When finding the perfect gift proves difficult, George Kaufman falls back on the classics: chocolates, flowers, or a $4 mil building. Chairman of Kaufman Astoria Studios, civic leader, philanthropist, and unorthodox gift-giver George Kaufman and his wife Marianna were honored by the Fashion Institute of Tech nology in recognition of their generous donation of a transformed book bindery into a 320,000 square-foot luxury residence hall, appropriately monikered Kauf man Hall.
Over 80 business and educational leaders attended the ceremony in the dorm’s loading dock. Gloriously lit and majestically decorated for the occasion, the space could have passed for a chic nightclub. Guests, including Dr. Joyce Brown, Richard Lefrak, Leonard Lauder, Dalia Leeds, and Elizabeth Peek attended a reception afterward at the home of Dr. Brown, FIT’s President. “This naming ceremony commemorates the support the Kaufmans have given us over the years ... In addition to the exceptionally generous gift, George brought his invaluable real estate experience and expertise to FIT when the transaction for the building was being negotiated,” Brown stated.