The late Jay I. Kislak stands aboard the Intrepid in New York in 2017 at his 95th birthday celebration. — Courtesy: The Kislak Co. Inc.
By Joshua Burd
The family of late real estate icon Jay Kislak has pledged more than $1 million to Monmouth University, continuing its longstanding support of the school’s real estate program.
The Kislak Family Foundation announced this week that it will provide $1 million in scholarships and $100,000 in academic programming support for real estate students at the West Long Branch university. The larger donation will support a need-based Kislak Family Scholarship for undergraduates pursuing a business degree with a real estate concentration, while the $100,000 will continue to support the university’s annual Kislak Real Estate Institute Academic Challenge.
“We are incredibly grateful to the Kislak family for its ongoing support of our students and their dedication to Monmouth University,” said Patrick F. Leahy, the school’s president. “It is the kind of philanthropic support that will have a long-term impact, providing extraordinary opportunities for deserving students for years to come.
“I am also thrilled that the Kislak Real Estate Institute Academic Challenge will be on solid footing for the future. Our students have proven they have the skills to compete against their peers at internationally recognized colleges and universities.”
The Kislak family’s support and connection to Monmouth University go back to 2006, when it made a gift that created an academic, credit-bearing program in real estate. The program was the first in New Jersey and one of just 65 in the nation at the time.
In recognition of that donation and in honor of the late Julius Kislak, a well-known figure in the New Jersey and national real estate industries and father of Jay Kislak, the university renamed its real estate institute to bear the Kislak name. Jay Kislak, the chairman of The Kislak Organization until his death in 2018, also was the 2011 recipient of the university’s Leadership Excellence Award.
“My father was deeply passionate about education, business, and giving back,” said Paula Kislak, chair of the Kislak Family Foundation and daughter of Jay Kislak. “These contributions to Monmouth University are an enduring tribute to him, as he understood and valued the importance of education and investing in the future of real estate professionals. We are proud to support the Kislak Real Estate Institute and its mission to prepare the next generation of principled industry leaders.”
To commemorate Kislak’s legacy, eligible undergraduate students applying for the Kislak Family Scholarship will be asked to submit an essay on the topic of how their lives and careers will serve as models for their personal or professional goals, according to a news release. Meantime, the $100,000 pledge will support the university’s annual intercollegiate real estate competition, which will include an affordable housing component.
“Over the past 10-plus years, our real estate program has thrived, and we owe much of that success to the Kislak family’s continued commitment to our students,” said Don Moliver, dean of the Leon Hess Business School and Pozycki Professor of Real Estate. “We look forward to building on the Kislak Real Estate Institute’s upward trajectory as evidenced by the hundreds of successful graduates working in the industry today.”