West Long Branch, N.J., June 2, 2022 – The Kislak Family Foundation has pledged $2 million to establish a permanent endowed directorship for the Kislak Real Estate Institute at Monmouth University, known as the Jay I. Kislak Endowed Director. Jason Pucci, chief operating officer of The Kislak Company, Inc., made the announcement this evening at the Institute’s Leadership Excellence Award Dinner, hosted annually by Monmouth University to honor outstanding contributions to the state of New Jersey and the nation through a career in real estate.
The endowment honors the memory of the late Jay I. Kislak, an inspiring entrepreneur, real estate pioneer, and philanthropist. He earned his first real estate license while still a high school student at Newark Academy and later earned a degree in economics from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Kislak entered the family real estate business in 1945, making it his life’s work. After moving to Miami in the early 1950s, he established what would become one of the country’s largest privately held mortgage banks, originating and servicing loans nationwide for more than 40 years. Until his death in 2018 at age 96, Kislak served as chairman of the Kislak Organization, which today focuses on real estate investment and brokerage.
“Jay Kislak was a patron of education and ideas,” said Pucci. “His ongoing commitment to Monmouth University allowed him to forge a living legacy by helping to develop students who will become the next generation of real estate professionals. The Kislak Family Foundation is proud to support the strategic vision of the Institute, and to facilitate regional growth, development, sustainability, and socially responsive impact.”
The Kislak family’s philanthropic support and connection to Monmouth University dates back to 2006, when a generous and transformational gift helped establish the Kislak Real Estate Institute as a center of excellence in teaching and research within the Leon Hess Business School at the University. Together, the Foundation and the University established the first credit-bearing academic real estate program in New Jersey—one of approximately 65 in the country at the time. Today, the Kislak Real Estate Institute is one of 100 such programs in the nation, enrolling nearly 170 students.
“This significant endowment builds on the firm foundation the Kislak family established in 2006,” said Monmouth University President Patrick Leahy. “This gift will support the teaching, scholarship, and service that will be vital to the future of the Kislak Real Estate Institute and will meet the needs of aspiring real estate professionals. The continued generosity of the Kislak Family Foundation also ensures that the Institute will be well positioned to facilitate and address opportunities for economic and societal impact of real estate in our region and beyond.”
Since its inception, the Institute has developed a variety of first-rate academic programs at Monmouth University aimed at providing the conceptual and practical skills needed to ensure a productive career in commercial real estate. The Institute’s academic offerings foster strong decision-making skills related to real estate careers such as investors, asset managers, consultants, developers, and officers of financial institutions.
The Kislak Family Foundation has provided continuing support for the Institute, including a $1 million pledge made in 2020 to provide need-based scholarships for undergraduates pursuing a business degree with a real estate concentration. At that time, the foundation also donated $100,000 to sponsor the University’s annual intercollegiate real estate competition that challenges students to present their version of a property’s highest and best use based on a provided case study on the development potential of a property. Participating teams compete against many of the best real estate programs in the region, including Lehigh, Baruch, Rutgers, Villanova, Montclair State, and Temple Universities, and winning teams are awarded cash prizes.
For more information, visit monmouth.edu/kislak.
About The Kislak Family Foundation
The Kislak Family Foundation is a private philanthropic foundation established in 1992 to support leadership and innovation in the fields of education, arts and humanities, animal welfare, environmental preservation, and other charitable endeavors in the U.S. and abroad. Based in Miami Lakes, Florida, the foundation provides grant funding to a wide range of nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher learning.
About Monmouth University
Monmouth University is the region’s premier private coastal university offering a comprehensive array of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs in a dynamic and personalized learning environment. Located in West Long Branch, New Jersey, Monmouth University’s magnificent coastal campus is approximately one hour from both New York City and Philadelphia. Innovative academic programs, individual faculty attention, and nationally ranked Division I athletics make this private university a great place to find your future.
For more information, visit monmouth.edu.