Campus & Community
Last week, new signage was installed on the Kuhn Gameday Lounge presented by Hidden Level, marking not only another step in the transformation of the JMA Wireless Dome but also paying tribute to a Syracuse University alumnus, trustee and philanthropist who is nationally recognized for innovation and leadership in business and real estate, and whose history of generosity has impacted countless lives.
James D. Kuhn ’70, G’72 and his wife, Marjorie, have provided a substantial new commitment to support the Forever Orange Campaign for Syracuse University and Phase II of the multimillion-dollar, multi-year effort to reimagine the stadium experience. The gift creates a new premium field/courtside space within the JMA Dome and provides an upgraded fan experience for premium seat holders for all five Syracuse Athletics programs that compete in the facility.
“Through their philanthropy, Jimmy and Marjorie continuously redefine what it means to be a fan, friend and ambassador of Syracuse University,” says Chancellor Kent Syverud. “Thanks to their leadership, selflessness and vision, Syracuse University will continue to transform and elevate the fan and student experience on campus for years to come.”
The Kuhns have made several high-impact gifts over the years. Their gifts have established the James D. Kuhn Real Estate Center and the Leo and Sunnie Kuhn Endowed Scholarship for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Whitman School of Management, as well as the Kuhn Film Fund in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. They have also supported initiatives in the School of Architecture, the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and Syracuse University Athletics. In addition to supporting a number of Syracuse University initiatives, Kuhn has been a champion of philanthropy to a number of other organizations with gifts to NYU Langone, National Jewish Hospital, Mt Sinai, HSS and the Diversity Scholarship Fund at NYU Schack Real Estate Center for students pursuing a master’s degree in real estate.
James Kuhn is just as generous with his time. He has served on the Board of Trustees since 2007, was vice chair from 2013-17 and chair of the Facilities Committee from 2009-13. He has been a member of the Board Executive, Finance and Facilities committees. He also currently serves as chair of the Board Athletics Committee (through early May 2023). He is a member of the Whitman Advisory Council, which he had previously chaired for 10 years. In 2010, Kuhn received the inaugural Dritz Rookie Trustee of the Year Award and in 2018, he received the Dritz Trustee of the Year Award. In 2001, he received the Whitman School’s Jonathan J. Holtz Alumnus of the Year Award.
“Jimmy appreciates what it takes to excel as a student-athlete,” says John Wildhack, director of athletics. “Besides the commitment and hard work it takes to be a competitor, he knows that the entire University community plays a role in the success of our athletics program. Enhancing the fan experience at the JMA Dome strengthens our commitment to our student-athletes.”
A former Orange student-athlete himself, Kuhn captained the Syracuse fencing team during the 1967-68 season and was a three-time letterwinner. During his tenure on the team, he won the North Atlantic Collegiate Foil Championship and went on to finish in the top 16 at nationals in 1968. After a 25-year absence, Kuhn returned to fence in the veterans division, where he was ranked seventh in the nation by the time of his retirement in 2001.
“Syracuse gave me everything I needed and wanted to prepare me for life,” says Kuhn. “There are two things you can do in your life that are unrequited—philanthropy and helping your children be better than you are.”
After earning a B.S. in finance in 1970 and an MBA in 1972 from Syracuse University, Kuhn began his career as a lender with Metropolitan Life, and then was an owner/manager with The Mendik Company, before selling it to Vornado. He is principal, president and head of investor services for New York-based Newmark, which he joined in 1992. With more than 6,500 employees worldwide, Newmark operates from approximately 170 global offices. Kuhn also founded and leads Newmark’s technology and innovation practice group.
The JMA Wireless Dome Transformation Project aims to enhance the game day experience for all Syracuse fans, student-athletes, coaches, students and alumni. The second phase of the project, which was announced in December, includes the installation of upgraded chairback seating and the introduction of new premium offerings throughout the venue, building upon earlier enhancements that included the installation of a new roof, the largest center-hung video scoreboard in college sports, air conditioning throughout the venue, lighting and sound enhancements, and an improved concessions experience.
About Syracuse University
Syracuse University is a private research university that advances knowledge across disciplines to drive breakthrough discoveries and breakout leadership. Our collection of 13 schools and colleges with over 200 customizable majors closes the gap between education and action, so students can take on the world. In and beyond the classroom, we connect people, perspectives and practices to solve interconnected challenges with interdisciplinary approaches. Together, we’re a powerful community that moves ideas, individuals and impact beyond what’s possible.
About Forever Orange: The Campaign for Syracuse University
Orange isn’t just our color. It’s our promise to leave the world better than we found it. Forever Orange: The Campaign for Syracuse University is poised to do just that. Fueled by more than 150 years of fearless firsts, together we can enhance academic excellence, transform the student experience and expand unique opportunities for learning and growth. Forever Orange endeavors to raise $1.5 billion in philanthropic support, inspire 125,000 individual donors to participate in the campaign, and actively engage one in five alumni in the life of the University. Now is the time to show the world what Orange can do. Visit foreverorange.syr.edu to learn more.