University at Albany
Lew Wiener and his son Zach at the Rockefeller College Alumni Dinner and Awards Ceremony at the New York State Museum in Albany, NY on May 17, 2013

Why I Give

Lewis Wiener, BA '84
Partner, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP

What motivates you to give to Rockefeller College and the University at Albany?

I support Rockefeller College and the University because I owe the institution a debt that I can never fully repay. It was here at Albany that I was given the opportunity to start building my future. It was here that others recognized my potential, encouraged me and gave me the opportunity to realize that potential.

How do you hope your gifts will benefit students and the College?

I hope that my gifts will provide financial support to allow those who might not otherwise be able to sustain the cost of a college education the opportunity to have the same positive and fulfilling educational and personal experience that I had. I also hope that other alums will follow suit and support the College and the University. There is a long-standing misperception that state universities like Albany are fully funded by the state and don't need private financial support. Nothing could be further from the truth. State budget cuts, which have been all too frequent and deep in recent years, affect state universities like Albany (and Rockefeller College) profoundly and disproportionately to their private counterparts. Now, more than ever, Rockefeller College, the University and the students they serve need our financial support. Every dollar truly counts.

How does giving back to the College make you feel?

Giving back to the College makes me feel like I'm doing something to help the next generation. We're living in tough financial times. The disparity between socioeconomic classes is bigger than ever. The cost of a four-year education is crippling to the average family and simply unobtainable for many. Supporting the College makes me feel like I'm able to make a difference, even if it's only in one person's life. Hopefully, that person will remember and do something for someone else when they're able. We're all links in a chain. I want to make sure the chain is as strong as it can be and to ensure, to the extent that I can, that future generations will be able to continue adding links to the chain.

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2014 Rockefeller College News Magazine.

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