The College of Staten Island’s School of Business was officially renamed in honor of Jay and Lucille Chazanoff last month after the philanthropic couple donated $7.5 million to the school – the largest single donation the College has ever received.
The Todt Hill couple, who met while attending classes at Staten Island Community College, a predecessor of CSI, are longtime benefactors of the College of Staten Island and the Staten Island community. They previously established the $100,000 Jay and Lucille Chazanoff ’65 Endowed Scholarship Fund that provides support for full-time business majors. In 2004, the couple launched the Carmine and Robert DeSantis Charitable Foundation in honor of Lucille’s late brothers. The Foundation, whose motto is “one child at a time,” assists children with special needs on Staten Island, providing more than $1 million in support to date. For years, the Chazanoffs have also supported the JCC’s Sunrise Day Camp, a free camp for children affected by cancer.
Lucille, who is also a graduate of Pace University, worked as a CPA at Arthur Young & Co. before joining the parent company of NBC, eventually rising to the position of Vice President and Controller. She returned to her Staten Island-based family business, Royal Press, serving as COO until her retirement in 2012. She has worked with various nonprofit organizations for decades, including the Visiting Nurses Association and Meals on Wheels. She has also served on the CSI Foundation Board of Directors and remains active on the Boards of the Northfield Bank Foundation and Richmond University Medical Center Foundation, where she serves as Treasurer.
Jay also holds a bachelor’s degree from Pace University and an MBA from Long Island University. He worked as a CPA at Ernst & Ernst before becoming a senior executive at a publicly traded financial services company, where he worked for more than 20 years. He then co-founded a technology-based claims management company, providing corporate reorganization services. Jay also became a partner in Pembroke Companies, Inc., a commercial and residential real estate investment, development and management enterprise.
Like his wife, Jay is engrossed in community service. He served as a representative and board member of the former St. Vincent’s Hospital of Staten Island and is currently the vice president of the Jewish Community Center on Staten Island and has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the College of Staten Island Foundation since 2013.
CSI notes it will use the money for a number of initiatives including accreditation pursuant to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) – an international organization that is the preeminent accrediting body for business schools in the United States. Currently, there are 845 business institutions in 56 countries and territories that have earned AACSB accreditation. The College will also use the endowment to make program improvements and retain faculty.
“The Lucille and Jay Chazanoff School of Business at the College of Staten Island prepares and shapes business leaders for the New York metropolitan region and beyond,” the College notes on its website. “Built on a legacy of teaching, scholarship and professional engagement, the Chazanoff School offers strong programs that combine business discipline skills, exposure to the latest technology and the breadth of the liberal arts and sciences through its comprehensive curricula.”