Touro Celebrates Groundbreaking of New Long Island Campus
In a moment that bridged the university’s past, present and future, Touro College and University System celebrated the groundbreaking of the school’s newest campus on Long Island on September 14, 2021. The newest building on the Touro College Long Island campus, located in Central Islip, will include classrooms, offices, and the William Randolph Hearst Public Advocacy Center. The campus expansion will now be home to three Touro graduate schools: Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, School of Health Sciences of Touro College, and Touro College Graduate School of Education.
Opening the auspicious day, Touro Provost and Senior Vice President Patricia Salkin called the groundbreaking “the culmination of years of planning with Touro’s innovative vision for its future.” Provost Salkin, a former dean of the Touro Law Center, noted that the tripartite structure of the campus, educating students in medical, law, and educational fields, is symbolic of Touro’s commitment to preparing its students for future challenges and opportunities.
“This is more than just a building,” she explained. “This is an interdisciplinary campus designed to address 21st century challenges facing healthcare, education, and law.”
Provost Salkin thanked supporters of the project including New York State Senator Phil Boyle (R-4); New York State Senator Alexis Weik (D-3); and Town of Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter, whom Provost Salkin noted is the first woman to hold the position since the town’s founding 300 years ago.
Provost Salkin also thanked supporters inside Touro who made the groundbreaking possible including former Touro Law Center Dean Harry Ballan; current Touro Law Center Dean Elena Langan; Touro Senior Vice President of Operations Jeffrey Rosengarten; Executive Vice President Rabbi Moshe Krupka; Vice President Nadja Graff; School of Health Sciences of Touro College Dean Louis Primavera; and Touro College Graduate School of Education Dean Jacob Easley II.
Touro College and University System President Dr. Alan Kadish spoke about Touro’s Jewish heritage and values and mentioned that graduates of this year’s Law Center committed 31,000 hours of pro-bono legal services.
“We look forward to providing our pro-bono services to the County of Suffolk particularly in these complex times,” stated Dr. Kadish. “Many of our residents and citizens are left behind and we need to help them. That includes veterans, children, seniors, victims of domestic violence, and immigrants. Now with the School of Health Sciences and the Graduate School of Education housed in the same campus it will be easier for us to ensure that these same individuals have access to adequate health care and the opportunity to advance in the next generation through education.”
Dr. Kadish said that the groundbreaking marked the start of Touro’s 50th Year Celebration. “Touro will be 50-years-old next year, and as part of our continued growth and service, this campus is one step of a plan to prepare us for the next 50 years.”
Dr. Kadish introduced philanthropist and Touro College Board Member Bruce Gould.
Gould, a former Bar Association President, spoke of his own history as a 1984 graduate of Touro Law Center and the changes he witnessed in the scope and breadth of the institution.
“This innovative and unique campus will broaden the educational reach and expand the horizons for each of these schools and their important missions,” said Gould, adding that the fledgling institution he attended has blossomed into a huge institution with nearly 20,000 student body in over 30 schools across four states and four countries.
The ceremony continued with remarks by Town of Islip Supervisor Carpenter; New York State Senator Weik; and New York State Senator Boyle.
Touro College Executive Vice President Rabbi Moshe Krupka offered a benediction to conclude the ceremony, noting that the groundbreaking occurred and a day before Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, and a week after Rosh Hashana, the celebration of the Jewish New Year. “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate a new year and a new beginning,” he said.
I'm grateful to all of the other members of the college's senior administration for coming together in a very special collaboration that will allow us to build more than just a building.
We are creating a true interdisciplinary campus designed to address the 21st Century challenges facing healthcare, education and law. The opportunities to enrich the cross-disciplinary curriculum will educate Touro students in ways not yet available at other institutions. And it will equip our students with the tools they need in their respective professions to best serve society. I believe I have a special perspective. First as the former dean of the Law Center. And now as the provost, I have had the privilege of interacting with each of the three schools that are now joined together on this campus. Academic programs that they are developing will focus on the education of their students and the health and well-being of our community. The mission and values of Touro College ensures that we will continue to focus on excellence in education, public service, and supportive community outreach to the most vulnerable among us. I know the quality education that each of these schools brings to their students. I also know that they work hard to do the public good, creating programs and institutes that will respond to the issues of the day. This call to service in their DNA. And I very much respect them and their faculty as carrying hardworking professionals. I would be remiss if I didn't express my deep appreciation to Supervisor Angie Carpenter. Angie, it has been a pleasure to work with you and your team since I first step foot in the town of Islip. Thank you for your faith in the college and what together we are bringing to central Islip, the community and the region. To my friend for many years and fellow law school alum Senator Phil Boyle. Thank you for being there for the School of Health Sciences and be sure and for being here with us today to celebrate this next phase of our college. Senator Weik, I know that Dean Langan is looking forward to a close working relationship with you, like I have had with your predecessors. And we hope that you will spend a lot of time on our beautiful campus.
