NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – A Rutgers alumnus and chief executive officer of the retail giant Bed Bath & Beyond has made a $1.5 million gift to endow a faculty position to direct the Brain Health Institute affiliated with the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience in the School of Arts and Sciences.
The gift, the second toward a $27 million challenge grant to establish 18 new endowed chairs at the university, was made by Steven Temares, who graduated from Rutgers in 1980, and his wife, Amy. The position will be named the Charlotte and Murray Strongwater Endowed Chair in Neuroscience/Brain Health in honor of his in-laws.
“My family and I feel very strongly about the importance of research and education – it’s something we value tremendously,” Temares said. “We also feel very strongly about giving back. This gift is a commitment to giving, as well as it is a commitment toward Rutgers’ future.”
The 18 chair challenge is funded by an anonymous gift – the largest in the university’s history – to recruit and retain outstanding faculty in a wide range of academic disciplines, including business education and the sciences. For every $1.5 million raised for an endowed chair that meets the donor’s criteria, the donor will match the gift with an additional $1.5 million. A total endowment of $3 million is needed to create an academic chair.
“We are honored and extremely grateful that Steven Temares, a Rutgers alumnus and his wife, Amy, support the research being done on brain health at Rutgers,” said Rutgers University Foundation President Carol P. Herring. “Their generous contribution will enable Rutgers researchers to make medical breakthroughs in the treatment, cure and prevention of neurological disorders.”
Temares, who graduated from Rutgers with a bachelor’s degree in economics, and went on to earn a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, was born in the Bronx and grew up in Paramus. Before being tapped by Bed Bath & Beyond in 1992, which was about to become a publicly traded company, Temares, 53, practiced real estate law.
The father of three daughters, Temares has been a strong supporter of Rutgers for many years and decided to make this commitment because he believes in the university’s mission of “making innovative and meaningful advances in the prevention and treatment of human brain disorders.” He also thought it would be a fitting tribute to his wife’s parents, Charlotte and Murray Strongwater, who he calls “incredible people.”
The holder of the new Strongwater Chair will serve as the director of the Brain Health Institute, a collaborative research program committed to advancing the understanding of brain disorders and developing treatments, cures, and preventative measures. The new director will work directly with partners in industry and across academic disciplines.
“I hope that this gift will attract and secure a strong leader for the Brain Health Institute and that it will help the institute succeed in its mission,” Temares said.
Media Contact: Robin Lally