Whitman Voices

Introduction

Laughlin Gift Enables Greater Student Experiences in NYC

Laughlin Gift Enables Greater Student Experiences in NYC

Laughlin Gift Enables Greater Student Experiences in NYC

Robert Laughlin

Robert Laughlin ’87 works in the heart of New York City. As regional market manager at Citi Private Bank of New York, he knows the many opportunities the Big Apple has to offer those studying business and looking to enter the job market — and he’s making sure that more students at the Martin J. Whitman School of Management have the opportunity to do just that.

Through the estate of Marguerite and Marc Spiegel, Laughlin and his family recently gave a significant gift to the Whitman School for the specific purpose of supporting experiential learning opportunities in NYC, as well as raising the profile of the school in the financial capital of the world. The Spiegel Family Fund for Experiential Learning Opportunities, named in acknowledgment of Peggy and Marc Spiegel, is an unrestricted gift that gives Whitman School Dean Gene Anderson full discretion to use the funds to enable students from every socio-economic background to experience the business culture of New York City. The intent is to secure more internships, network and engage in other activities in NYC that will enhance classroom learning. An accounting major when he was at the Whitman School, Laughlin credits his “well-rounded education” for landing him a position with one of “The Big 8” accounting firms. His career later took a turn to law school and then into the banking industry, but he firmly believes that Whitman gave him a strong foundation to help him get to where he is today.

An accounting major when he was at the Whitman School, Laughlin credits his “well-rounded education” for landing him a position with one of “The Big 8” accounting firms. His career later took a turn to law school and then into the banking industry, but he firmly believes that Whitman gave him a strong foundation to help him get to where he is today.

Through the estate of Marguerite and Marc Spiegel, Laughlin and his family recently gave a significant gift to the Whitman School for the specific purpose of supporting experiential learning opportunities in NYC, as well as raising the profile of the school in the financial capital of the world. The Spiegel Family Fund for Experiential Learning Opportunities, named in acknowledgment of Peggy and Marc Spiegel, is an unrestricted gift that gives Whitman School Dean Gene Anderson full discretion to use the funds to enable students from every socio-economic background to experience the business culture of New York City. The intent is to secure more internships, network and engage in other activities in NYC that will enhance classroom learning. An accounting major when he was at the Whitman School, Laughlin credits his “well-rounded education” for landing him a position with one of “The Big 8” accounting firms. His career later took a turn to law school and then into the banking industry, but he firmly believes that Whitman gave him a strong foundation to help him get to where he is today.

A member of the Whitman School Advisory Council since 2009, Laughlin was aware that the school was trying to create a bigger presence in New York City, something that made perfect sense given Syracuse’s close proximity and the huge number of alumni who live and work there. He credits his father, the executor of the Spiegel estate, and his wife for encouraging him to give to back to the Whitman School.

“My hope is that this gift might be a catalyst to others to see the benefits of this type of experiential learning and donate, so that Syracuse University, particularly the Whitman School, can be more prominent in New York City,” he said, noting that one day he’d like to see a formalized internship program or a dedicated Whitman School building centered in NYC, so students could spend a full semester learning and experiencing all there is to offer.

“There are so many alumni here, and Syracuse University is known broadly, but we have not yet maximized the potential of what students at the Whitman School can get out of New York City,” he added.

“My hope is that this gift will enhance the student experience for Whitman students — today and into the future.”

Spring 2019 Whitman Magazine

Article: Whitman Takes on NYC for Transformative Learning Experiences

Caroline Reff

Caroline K. Reff at Inkwell Creative Services
Caroline Reff is a freelance writer and public relations consultant working with a variety of clients through her company, Inkwell Creative Services, which she founded in 1994.

Reff also has held various positions in journalism and public relations, including special sections editor at Manlius Publishing Corp. in Fayetteville, N.Y., and assistant director of community relations at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in Syracuse.