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Profile of Blanche and Irving Laurie

Blanche and Irving Laurie were no strangers to philanthropy. They supported a variety of Jewish humanitarian needs both here and abroad. They built the Edith Laurie Experimental Theatre in memory of their daughter and endowed the new Laurie Chair in Theatre Arts at Brandeis University, where Irving has served as a Fellow for many years. They established the Laurie Neurodevelopmental Institute at Middlesex General-University Hospital (now the Robert Wood Johnson Hospital) in New Brunswick, where Irving was a member of the Board of Trustees. Their names are listed on the Founders' Wall of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Rutgers University is proud to have received significant support from the Lauries. The Blanche and Irving Laurie Performing Arts Library on the Douglass College campus is a gift from Irving in loving memory of his wife, the former Blanche Susskind, who was an opera and music lover and herself a concert pianist and vocalist.

Support for the university from the Laurie family covers several generations, beginning with a gift of $1,000 for the Rutgers University Endowment Fund from Irving's father, Israel Laurie, a prominent philanthropist in the New Brunswick area. Numerous family members who later studied at the university continued this pattern of family support, and Irving's gift to the music library is a striking example of this fine tradition.