Former U.S. Representative for New Jersey and real estate developer Frank Guarini’s latest philanthropic endeavor is a gift to a state school that marks the largest received in its history.
On Thursday, New Jersey City University President Sue Henderson announced Guarini’s gift of $10 million to the school, which will enable the launch of its international studies institute and a modern performing arts center—the first of its kind in Hudson County.
“For decades Frank Guarini has demonstrated his support of New Jersey City University and now, more than ever, is critical to the continued bright future of our community,” Henderson said in a prepared statement.
Already in progress, the gift will accelerate and establish the Frank J. Guarini Institute for International Studies, which NJCU says will focus on three key areas surrounding the global nature of work: Research exploring interconnections between the concept and higher education, preparing students for the global future of work through experiences abroad and global work opportunities; and the creation of international partnerships with higher education institutions, businesses and other organizations that foster and advance the idea.
Plans for the performing arts center have already led to a partnership between NJCU and the Joffrey Ballet School, according to the university. The 25,347-square-foot Guarini Performing Arts Center will serve as home to the ballet trainer and foster a collaborative NJCU-Joffrey BFA in Dance program. It features a nearly 500-seat theater, a 100-seat recital hall, two large dance studios with exterior glass walls facing a large public plaza, a grand lobby, special event space, and more.
“Both of these projects will significantly impact our county to create jobs, provide housing and foster Jersey City’s growth as a world-class city to usher in a new era for our students and communities,” Henderson said.
“The Jersey City of tomorrow would not be possible without Frank’s support. His transformational gifts to so many important institutions here will pave the way for generations to come and we are humbled to be a part of it,” she added.