When Raissa and I started the Finker-Frenkel Legacy Foundation, we chose to focus on the word “legacy.” For us, the Foundation was our way of not only making a change, but instilling our children with the values of philanthropy that we strive to live by every day of our lives.
With that in mind, I am proud to report that our son, Eugene Frenkel, has recently provided a substantial donation to the University of Miami through the Foundation. Eugene earned his MBA at the school and his brother, Steven Finker, currently attends this top-tiered university as well. With Eugene’s generosity, the school will be improving one of the main gathering areas by furnishing the business school’s promenade with new outdoor furniture and a large screen outdoor TV for keeping students apprised with news updates and information. In light of this contribution, the University has chosen to name the promenade after the Finker-Frenkel Legacy Foundation.
We created the Foundation with the intent of championing a number of causes, among them education. Even when I lived in Russia, my work with the country’s first community college was done out of the belief that everyone should receive the opportunity to better themselves through proper schooling. Now, it is inspiring to see Eugene picking up that figurative torch and helping to instill the values of education in the Foundation’s mission. I hope that his work with the University of Miami will lead to more young men and women choosing to attend the school and make a difference in the world.
The word “legacy” is generally thought of as a personal thing, the mark that one individual leaves on the world by themselves. However, I choose to define it in less strict terms. A legacy is not just one’s accomplishments, but the far reaching consequences that come with giving back, rippling outward with people thousands of miles away and generations later moved to make their own impact. Philanthropy is the ongoing legacy of every person on earth that chose to care about others.
I’ve attached the letter that Eugene received from the University of Miami. My apologies if it’s somewhat difficult to read. I’m humbled to see what my son continues to accomplish.