Yeshiva University Renames Key Building at Stern College for Women After Longtime Supporter Ronald P. Stanton
Yeshiva University dedicated 245 Lexington Avenue, Stern College for Women’s signature building on the Beren Campus, as Ronald P. Stanton Hall on Dec. 16 in recognition of the New York City industrialist’s abiding support for the University’s mission.
Stanton, former Chairman of the YU Board of Trustees and chairman of Transammonia, Inc., gave the University $100 million in 2006, the largest single gift ever in North America in support of Jewish education and Jewish life. The longest serving member of the Board, Stanton chaired the University’s $400 million capital campaign that was launched in 2000, guiding it to its goal in just three years and establishing a $10 million capital fund.
“The business of Jewish leadership is the business of believing that tomorrow will be better than today,” said President Richard M. Joel to the crowd of 250 students, faculty, staff and friends gathered in the newly named building’s first floor. “The purpose of renaming this building is to create a legacy so that young people know about Ron Stanton’s vision for Jewish education.”
An earlier gift from Stanton endowed the Hedi Steinberg Library at Stern College, named for his mother. “Since that first act of kindness, Ron has dedicated so much of his time to YU as a benefactor, a Trustee and prod,” said President Joel, acknowledging the key role Stanton played in recruiting him to lead the University and guiding him in his leadership thereafter.
Stern junior Alana Himber painted a vivid picture of daily life in the building now known as Stanton Hall. “It represents an integral part of YU, which is molding the future of modern Orthodoxy in the United States and the world at large,” she said. “It stands as the centerpiece of our midtown campus.” Alongside the “sounds of basketballs hitting the floor in the gymnasium and swords clashing during fencing practice,” students attend classes in the sciences, social sciences, business and humanities; gather together for club activities; and learn Talmud alongside alumni 24 hours a day in the newly expanded Eisenberg Beit Midrash on the seventh floor.
“As students, we are inspired by the Stanton name, now emblazoned on the front of this building,” Himber said.
Dr. Adam Zachary Newton also now officially carries the Stanton name: he was invested at the dedication as the Ronald P. Stanton Professor of Literature and the Humanities. The appointment recognized Newton’s outstanding contributions in both teaching and scholarship since he joined the University in fall 2007 from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was the youngest professor appointed to an endowed chair. He created and was acting director of the Jewish Studies Program at UT Austin.
He spoke about his reasons for coming to YU in his investiture speech. As a Harvard University doctoral graduate with research interests including 20th-century American literature, popular culture and Jewish studies, he was attracted to YU’s mission of Torah Umadda—“the rapprochement it proclaims between dual worlds of discourse, a bridge between two intellectual traditions. Torah Umadda isn’t just a framework; aspirationally speaking, it’s a cultivated spirit,” said Newton, who chairs the English department at Yeshiva College.
“To Ronald P. Stanton for the gold-standard of a name and reputation that identify the chair that now identifies me, let me express simple pride for an exceptional honor,” said Newton, author of four books with major university presses over the past 10 years. “To Provost Lowengrub and President Joel and of course, Yeshiva University, whose stewards and standard-bearers they are, I need to register publicly how indebted I am that you have seen fit to recognize me in this way.”