I'd like to start today's ceremony with the Pledge of Allegiance. Leading us in the recitation of the pledge will be Brian Ramdat Touro Law Center Student Bar Association President and Francesca Predentiti, School of Health Sciences Physician Assistant Program Class of 2023 President.
BRIAN RAMDAT & FRANCHESA PREDENTI: I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
PROVOST SALKIN: Thank you, Brian and Francesca. It is now my privilege to introduce to you. Dr. Alan Kadish, the president of Touro college and University system. And for those of you who don't know, you might you can't come yet. I have to say something nice. I have been around many institutions of higher education. And none with a leader who has the vision to be a builder of all things great. None other than our president, Dr. Alan Kadish. I know that Jeff Rosengarten has a long list trying to keep up with him with all of the construction, all of the building that we are doing, all of the moves that we make.
But each one is special and each one enables us to create a future that's not only sustainable for Touro College and University System, but a future that really enables our institution of higher education too be integrally involved with all of the communities where we reside and to help people.
And that is a big part of what Touro does, and we never lose sight of that. And that's because we have the best leader in higher education, Dr. Alan Kadish.
TOURO COLLEGE PRESIDENT ALAN KADISH: Thank you very much, Provost Salkin. The part that Provost Salkin forgot to mention was that ideas are cheap, getting them done. That's the challenge and Provost Salkin in addition to helping with the idea, face of things is about the best I've seen it, getting things done. So thank you for making things happen in such great to be here with everyone today.
The initial idea of creating a unified campus on Long Island, which would not only create opportunities for interdisciplinary education, but also create more of a campus atmosphere for cross-fertilization among our students. That idea was actually Harry Ballan, Harry Ballan, former dean of the Touro Law Center. And he cogently pitched the idea of bringing Touro's, three Long Island schools together in one location to create synergy. Like all great ideas. Once it was advanced, everyone said: why didn't we think about? And so the idea of bringing things together happened. I'd also like to thank our current law school dean, Elena Langan, Dean Louis Primavera of the School of Health Sciences, and Dean Jacob Easily of the School of Education for their leadership in working together to operationalize and create the Touro campus in Long Island. I know there are also many people here today who've been integral to the effort. But since this is a stand-up event, so to speak, I'll leave my thanks to the deans. We also owe debt of gratitude, as Provost Salkin mentioned, to Jeff Rosengarten, who work tirelessly to have the physical phase of construction done. And township supervisor Angie Carpenter and her administration for working closely with us to create a transformation on this campus. Touro's prominence as a Jewish institution is known. We're proud of our mission to continue, to educate, serve, and perpetuate and enrich the Jewish heritage. Our core values join from the Jewish heritage and the Jewish intellectual tradition focus simultaneously on individual development and on the greater good.
I look forward to watching the expansion of inter-disciplinary clinical offerings that will serve the residents of the town of Islip and surrounding communities. Our Law Center graduates this year contributed 31 thousand hours of pro bono legal services when they were students. And we look forward to continuing our pro bono service to the County of Suffolk, particularly in these complex times. As despite some evident wealth in certain places, many of our residents and citizens are left behind and we need to help them. That includes veterans, children, seniors, victims of domestic violence and immigrants. And now with the School of Health Science and the Graduate School of Education, we can help make sure that they have adequate health care and have an opportunity to advance the next generation through education. Today's further, today's further significant because it sort of in some ways marks the start of Touro's 50th anniversary celebration. Touro will be 50 years old, next year. And as part of our continued growth and service, this campus is one step of a plan to prepare us for the next 50 years. The Long Island campus may be the first to house the Law School, the School of Education, and a health science school. And this will create opportunities, educationally, community service, and for research. The school's curriculum committees will look carefully for opportunities to work together to make our educational programs even better than they already are. The future is bright for our institution. Todays, groundbreaking is yet another step in the right direction that will allow our programs to fulfill their missions. We need friends to help us make our mission possible. Although we run a fiscally responsible institution, all universities and all non-profits depend on friends to move the institution forward. So it's really a great honor to introduce our next speaker. Bruce K. Gould, a 1984 graduate of the Touro Law Center, and a former Bar president association a former Bar Association president. Among his many accomplishments, both at Touro and otherwise, has created the Bruce K. Gould Book Award, which is developed into one of the country's most important book awards on legal or related topics. And sometimes the prominence of the award has it moved beyond purely legal works into some great books which have been a pleasure to read, to hear about, and to meet the authors. Bruce created the Law Center's first distinguished chair. He chaired the capital campaign, and he and his family gave the naming gift for the Gould Law Library. More recently, he chaired the Law Center's 40th anniversary celebration. He's a member of the Law School Board of Governors, as well as Chair of the Touro College University System's Board of Governors. He's a good friend, a wise counsel, and a volunteer extraordinare. And I enjoyed lunch yesterday. Bruce, come on up and say hello and thank you again for everything you've done.
