also across the state and country and around the world."

UAlbany Foundation President George R. Hearst III remarked, "I have had the pleasure of working with Morris Massry on the Foundation’s Board of Directors for many years. I would like to thank him, Norman and the rest of the Massry family for this remarkable gift. Their generosity is a powerful testament to their belief in UAlbany’s excellence."

School of Business Students Thank Massry Family
UAlbany School of Business students will benefit greatly from the Massry family's gift. President Jones stated "With this transformative gift, we can ensure that students in our nationally ranked School of Business continue to receive an exceptional education." (Photo by Paul Miller) 

The Massry Family’s Philanthropy 
Family and philanthropy have always been vital to the Massrys, and the Capital Region community continues to benefit from three generations of family working together. Morris and Esther Massry have always believed in giving back to the community in order to make it a better place to live, work and raise a family. This ideal has transcended the generations, with son Norman and wife Micki, along with their children, Julie, Murray and Laurie, becoming involved citizens.

Morris and Esther have resided in the Capital Region since 1950, where they raised five daughters and one son, and began their family legacy. In 1962, Morris transitioned from the retail clothing business to real estate investment, and today he and his son Norman run Tri City Rentals/Massry Realty Partners, a premier property management firm that owns and operates apartment communities in the Capital Region, Buffalo, Rochester, Nashville, Pensacola and San Antonio.

The family’s commitment to the University at Albany began in 1987, when Morris became a director of The University at Albany Foundation Board after receiving the Community Laureate Award at the University’s Citizen Laureate Awards Dinner. Since that time, Morris has risen to the role of vice president of the board. As a member of the University at Albany Bio-Development Corporation, his efforts have led to numerous transformational projects and initiatives for the University, including the acquisition of the former Sterling Winthrop property in East Greenbush which now houses UAlbany’s Cancer Research Center and School of Public Health. Norman has also been an important University supporter, serving on the Citizen Laureate Advisory Committee since the early 2000s and stewarding the event to become the premier annual fundraising dinner in the Capital Region.

Together, the Massry family has donated gifts totaling more than $6.2 million in support of University at Albany initiatives and programs, including $500,000 to the University’s Cancer Research Center, where in their honor the University named the Massry Conference Center.

Multiple Awards
Numerous Capital Region organizations and initiatives have benefited from the generosity of the Massry family. Morris has been involved with the United Way, the Daughters of Sarah Nursing Home, the Troy Jewish Community Center, St. Mary’s Hospital, Excelsior and Russell Sage Colleges, and many more non-profit organizations. He has received multiple awards for his service, including UAlbany’s Citizen of the University Award, the YMCA President’s Award, the Boy Scouts Distinguished Citizen Award, the Albany Jewish Community Center (JCC) Pillars of the Community Award, and honorary doctorates from The College of Saint Rose, the University at Albany, and Albany Medical College.

Norman is actively involved with numerous philanthropic and community organizations including St. Peter’s Health Partners, The College of Saint Rose, the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Jewish Federation and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. His support and service have been recognized with the President’s Spirit of St. Rose Award from The College of Saint Rose, the YMCA President’s Award, the St. Mary’s Hospital Vincentian Award, the Bentley Distinguished Alumni Award, and induction into the Tech Valley Business Hall of Fame. Norman graduated with a degree in accountancy from Bentley University in 1978 and currently serves on Bentley’s Board of Trustees. Micki Massry is an active parent, grandmother and community volunteer. Together, Norman and Micki have received awards in honor of their selfless dedication, including the Community Laureate Award at the University at Albany’s Citizen Laureate Award dinner, the Albany JCC Pillars Award, the Humanitarian Award from the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, the St. Peter’s Hospital Foundation Catherine McAuley Award, and the Community Service Award of the Hudson-Mohawk Association of Colleges and Universities.

The third generation of the Massry family has become increasingly engaged in the Capital Region’s community outreach and philanthropic affairs. Murray Massry, currently a project manager at Tri City Rentals, serves on the development committee for Albany Medical Center and the boards of the Daughters of Sarah Foundation and Albany Academies. Laurie Massry currently is pursuing a graduate degree in non-profit management at Columbia University’s School of Public Health. Julie Massry Knox, sales and marketing manager at Tri City Rentals, serves on several area boards including the College of Saint Rose, the Center for Disability Services Foundation, and Girls, Inc., while also volunteering her time for other events and initiatives. Julie and her husband, James Knox, share a deep commitment to volunteering for the betterment of their community. They have three sons who will continue the legacy of the Massry family for future generations.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.