Bonds to SU made even stronger for D.C.-area alumni Ken ’84 and Fran ’84 Finkelstein

May 3, 2011

Ken '84 and Fran '84 FinkelsteinTies to Syracuse University run deep for Ken and Fran Finkelstein. Having met as freshman in 1980, they discovered their career directions—Fran in medicine and Ken in business—on the SU campus and made longstanding friendships there as well. “It was at SU that we both learned what we wanted to do and our professional paths were established,” says Ken. “It’s also where we met many of the people who, to this day, remain our closest friends. What more could you ask for?”

Marrying in 1989, Ken and Fran keep SU close to their hearts, a connection that can be traced even further within their family and circle of close friends. “SU seems to have a unique ability to leverage and strengthen family bonds,” Ken explains. “We know of many SU alumni who have children there now, and current SU students who have siblings who attended SU. Fran’s situation is particularly unique—two of her three siblings also attended SU and all three are married to SU alumni. Our daughter goes there as well. The family connections at SU are part of what makes it such a special place.”

SU’s continual efforts to be ahead of the educational forefront and better the educational experience for generations of students have inspired the Finkelsteins to commit to SU in a very impactful way. A recent gift from them to the Martin J. Whitman School of Management has been designated for Dean Mel Stith to use toward facilitating the growth of Whitman’s real estate program.

Real estate is a new and rapidly growing field of study at Whitman, and with the number of faculty and alumni focusing on the area, has the potential to become one of the leading undergraduate real estate programs in the country. The Finkelsteins see opportunity in the future, “SU has the ability, given the increasing selectively of incoming classes, the strength of the University’s administration, and its strong alumni base, to continue to advance more programs into the very top tier of all national universities. We hope our contributions can help continue these trends,” Ken says.

Ken Finkelstein is currently a member of the advisory board of the Whitman School’s Kuhn Real Estate Center. He received his bachelor’s degree in accounting at Syracuse University in 1984 and an M.B.A. in finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1989. Establishing his career in real estate development and consulting, he is currently managing director at The JBG Companies, a real estate investment management, development, and real estate services firm in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Fran Finkelstein received her B.S. in speech pathology at Syracuse University in 1984 and an additional B.S. from George Washington University’s physician assistant program in 1986. She worked for 11 years in the medical profession as a physician assistant at George Washington University Medical Center and in private practice. She currently works with the Montgomery County Maryland Adult and Youth Crisis Hotline and is a trustee on the board of Shaare Torah Congregation.

The Finkelsteins have three children: Jenna, 19, currently a freshman at SU; Jordan, 17; and Evan, 14.

The Finkelsteins know the power of the SU network and see it firsthand, “Washington is a hotbed of SU alumni, second only to New York City. Enhancing the SU/D.C. presence bodes well for strengthening that network for the benefit of current and future alumni living and working in the D.C. area,” adds Ken. It is these connections that have impacted the Finkelsteins all these years. “Family bonds as well as friendships have been fostered and strengthened as a result of our SU connections. We continue to have an annual reunion event with a group of close friends (and now their kids) we originally met at SU 30 years ago. We want the students of today to get the same positive experience we did from the very special place that is SU.”