BRUCE GOULD, TOURO CHAIR: Good morning and welcome. Thank you. Dr. Kadish for those warm that warm introduction. On behalf of the Touro College and University Systems Board of Governors. I want to welcome everybody here this morning. And I want to congratulate Dr. Kadish and Provost Salkin and the administration of the Touro College and University system, along with Dean Langen, and Dean Primavera, and Dean Easily.
On this momentous day. The ground breaking of the new Touro College, Long Island campus brings together, as was said, the Graduate School of Education, the Fuchsberg School of Law, and the College of Health Sciences M1 campus. This innovative and unique campus will broaden the educational reach and expand the horizons for each of these schools and their important mission. I want to take you back just a little bit in the history of Touro, 40 years ago. When I first heard the name Touro College, I was 21 years old, just out of college and looking to attend law school in New York City. Someone mentioned a small upstart law school in midtown Manhattan. Touro Law School was a brand new school. Touro College was barely ten years old, with a handful of schools spread over a few buildings in Manhattan. I would end up graduating with 80 students in the second graduating class of what today is known as Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center. Wow. I got to say how things have changed. It's just 50 years as Dr. Kadish said, Touro College and University System is now a huge institution offering hundreds of different degrees to diverse student body of almost 20,000 students in 30 different schools in six states and in four countries. It has grown to be the largest private university in the United States with Jewish roots. I'm truly awed by the expansion of this great institution in just 50 years. When I first entered that small eight story building on West 44th Street to start my graduate degree, I couldn't have anticipated the progress the school would make. From that very first day. In 1983, the school expanded to Huntington, New York, where it's thrived for many, many years. In 2017, the school transitioned to its new facility in Central Islip, right over there and I had the privilege of leading a successful campaign to build the world class Law Center campus that you see right across the parking lot. Today. I stand before you, representing the University's Board of Governors. As we write the next chapter in the college's history, the groundbreaking of this new Long Island Campus of Touro College, which will further university's mission and solidify its ability to expand its curriculum and offer multi-disciplinary learning in a broad range of degrees and graduate offerings to its students I want to again, welcome you all to this wonderful celebration. Congratulations Dr. Kadish again. Provost Salkin. Rabbi Krupka, if he's joined us. Dean Primavera, Dean Langan, Dean Easily and all the members of the college administration, faculty and staff on this tremendous, tremendous achievement. One final note, I noticed there's a number of students here today and as a former SBA President as Dr. Kadish has said, I want to acknowledge you personally, you are our future. And the reason we worked so hard to ensure that we have the best education possible in our respective schools is because of you. Thank you and welcome.
PROVOST SALKIN: The next part of our program is a demonstration of the public-private partnership that it takes in order to make the Long Island campus a reality. Before I introduce the real elected officials, I just have to say a quick word about somebody who I consider to be the honorary mayor around here. We're in a town, not a city or a village. So that's okay. Howie Stein is the Chair of our Board of Governors. And he is much more than that. If you need to know anybody in the area, if you need help with just about anything. Howie Stein is the go-to guy and Howie we appreciate your help and support in not just behind-the-scene ways, but being out in front for the Law Center. So and now for the Long Island campus. So thank you very much. Angie Carpenter has been the Islip Town Supervisor since 2015 and the first woman to hold the office in its more than 300-year history. For 10 years before that she served the people of Suffolk County as treasurer. She was first elected to the Suffolk County Legislature in 1993, serving on almost every legislative committee, and was elected unanimously as the legislature's deputy presiding officer for two consecutive years. One line in her bio stands out particularly today. I'm going to quote, "We worked to bring the Touro School of Health Sciences to downtown Bayshore." We at Touro very much appreciated her support then, And now as she helps us realize the creation of a Touro College Long Island campus, combining the School of Health Science, the Graduate School of Education, and the Law School in one state of the art campus here in the town of Islip. She's a visionary leader, a doer, and a dreamer. Please join me in welcoming Supervisor Angie Carpenter to the podium.
