Penn State Real Estate Advisory Board event hosted by Silverstein Properties

Penn State President Rodney Erickson, Peter Cocoziello '73, William Elliott Professor of Risk and Management Jim Thomas, and Simon Ziff '87. The newly announced James B. Thomas Trustee Scholarship will provide support to students in Risk Management. Credit: Silverstein Properties, Inc.All Rights Reserved.

Two new gifts to the Penn State Smeal College of Business Department of Risk Management were announced last month at a landmark event for alumni in New York City.

The first was a $350,000 endowment from an anonymous donor to support research funds for the department. The second, the James B. Thomas Trustee Scholarship, will provide support to outstanding students pursuing the risk management major. Named for the former dean of Smeal, Thomas is now a faculty member in risk management and dedicated to the continued development of student talent in that area.

The event, organized by the Penn State Institute for Real Estate Studies and hosted by Silverstein Properties, was held at 7 World Trade in Manhattan and featured a keynote address from iconic real estate developer Larry A. Silverstein.

“This was a once-in-a-lifetime event,” said Brent Ambrose, Smeal Professor of Risk Management and the director of the Institute for Real Estate Studies. “We’re really thankful to alumnus Jon Knipe (senior vice president and general counsel) of Silverstein Properties and to Larry Silverstein himself for helping make this such a memorable evening.”

More than 60 people attended the invite-only event, including Penn State President Rodney Erickson, select members of the Smeal College of Business faculty and administration and alumni working in real estate and finance.

“Not only did we bring some very active alumni in real estate and finance together, and hopefully they made some great connections,” said Charles H. Whiteman, dean of Smeal, “but we were also able to celebrate two generous gifts to the Institute for Real Estate Studies that will be helpful growing its programs.”

Smeal Director of Development Todd Sloan added, “There is a natural interface between finance and real estate, so we wanted to provide an exclusive networking opportunity, bringing together Penn Staters in both sectors.”

Before the evening’s event, members of the Real Estate Advisory Board were given a hard-hat tour of the construction and development at 4 World Trade and held a round table discussion on real estate market trends.

Last Updated September 10, 2013