Alexandra and Steve Cohen Donate the Largest Gift In CUNY History

The couple's donation will establish a vocational training center in Queens.

Couple wearing New York Mets hats pose in baseball stadium
The couple has donated more than $1.2 billion through their family foundation since 2001. Courtesy Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation

Billionaires Steve Cohen and Alexandra Cohen are giving a staggering $116.2 million to LaGuardia Community College, a public institution in Long Island City, Queens. The donation stands as the largest in the history of the City University of New York (CUNY) system and the most significant gift ever given to a community college in the U.S.

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The funds will establish a workforce training center to be known as the Cohen Career Collective. Construction of the facility, which will measure 160,000 square feet, is expected to be completed by January of 2029. “I wanted to create a place where students have access to high-quality programs and facilities and can learn the skills they need to succeed in a rapidly changing world,” said Alexandra, who leads the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, in a statement.

Steve Cohen is the founder of hedge fund Point 72 Asset Management and has an estimated net worth of $19.8 billion. His family foundation focuses on underserved communities and the arts and has given out some $1.2 billion since its inception in 2001. In addition to supporting psychedelic-assisted therapy, local hospitals and cultural institutions like the Museum of Modern Art, the couple earlier this week gifted $10 million to expand an adolescent mental health program at Hackensack Meridian Health, a New Jersey healthcare network.

The Cohen Career Collective will offer a range of specialized training programs

Large white building stands on street corner
The funds will establish a workforce training center at the community college. Courtesy Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation

Their newest philanthropic endeavor will support education and training programs that prepare students to enter high-demand sectors across New York City. Specifically, the Cohen Career Collective will offer credentials related to healthcare, construction, technology, culinary and hospitality, green jobs and entertainment. “This historic $116.2 million investment multiplies CUNY’s role as an engine of upward mobility and doubles down on our commitment to helping our students not only get a degree but a well-paying job after graduation,” said Félix Matos Rodríguez, CUNY Chancellor, in a statement.

The facility will have specialized shops, labs and classrooms where students can take English as a Second Language (ESL) and high-school equivalency classes geared toward GED seekers. Students with disabilities, veterans and the formerly incarcerated will also be welcomed, according to LaGuardia Community College.

The Cohens have close ties to Queens and have given more than $185 million in charitable contributions to organizations in the area. Cohen is the owner of the New York Mets, whose home ballpark Citi Field is located in Queens. The hedge fund manager is also pursuing one of three available casino licenses for the New York City area in hopes of establishing an $8 billion casino and entertainment complex in the borough.

Alexandra and Steve Cohen Donate the Largest Gift In CUNY History