“We are extremely pleased that George Kaufman has accepted a fourth term as a member of FIT's Board of Trustees,” said Edwin Goodman, chairman of the board. “Mr. Kaufman's demonstrated commitment to FIT since 1982 is deeply appreciated, and his expertise in the fields of business, real estate, and the arts adds great value.”
Kaufman is chairman of New York’s Kaufman Astoria Studios, the filmmaking center located in Long Island City, Queens that he transformed into “The Production Center of New York.” Efforts by Kaufman and his studio management team play a central role in bringing feature film and television productions to New York City.
Prominent in the New York real estate community, Kaufman is chairman of the Kaufman Organization, which for more than a century has owned, managed, and developed commercial and residential properties in the New York area. According to Crain’s New York Business, the Kaufman Organization is the 23rd largest independent real estate company in New York City.
A long-time supporter of FIT, Kaufman and his wife Mariana were honored for their $4 million gift which helped transform a former book bindery and office building located at 406 West 31st Street into a 320,000 square-foot residence for FIT students. The addition of the George S. and Mariana Kaufman Residence Hall, which opened in 2006 and houses 1,100 students in 497 private suites, doubled the college’s student housing space, helping to ease a shortage of on-campus housing.
Kaufman earned his undergraduate degree from Ohio State University and his master’s degree from New York University.
In addition to his involvement with FIT, Kaufman is chairman of the board of the Fashion Center Business Improvement District and a member of the Real Estate Board of New York. He also is a member of the board of trustees of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of the Moving Image.
FIT is governed by its own Board of Trustees, which is charged with the administration of the institution and support of its mission. In addition to Kaufman, board members include Edwin A. Goodman, chair; Elizabeth T. Peek, vice chair; Amsale Aberra; Richard A. Anderman; Jay H. Baker; Robin Burns-McNeill; Judith I. Byrd; William Cope, IV, student trustee; Yaz Hernández; Joan B. Hornig; Beverly S. Mack; Chris Casson Madden; and Robert Savage.
FIT, a leader in career-oriented education, is a selective college of art and design, business and technology of the State University of New York (SUNY), with 44 majors leading to the AAS, BFA, BS, MA, and MPS degrees. The college serves more than 10,000 students and offers courses in a wide range of fields.