Major Gift Announcement:
Nancie and Steve Cooper Make $5 Million Gift to Sarah Lawrence
The letter below was sent to the campus community on December 14, 2010
I am delighted to announce a substantial leadership gift made to the College by trustee Nancie Cooper MFA ’04 and her husband Steve. The Coopers have made a pledge of $5 million, of which $2 million will endow a rotating chair in writing to be named in memory of Nancie’s friend and award-winning journalist Ellen Kingsley Hirschfeld ‘73, $2 million will be added to our endowment, and $1 million will be earmarked for costs related to the relocation and renovation of our Admission Office to create an Admission House.
For those of you not fully acquainted with the Coopers, their backgrounds are as impressive as their gift. Nancie is a financial services sector management consultant and has previously worked at First Manhattan Consulting Group, Inc. and Touche Ross & Company. In addition to a BA from Tufts and MA from the New School, her MFA from Sarah Lawrence was awarded in 2004. Nancie was elected to the Sarah Lawrence College Board of Trustees in 2005 and is currently Vice Chair. She has played a catalytic role on the Board, working particularly closely with faculty and staff to ensure a healthy future for the College she loves. Nancie’s generosity extends beyond the magnitude of this commitment—it is exemplified in her gesture of naming a chair for someone she greatly admires and cherishes. As you may know, Nancie was instrumental in creating and funding the Shirley Kaplan Faculty Scholar in Theatre, in honor of Nancie’s theatre teacher.
Steve is the co-founder and former chairman of Zolfo Cooper, an advisory and management firm providing restructuring leadership to companies and their stakeholders. His career has focused on providing counsel and executive leadership to corporations facing operational and performance issues or those undergoing restructuring. In August 2009 he was named Vice Chairman and a member of the office of the CEO of MGM. Previous interim CEO roles include Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Enron, Laidlaw, Morrison and Knudson, and Federated Department Stores. Steve holds a BA from Occidental College and a Wharton MBA.
The Coopers' gift is one of the largest in the College’s history. It funds some of the College’s highest priorities: enhancing our endowment; supporting the excellence of our writing program and faculty; and providing a welcoming introduction to prospective students and their families.
Nancie’s and Steve’s thoughtfulness and generosity mean a great deal to me personally as well as professionally and I know all of you join me in extending our most sincere thanks and appreciation to them.
President, Sarah Lawrence College
About Ellen Kingsley Hirschfeld
Ellen Kingsley Hirschfeld was an award-winning journalist with 25 years of experience as a reporter, editor, and documentary producer. Ms. Kingsley, who had been a correspondent for the CBS television station in Washington, DC, won more than fifty top journalism awards for her coverage of medical, environmental, and consumer issues, including six Emmy Awards, five National Press Club Consumer Journalism Awards, and the James E. Scripps Award for Distinguished Journalism. As the mother of an AD/HD child, she was concerned about the lack of practical, positive, user-friendly information available to parents raising AD/HD children. She founded ADDitude Magazine in 1998 to fill that need. In 1999 she applied for and received a prestigious MacArthur Foundation grant, which enabled her to launch ADDitude on the Web. A 1973 graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and New York University's graduate program in journalism, Ms. Kingsley appeared on behalf of ADDitude on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS News, David Gergen's The World At Large on PBS, and in many other venues. She also became a forceful advocate for people with AD/HD, serving on committees and participating in forums for the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, The National Mental Health Association, and other national organizations. Ellen died of breast cancer in March 2007.