GARDEN CITY, N.Y. — Long Island's Adelphi University has received a $9.5 million gift from Robert B. Willumstad, co-founder and senior adviser of the private equity firm Brysam Global Partners. Willumstad’s gift is equal to single-largest donation in the university’s 116-year history.
While serving at CitiGroup, Willumstad reconnected with the school, gradually becoming more involved with it; and in 2005, Adelphi granted him an Honorary Doctor of Laws. Since that time, Willumstad has served on Adelphi’s board, including as chairman of its finance committee; and last August, he was elected chairman.
And now, the university’s business school, comprising 580 undergraduate and 410 graduate students, is being named after the famed alumnus. The Robert B. Willumstad School of Business will use the $9.5 million gift (a combination of cash, stock and deferred giving) to expand research for faculty and students, develop programs and hire faculty.
“Having a named school of business generally helps improve recruitment of faculty, students and grants. It enhances the prestige, especially when you have someone who’s such an iconic figure in business,” Adelphi President Robert Scott said. “It enhances the identity of the school.”
“Why Adelphi? I grew up on Long Island and spent most of my adult life on Long Island,” Willumstad said. “I decided it would be nice to give back to the community.” Willumstad, who also donated $1 million to Adelphi University in 2006, added that he was investing in the school because it is "part of the central fabric of Long Island."
Willumstad, 66, was born in Brooklyn, grew up in Elmont and graduated from Sewanhaka High School. Following his graduation, he worked for Chemical Bank. He attended Adelphi for a year and a half in the 1970s while living in Garden City and working at Chemical.