Brooklyn College Honors Alumnus Murray Koppelman at the Annual Best of Brooklyn Awards Gala

On Tuesday, October 26, Brooklyn College will honor prominent banker Murray Koppelman, class of 1957, at its Best of Brooklyn Dinner and Award ceremony, to be held at the Rainbow Room beginning at 7 p.m. Actor Jimmy Smits, class of 1980, will serve as Master of Ceremonies. Also on hand to celebrate Koppelman will be dinner co-chairs Roy Furman, class of 1960, and Howard Wohl, class of 1964, and a host of others.

“Murray Koppelman is a man who embodies the Best of Brooklyn,” said Brooklyn College President Christoph M. Kimmich. “Murray’s adventurous spirit, his determination to make a mark in the world, and his compassion have been signature qualities of our best students since the establishment of Brooklyn College seventy-five years ago come April.”

Growing up in Borough Park, Koppelman helped his family by selling ice cream and frozen candy bars on Brighton Beach. He left Brooklyn as a teenager to live for two years on a kibbutz in the Negev Desert. He entered Brooklyn College after serving in the U.S. Army in the Korean War and received a bachelor’s degree in accounting, cum laude, in 1957.

Koppelman rose rapidly in the world of finance and banking. He was managing partner of an accounting firm from 1961 to 1968. He then became executive vice-president and chief operating office of D.H. Blair and Co., Inc. His career reached its apex in 1984, when he was elected president and chief executive officer of the Manhattan-based banking firm Eastlake Securities, Inc.

Koppelman is active and influential in such organizations as the American Organization for Rehabilitation through Training, the World ORT Union, the American Jewish Congress, the Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City, Inc., and the Anti-Defamation League. He received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1996 and was honored by the Brooklyn Regional Community of the Sisters of Mercy in 1999. He sits on the board of governors of Hillel International and is president of Brooklyn College Hillel. He is a trustee of the Brooklyn College Foundation and is on the board’s executive committee. Koppelman was named Brooklyn College Alumnus of the Year in 1994 and awarded a Presidential Medal in 1995.

The Koppelman Professorships, which Koppelman endowed in 1994, recognize members of the Brooklyn College faculty who have distinguished themselves by outstanding service to the College and to the Brooklyn community.
Master of ceremonies Jimmy Smits, '80

Past honorees of the Best of Brooklyn include Myron Kandel, class of 1952, financial reporter of CNN; Roy Furman, class of1960, vice-chairman of Jefferies & Co.; Barbara Graves, class of 1957 and 1967, and Earl Graves, chairman and president, Earl G. Graves, Ltd.; Donald Kramer, class of 1960, vice-chairman of ACE Strategies Advisors; Steven Newman, class of 1963, chairman of Platinum Underwriters Holdings; Irwin Schneiderman, class of 1943, senior counsel at Cahill Gordon & Reindel; Edwardine Tasco, class of 1955, and Frank Tasco, former chairman of Marsh & McLennan Companies; Thomas Tizzio, class of 1962, vice chairman, American International Group; and Claire Tow, class of 1952, and Leonard Tow, class of 1950, chairman and chief executive office of Century Communications.

Proceeds from the Best of Brooklyn event will benefit the Brooklyn College Presidential Scholarship Program, which offers full-tuition scholarships based on academic merit to entering freshman.

For more information about the Best of Brooklyn event, please contact Monique Brizz-Walker at (718) 951-5074.


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