PAULETTE GODDARD AND HER DONATION TO NEW YORK UNIVERSITY

 

pgbiodonationnyuapaulettegoddardroyexportgPaulette will forever be tied to New York City: her parents married there, and she was born and lived in the city for many years. 

She made her first personal donation to New York University (NYU) anonymously in 1984 in the amount of $13.4 million.
Thanks to her friendship with NYU’s 13th president, politician and educator John Brademas, Paulette’s entire estate (including her sublime Swiss villa ) was bequeathed to the university, in particular to the Tisch School of the Arts, at the time of her death, in 1990. Worth $7 million more than her initial commitment, this donation was valued at over $20 million.
It is the third largest donation made to New York University, notably behind Leonard Sterns’ donation in 1988 ($31.2 million).
John Brademas announced the donation in May 1990 during the university’s 158th graduation ceremony in Washington Square Park, in front of seven thousand students and their families.

In 1977 and after her death, Paulette donated many of Erich Maria Remarque ’s documents and personal effects, including sixty-two thousand pages of manuscripts, diaries, letters, and photographs, to the Fales Library & Special Collections; collectively, the donation is known as the Erich Remarque Collection. The library also holds three thousand volumes of the writer’s work including copies of all his books and numerous translations.

For these donations the university decided to :

  • name one of its Greenwich Village buildings after Paulette: Stern Hall became, in 1990, the Paulette Goddard Hall (located at 79 Washington Square East). A commemorative plaque to Paulette's life hangs inside the building at the Washington Square East entrance. Another entrance, at West Fourth Street, leads to five classrooms located in the basement, named the Paulette Goddard Classrooms.

pgbiodonationnyubThe building is actually a set of two buildings formerly known as :

- the Lies Building (with a chamois brick facade at 79 Washington Square East) built at the request of John N. Parker between 1893 and 1894 by Cleverdon & Putzel for commercial use (warehouses and stores). Acquired by the university in 1936, the building is today known as Paulette Goddard Hall or Goddard Hall.

- the Tuckerman Building (with a red-brick facade at 80 Washington Square East) was built in 1879  by McKim, Mead & Bigelow at the request of iron merchant Lucius Tuckerman. The building is acquired by the university in 1925 for use as a dormitory, and is saved from demolition twice: once in 1927 and again in 1969. Known as the Benedick, it is one of the first buildings used as housing exclusively for bachelors (particularly artists and illustrators). Today, it is the Goddard Hall Gallery and includes an exhibition hall on the ground floor used to display the theses of students from the university’s Department of Art and Art Professions.

Together, the two buildings are the university’s smallest residence hall with about one hundred and five rooms and two hundred freshmen.

  • to fund academic scholarships for young students and teachers towards their research, publications, and travel (an endowment of $3 million was bequeathed in the will).

  • to fund an academic scholarship for the Tisch School of the Arts (with an endowment of $1 million bequeathed in the will) named the Paulette Goddard Scholarship Award and valued at about $2,000 per person. The scholarship is awarded to young artists such as director Tom di Cillo.
    Paulette had already donated $3 million to the Tisch School of the Arts in 1977 towards academic scholarships which helped three hundred young artists between 1977 and 1990. In recognition of these two donations, Tisch gave the actress’ name to one of the staircases in its main hall (the Paulette Goddard Staircase in 721 Broadway).

  • to create, in 1996, the Remarque Institute, named in honor of Paulette’s late husband, and which remained under the direction of English historian and writer Tony Judt for fifteen years.  The institute’s mission is to support and promote the study of and discussion about Europe, as well as to encourage and facilitate communication between Americans and Europeans. The institute works towards the achievement of its mission via the creation of scholarships. Certain NYU professors hold the title of Erich Maria Remarque Professor (of European Studies or Languages) and benefit from a $1.2 million endowment allotted for each one in Paulette’s will.  In 2007 the Remarque Institute opened a satellite office in the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris.   

pgbiodonationnyucThese donations as allowed the university to grant three professors the title of Paulette Goddard Professor which comes with a $1.2 million endowment. The endowment was originally to be allocated between the professors of :

  • of Film and TV (George C. Stoney),
  • of Political economy (Jess Benhabib),
  • of Public service (Paul C. Light),  

However, it has since been extended to include professors of :

  • of Art and Humanities (Richard Turner),
  • of Fine arts (Mariët Westermann),
  • of Nutrition, food studies and public health (Marion Nestle).
The title of Paulette Goddard Chair of Media Ecology (Neil Postman) was created in 1998.


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