SUPERVISOR ANGIE CARPENTER: Thank you so much, provost. I do take pride in that. And I'm going to share something with you and I hadn't planned on talking about it, but it's so amazing how being in the right place at the right time, how things can happen. And I was at a community meeting and someone who's very involved in the community at the time said to me 'Oh Angie I want to ask you something," he goes, "I was at a cocktail party and I overheard someone saying that the Touro's School of Health Sciences was looking for a new home. What do you think about the mini-center?" And I'm like, Oh my God, that's that's genius. That's so perfect. And for those of you who don't know, the mini-center is in Downtown, Bayshore, was in Downtown Bayshore and it housed thing that the community Doesn't want to see: the motor vehicle bureau, the methadone clinic, social services, you know, all kinds of things. And it just seemed like it was such a perfect idea. So I sat down with the folks from Touro, and at the time there was a bit of debt left on the building. The mini center still had a couple million dollars worth of debt. I forget what it was. It doesn't matter at this point. But we also had the health center there, the County Health Center, and the highway patrol was housed there. So the deal that we structured was that the county would remain with their health center for seven years and the police presence and at the time Downtown Bayshore was not what it is now, we needed that police presence. We needed the highway officers going back and forth from that campus. And I felt it would provide a sense of security for the college coming in there. And the College of Health Sciences and everyone that was involved there: Dean Primavera, Thomasino, I mean, the names go on and on. But it just it was so, so perfect. And the health center was there for students to really get real life experience and look at what had happened. Now, here we are in when I heard about the idea of moving out of Bayshore I was a little disappointed at first, but Bayshore was ready to have you leave. You came to Bayshore and were really pivotal in helping with the success that downtown Bayshore became. And it was very much in part because of Touro. So now it just makes all the sense in the world. And this truly now will be more than the Law Center. It will truly be a campus, your Long Island campus. And I'm gonna go out on a limb here and I'm going to put a challenge out there. My dream and my wish is to someday be standing here as we're breaking ground on the dorms for Touro College. So on this occasion of this wonderful groundbreaking and it's great to see the machinery moving behind us. Nothing stops, keep working. I will leave this certificate to commemorate this groundbreaking. So we'll see the classrooms, we'll see the offices, we'll see the public advocacy center. But in the back of our minds, we're going to know and we're going to dream that someday we'll be seeing a campus with dorms. So to everyone that brought us here today, I can't thank you enough. And you have a partner and a fan in this supervisor, so thank you. And it's a team effort. You know, you can't do it without the team that's in place. And I know that our planning commissioner and everyone involved administratively in the town has been rooting for this to happen. And the town board has been very, very supportive and I know Town Councilman Bergman is here today. I don't see anyone else, but they're here in spirit and we thank you.
PROVOST SALKIN: Thank you, Supervisor. Or our next guest is Senator Weik. She has been a lifelong resident of Suffolk County, earning degrees from Dowling College and Farmingdale State College. Although we actually personally just met right before this ceremony, we have been faithful Correspondence because when I was a resident of Suffolk County, I would send you my tax payments because she was the receiver of taxes for the Town of Islip from 2011 to 2020. In November of 2020, she was elected to represent the Third Senate District including Central Islip. She served as a ranking member of the budget and revenue and social services committees.
She's also a member of the civil service, education, veterans, and women's issue committees. As a woman and former business owner, she is an advocate for issues related to small businesses, especially for taxes and women. Please join me in welcoming State Senator Alexis Weik to the podium for a few remarks.
STATE SENATOR ALEXIS WEIK: Thank you so much, Provost. And it's such an honor to be here today to take part in such an exciting new challenge and new expansion of this college. This college has served for such a long time, serving our community and bringing education at its best. I don't think any of us know someone who hasn't gone to school, Touro Law, or to the Health Sciences Center. And they bring great services to our community. It's an incredibly exciting time to be a student at Touro and the college and its graduate program continue to expand offering our students opportunities. They simply will not find elsewhere. The real world experiences these students get from the courts across the street to the Hertz Public Advocacy Center. The jobs that await them when they graduate Touro is really a shining beacon on Long Island. We're so grateful to have you here. Touro alumni play prominent roles in so many facets of Long Island community and this building today we'll continue to shape our future leaders, advocates. And I'm so excited this construction will be taking place in third senatorial district. I wish all of the students, faculty, and non-profits that we'll be working and learning in this building every success. And I'm so proud to be invited to take part in today's groundbreaking. I can't wait until the ribbon cutting and I can't wait to see dorms. So I thank you so much for all that you do and for dreaming big and making it a reality. Thank you.
