After years of planning and construction, the newly renovated Kupferberg Center for the Arts is officially open for use by students, faculty and the community.
The ribbon cutting ceremony took place on June 11 as an acknowledgement of the 99 percent completion of the project, said Vivian Charlop, the director for the Center. The ceremony was also a tangible way to thank the project’s donors, particularly Max Kupferberg and his late wife, Selma.
In 2006, the Kupferberg family made a $10 million donation towards the arts at Queens College. Seven million dollars of the gift went to the renovations of Kupferberg, which cost a total of over $12 million, according to Charlop. The Times Ledger puts the number at $13.5 million.
Around 150 people attended the ceremony, which took place in the lobby of Colden Auditorium, one of the buildings renovated during the project, the others on campus being the Godwin-Ternbach Museum, LeFrak Concert Hall and the Goldstein Theater. Max Kupferberg, President James Muyskens, then Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Sue Henderson, CUNY faculty and members of the community gathered to celebrate the opening of the Center which has been in the works since 2008.
“I think it was a beautiful event,” said Jennifer Walden, head of marketing for the Center. “It was nice to see that the community came in and embraced us. It shows how important the Kuperbergs are to our organization and to QC. It also shows the love we give back to them.”
Max Kupferberg was part of the first graduating class at QC. He was a physics major who worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II and went on to find Kepco Inc., an electrical supply company, with his brothers.
Each building will have a performance to formally re-open, said Charlop. Comedian and QC alumnus, Jerry Seinfeld, will perform on Oct. 18 at Colden Auditorium on his five borough tour of New York City, the drama department will be co-sponsoring a show with the Center for Ethnic, Racial and Religious Understanding in the Goldstein Theater, the music department will have a concert in the memory of late QC alum, Marvin Hamlisch, who passed on Aug. 6 and the Godwin-Ternbach Museum will hold an exhibition.
“We are trying to make [the Kupferberg Center] festive and a place for people to come in and see what is going on on-campus,” said Charlop.
The fall semester seems to be a budding start.