The Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Foundation donated $1 million in 2003 to establish the Samuel J. LeFrak Scholars Fund at the University of Maryland.
Samuel J. LeFrak
The gift will fund annual LeFrak Scholars in the sports of men's basketball, football and men's track. Beginning in 2004-05, the three LeFrak scholarships have been awarded annually, concurrently and in perpetuity to three student-athletes who exhibit extraordinary athletic ability, leadership and academic achievement.
Men's basketball player Nik Caner-Medley was the first-ever recipient of the LeFrak Scholarship at Maryland for the 2003-04 season and Sean Lowe earned the honor for men's track.
Defensive lineman A.J. Francis is this year's recipient from the football team.
Prior to his death in April 2003, Samuel J. LeFrak, a 1940 graduate of the University of Maryland and one of its most distinguished alumni, was chairman of the Lefrak Organization, one of the world's largest private development companies. The firm's accomplishments include building Lefrak City, a community of apartments, stores and office buildings in Queens, N.Y.; and creating and developing Battery Park City in New York City, as well as Newport, a $10 billion mixed-use community in New Jersey on 600 acres overlooking the Hudson River.
While a student at Maryland, LeFrak was a varsity track letterman, president of the Latch Key Honor Society, and an officer of his class and of Tau Epsilon Phi.
"In keeping with Dr. LeFrak's dedicated support of the university for more than 60 years, the foundation is happy to sustain his wishes to help the school in its many endeavors to maintain high scholastic and athletic standards," said Deborah Dolan, director of the LeFrak Foundation.
"The LeFrak scholar-athletes will serve as role models to young people across the country," said director of athletics Deborah A. Yow. "We are very grateful for the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. LeFrak."