The Value of 'Real Estate' at Lehigh University ...

... is on the rise with a commitment from The Holliday Foundation to advance Lehigh’s ire@l real estate program.

One of New York City’s top commercial real estate leaders, Marc Holliday ’88, is always exploring ways to take commercial real estate ventures to the next level. Now, Holliday, who is the CEO of SL Green Realty Corp., has focused on Lehigh to advance the upward trajectory of real estate.

Through The Holliday Foundation that Marc and his wife, Sheree, created for charitable causes, the couple has provided a generous $5 million gift to enhance the Integrated Real Estate at Lehigh (ire@l) minor program in the College of Business and Economics.

The $5 million gift is comprised of two components. The Foundation’s initial gift of $3.5 million will further elevate this impressive minor by establishing The Marc Holliday ’88 Professor of Practice and Director of the ire@l program. In addition to the $3.5 million gift, The Holliday Foundation has made $1.5 million available as a matching gift challenge to support the new Marc Holliday ire@l Operating Endowment Fund.

This challenge seeks engagement and commitment from other alumni and friends on a “two dollars for one” basis, with the potential to raise an additional $3 million in matching gifts for the endowment fund. If the $1.5 million matching challenge succeeds in attracting another $3 million, then The Holliday Foundation’s overall $5 million gift will have raised a total of $8 million in support of the ire@l program. The new endowed position will allow Lehigh to attract and retain a highly accomplished real estate professional to direct the ire@l program and to teach from experience. This position is critical for the long-term sustainability of the educational program while the operating endowment fund bolsters the student experience.

“I received an outstanding education at Lehigh, which is one of the nation’s great universities,” Holliday said. “It was the initial foundation for my professional success. The purpose of this gift is to recognize that and to enhance a program that will produce future business leaders.”

The ire@l academic minor is the only one in the United States that allows any Lehigh undergraduate to minor in real estate—regardless of their major. Because students custom-make their own academic pairings with ire@l, the combination of their unique backgrounds and academic paths makes this a true cross-boundary experience that emulates the industry’s everyday collaboration of diverse professionals. According to Stephen Thode, director of the Murray H. Goodman Center for Real Estate Studies, “This is what sets Lehigh’s program apart from the rest.”