PROVOST SALKIN: Thank you, Senator. Senator Boyle, Phil Boyle is a perfect hybrid for Touro. He was born in Bayshore. He grew up in Islip. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and from Albany Law School. He received a Masters in Public Administration from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at Suny Albany. We have two schools in common He served several years on Capitol Hill as a senior congressional aide. And was Chief of Staff for Rick Laszlo, who some might remember, was a huge supporter of the law school building during his time in DC. In 1994 Senator Boyle was elected to the New York State Assembly as a representative of the eighth assembly district. And in 2012, he was elected as the senator for the fourth senate district, which includes Bayshore. He serves as ranking member of the Higher Education and Judiciary Committees. He's currently serving his fourth term in the Senate. And he has been a longtime friend to Touro. In fact, every year when we make our annual visit to the state capital. And Senator Boyle is always top on our invitation list. And he always attends, and we always love seeing you there, but we appreciate even more seeing you here. So Senator Boyle.
SENATOR PHIL BOYLE: Thank you, Patricia. And our friendship goes back even long before Touro. But I do want to thank everyone for allowing me to be here on this momentous day. It's such an exciting time that I'm sorts of little lengthy bio. I actually measure my life by Touro. I went, I went, I took my bar review class at Touro Law Center Huntington I was a little instrumental again, bringing Health Sciences to Bayshore, my home town was thrilled to see the Law Center here. And now that all of it is coming together, I can retire. But seriously, those people who may question the idea of law and education, the health sciences, I invite you to my senate office. on any given morning, Senator White will attest. We get dozens of phone calls-- not to bring up a sore subject—about vaccine mandates, mask mandates, schools, hospitals. I wish I had the professionals that are going to be teaching here advising us on how to answer these questions. These are big issues. And schools like this, centers like this Touro professionals, the teachers, the staff, and the students are going to learn so much about things that are important today and going forward, congratulations on this great day. I look forward to the ribbon cutting.
PROVOST SALKIN: So, you know, Long Island traffic being what it is. It took some of us a long time to get here this morning. And so rather than having an invocation, which we typically do at our programs, we're going to have a bit of a benediction. I'd like to call upon my colleague and really my work partner, extraordinaire Touro College and University System's Executive Vice President and ombudsman, Rabbi Moshe Krupka.
TOURO EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT RABBI MOSHE KRUPKA: Thank you, Provost Salkin, and it's a wonderful to be with you here this morning. This beautiful morning to celebrate this groundbreaking. And I'm looking around at the personalities that are here. Tomorrow night is the eve of Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur holiday, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar begins. Families will be gathering together and going to synagogue to pray for a happy, healthy, successful New Year. And this assemblage here, these personalities, this is a family that has come out to support a united Touro Long Island campus. And I can't think of any better way to head into the groundbreaking ceremony part and to join together in a prayer as a family for the future of this campus and for the success of all those people that will benefit from what goes on here on Touro's Long Island campus. So please join with me in a moment.
Aveno Shebashamiam, our Heavenly Father. Bless all those who have assembled here today to celebrate the official groundbreaking of the Touro College Long Island campus. We gather today as an extended family to begin a new chapter in Touro's illustrious history. The Touro College and University System established to perpetuate the Jewish heritage and to serve humanity. Dear God, today, we are united and expanded campus representing Law, health sciences and graduate education. To do Your work here in Long Island. Dear God, may you bless the United Campus. Today we witness the culmination of intense, incredible dedication and hard work to create a stronger, more impactful presence here on Long Island. As we gather here this morning, we ask for your divine guidance and blessing for those in our graduate programs on this campus, men and women of good faith, faith in our collective ability to achieve excellence and impart knowledge faith in our ability to serve, strengthen, and improve your world, your God, with its rich diversity and ever-increasing potential for good. Grant us the wisdom, resolve in fortitude to educate, to inspire and to lead. What a wonderful way to celebrate a new year and a new beginning. We pledge each of us as an institution and an individuals as we begin this new chapter to a bright new future, to do our utmost, to realize our full potential, and to bring further glory to Your Name. Boruch Shehechiyano, V'kymano Lazman Hazae Blessed are you Oh God, who has given us life and has sustained us and has brought us to this magnificent moment. Amen.
PROVOST SALKIN: Thank you, Rabbi Krupka. If I can ask the following people to come up and join us for a photo and to shovel some dirt. Let's move the dirt and get this project moving. President Kadish, Executive Vice President Rabbi Krupka, Bruce Gould, Howie Stein, Supervisor Carpenter, Senator Weik, Dean Primavera, Dean Langan, Dean Easily, Dean Ballan, Vice President Rosengarten, Brian Ramdot and Francesca Perdenti and Mike Mullenafi.