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New School Office of Development and Alumni Relations records

 Record Group
Identifier: NS-03-02-03


The three series within this collection represent the activities of the office responsible for fundraising and alumni relations at The New School in the 1970s and 1980s, particularly with regard to special events. Materials include invitations and announcements for award, sponsor and trustee dinners, dedications, and alumni receptions, as well as planning memoranda, post-event reports, lists of attendee and board prospects, and year-end wrap-ups.

The records appear to have been maintained by directors Marvin Rich and Kevin McMahon and associate director Michael Janiak, and by manager of Special Events, Linda Palmieri, and associate director of Development for Parsons School of Design, Alfred Szymanski.


  • 1951 - 1992
  • Majority of material found within 1965 - 1991



3.9 Cubic Feet (3 boxes, 5 folders)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

This collection contains three series, each representing a group of records that came to The New School Archives separate from the others. The materials have been brought together by the archives because they represent New School development office activities that overlap or follow upon one another in time primarily from the latter half of the 1970s to the end of the 1980s, and often document the organization of fund raising and promotional events. Documents in the first series, Events, appear mainly to have originated in the office of Marvin Rich, director of Development from approximately 1977-1980. The series consists of general administrative and event-related files dating primarily from 1969 to 1981. Included are annual giving and scholarship proposals, lists of alumni and students, and files related to trustee dinners.

The bulk of the second series, Special Events, which represents the largest number of files in the collection, were maintained by Linda Palmieri, manager of Special Events, a sub-unit of Development, and Alfred Szymanski, assistant director of Development for Parsons School of Design. The operating plan of 1990-1991 describes the Special Events unit as responsible for planning and organizing all New York-based fund raising dinners, public relations events, and donor cultivation entertainment for the University. The bulk of documentation here concerns university-sponsored events hosted by New School president Jonathan F. Fanton. Many files hold photocopies of memoranda between President Fanton and Development director Kevin McMahon that had been forwarded to Palmieri or Syzmanski. (According to Wikipedia, McMahon was development officer at the New School from 1983 through 1992, which coincides with the last year present in the files of this series.)

Event files in the first two series often include invitations, guest lists, biographical information about guests and participants, seating charts and schedules, menus, memoranda, trustee prospect lists, press releases, draft correspondence, post-event reports, thank-you letters, printed invitations and announcements, press releases and coverage, and transcripts of remarks made by the New School president, trustees and participants.

The third series documents the Annual Fund campaign of 1986-1987. The Annual Fund refers to unrestricted donations given to the university during a fiscal year. Files include operating plans, telefund proposals by several outreach companies, regular reports about the phone campaign, templates of direct mail and telephone campaigns, and a discussion paper on annual giving. The files appear to have been maintained either by director of Development, Kevin McMahon, or by associate director Michael Janiak.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use. Please contact for appointment.

Use Restrictions

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from The New School Archives. Please contact:

Historical Note

The first department within the school administration devoted to fund raising and public relations probably formed around 1942 during a period when the New School was operating at a deficit and searching for sustainable solutions. Administrators recognized the need to establish fund raising and public relations strategies. At least two outside firms were contracted during this period to launch public relations campaigns and conduct in-depth surveys about the New School.

By 1963, the Development Office came under the leadership of Albert Landa, who had for several years headed the Office of Public Information. His appointment was part of an effort to clarify roles and eliminate redundancy between offices responsible for development, public relations, special events, and publicity. In 1968, Landa assumed the title of Vice President for Development and Public Relations, a position he would hold until 1980.

While efforts to unify divisional development and fund raising activities were evident in earlier years, it probably was not until the mid-1980s that these efforts began to gain traction at the university. Under the leadership of Jonathan Fanton, installed as president in 1982, the governance structure and development responsibilities of the university Board of Trustees was strengthened, while the mission of the divisional boards became more circumscribed. This coincided with a move during the same era to consolidate and align communications, public relations and print promotion activities across the divisions.

Organization and Arrangement

Organized into three series: 1. Events 2. Special events 3. Annual Fund

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The files in Series I came as part of a large accession of files received from The New School President's Office in 2015. The files in Series II were transferred from Raymond Fogelman Library in 2012 in two boxes labeled "Special Events: Fanton Years." Series III files were also transferred from Raymond Fogelman Library in 2012 in boxes labeled "Annual Fund."

Related Materials

Many groups of records in the New School Archives derive from or relate closely to offices involved in the function of development and fund raising programming at The New School. Particularly relevant collections include those which document earlier incarnations of the office, such as the New School Development and Public Relations Office records (NS.03.03.02), 1926-1967, the New School Associates records (NS.03.02.01), 1943-1988, and the New School Publicity Office records (NS.03.01.02). There are also several groups of material representing activities of the Development Office in years subsequent to those represented in this collection. Please contact to learn about additional related materials in unprocessed collections.

Guide to the New School Office of Development and Alumni Relations
New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
November 7, 2017
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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