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Goodman gift endows effort to attract best scholar-athletes

As part of the official launch of Lehigh University’s $500 million capital campaign, Murray H. Goodman ’48 has made a $6 million donation to his alma mater to create new funding for Lehigh’s nationally regarded athletics program and endow the Collins-Goodman Chair of Real Estate in the Goodman Real Estate Center.

With his latest gifts, Goodman has become Lehigh’s most generous living donor, with lifetime commitments of more than $20 million, including $8.7 million to the “Shine Forever: The Campaign for Lehigh” effort launched publicly on Oct. 15, 2004.

A bold vision for athletics

Goodman’s donation will establish the Murray H. Goodman Dean of Athletics position, reflecting Goodman’s strong belief in the complementary role of athletics and academics at exemplary institutions such as Lehigh. Joe Sterrett ’76, a former All-American quarterback who has served as athletics director since 1989, will become the first Goodman Dean of Athletics.

Although a number of elite colleges have endowed positions in athletics, the title of “Dean of Athletics” is believed to be the first such distinction at a Division I institution.

“I have always felt that a good athlete with a good education can become one of the great citizens of our country,” Goodman says. “The combination will almost always ensure future and dual success. Therefore, I hope this gift will enable Lehigh University to attract more scholar-athletes than ever before.”

“The title of ‘Dean of Athletics’ is both unusual and highly significant,” says Gregory Farrington, president of Lehigh. “Colleges are institutions of higher education, not institutions of higher athletics, though too many appear to have forgotten the difference. At Lehigh our goal most definitely is to win on the field, but it is even more important for our athletes to win in the classroom, and then to graduate and go on to win at life. We are honored that Murray Goodman shares this perspective on athletics and has provided a significant investment that will allow us to continue to attract and retain student-athletes and coach-educators who embrace this philosophy.”

The gift will also provide funding for full-time assistant coaches in a number of men’s and women’s sports as well as new positions that aid student-athlete development, such as strength and movement training. The university is treating the Goodman commitment as a “challenge” gift in that it will aim to match the Goodman gift by generating additional athletics endowment funds during the campaign.

“Lehigh is honored and challenged by Mr. Goodman's investment,” Sterrett says. “His values and aspirations for Lehigh and our athletics program are well aligned with our own long held beliefs. His investment inspires us and enables us to achieve at the highest possible level without any compromise of our educational mission.”

Goodman’s support of Lehigh athletics has been significant. Since 1986, Goodman has donated money to construct the Murray H. Goodman Stadium and to build an indoor tennis facility, known as the Lewis Tennis Center, in honor of former president Deming Lewis. He established an endowment to support improvements to the former Saucon Valley campus, which was renamed the Murray H. Goodman Campus in appreciation of his generosity.

Most recently, Goodman created the Murray H. Goodman Endowed Chair in Basketball, a position held by Billy Taylor. In 2004, the Lehigh men’s basketball team won the Patriot League Championship under Taylor’s leadership and earned an NCAA Tournament bid.

Funding innovative teaching in real estate

Goodman’s new endowment for the Goodman Real Estate Center will fund an endowed chair in real estate studies known as the Collins-Goodman Chair for Real Estate in the College of Business and Economics. Goodman is joined in this endeavor by Webster Collins ’57.

Collins graduated from Lehigh in 1957 with a degree in business administration. He is executive vice president and partner of CB Richard Ellis Whittier Partners, with offices in Boston, Mass. CB Richard Ellis, with headquarters in Los Angeles, is the leading vertically integrated commercial real estate services firm.

Collins has been a long-time supporter of the Goodman Real Estate Center at Lehigh. Earlier, he established the Webster A. and Harris E. Collins Endowed Scholarship Fund. The fund supports an annual practicum in real estate where students study a specific property, prepare a report and make recommendations culminating in a permanent case study in real estate. The reports are judged and the premier students become Collins Scholars. Collins’ son, Harris, graduated from Lehigh in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in business. He is a vice president and partner at CB Richard Ellis Whittier, where he serves on the management committee.

The new professorship will be dedicated to supporting curricular and teaching innovation in real estate at the undergraduate level within Lehigh’s College of Business and Economics. The Murray H. Goodman Center for Real Estate Studies was established in 1988 through a major gift from Goodman.

Richard M. Durand, Herbert Ehlers Dean of the College of Business and Economics, noted the importance of the new endowed chair: “Thanks to Mr. Collins and Mr. Goodman, this gift provides the College of Business and Economics with an opportunity to hire an individual with unique training in finance and economics who can link traditional corporate finance and portfolio theories with the distinctiveness of real estate assets. A strong understanding of the relation between finance theories and real estate assets is absolutely critical for our undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career in real estate.”

A legacy of generosity: Murray H. Goodman

Goodman is a trustee emeritus of Lehigh University, having served on the board from 1979 to 2000. He was a member of the Physical Planning & Plant Committee, serving as both chair and co-chair. He is currently chairman emeritus of that committee. He was also a member of the development committee. In 1988, Lehigh honored Goodman with an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree.

In addition to his financial generosity, Goodman has guided Lehigh as it has expanded its campus to South Mountain and beyond, and transformed the Packer Campus with new buildings such as Rauch Business Center and Zoellner Arts Center. Goodman’s background as a highly successful real estate developer, coupled with his love for Lehigh, has given him a unique vantage point from which to view the past, present and future of Lehigh.

Anthony Corallo, Lehigh’s associate vice president for facilities planning and renovation, said: “In his years as chairman and now chairman emeritus of the Physical Planning and Plant Committee, Murray was the visionary as the campus grew. In fact, it was Murray who suggested that the Zoellner Arts Center and the Rauch Business Center be located at the site of the former Taylor Stadium. And he backed that vision up with his offer to ‘help us move the stadium.’”

A native of Bethlehem, Goodman graduated from Lehigh with a B.S. in business administration in 1948. As an undergraduate, he was a member of Sigma Alpha Mu national social fraternity and the varsity basketball team, of which he was captain in his senior year. He spent three years in the U.S. Army Air Force.

Upon graduation, Goodman was vice president of Murray Realty & Construction Company in Allentown, Pa., and then president of Goodman & Bell, Inc., a commercial contracting firm. In 1960, Goodman formed M.H. Goodman & Company and in 1967, changed the name to The Goodman Company. The company developed commercial and ind

Posted on Friday, October 15, 2004

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