It is with great sadness that we announce to the College community the passing of Lucille Chazanoff, of the Lucille and Jay Chazanoff School of Business. Lucille passed away peacefully in her home yesterday evening. She is survived by her husband of 50 years, Jay Chazanoff, whom she met at the former Staten Island Community College when they were both students. The Chazanoff’s graduated in the Class of 1965 and eventually married.
Lucille became a CPA and went to work for a public accounting firm. She then became a Controller for NBC prior to joining her family’s printing business, Royal Press. Lucille was extremely involved in community activities, offering her financial expertise to many local organizations.
Lucille will forever be remembered for her generosity and strong support of the Staten Island community. She is a founding CSI Foundation Board of Directors President, and served on the Board for 12 years. Throughout her life, she worked with non-profits, including the Visiting Nurse Association and Meals on Wheels. As a result of her many contributions to the community, Lucille was recognized as a Staten Island Advance Woman of Achievement in 1994. Lucille’s legacy will forever live on, as she, with her husband, was the lead benefactor of the JCC, sponsor of the Lucille and Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp, the world’s first full-time summer day camp for children with cancer and their siblings, provided completely free of charge; and founder of the family-run Carmine and Robert DeSantis Charitable Foundation, named after Lucille’s late brothers, which assists children with special needs on Staten Island. In addition, Lucille served on the boards for Northfield Bank Foundation and the Richmond University Medical Center Foundation.
With all the work that Lucille did for her community, it was especially evident that the College of Staten Island always held a special place in Lucille’s heart. In 2019, Lucille and Jay donated a record-setting $7.5-million-dollar cash gift to be used to support the Lucille and Jay Chazanoff School of Business, including accreditation pursuant to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), the preeminent accrediting body for business schools in the United States and a major accreditor worldwide. The gift was the largest individual donation ever made to a public non-profit within the Borough of Staten Island. Prior to that, the Chazanoff’s established the $100,000 Jay and Lucille Chazanoff ’65 Endowed Scholarship Fund, which supports full-time Business majors at CSI. In addition, their generosity also included two memorial benches on campus grounds, as well as a long tradition of donations in annual giving.
Dean Susan Holak, speaking on behalf of the community of the Lucille and Jay Chazanoff School of Business, stated, “The alumni, students, faculty, and staff of the Lucille and Jay Chazanoff School of Business at the College of Staten Island are deeply saddened by the recent passing of Lucille Chazanoff. Lucille’s dedication and generosity to the College have been transformative to our institution. As a student, alumna, executive, community leader, and philanthropist, Lucille was a consummate exemplar in all that she did and accomplished. We are all extremely proud to be part of the institution that now bears her name, and are resolute in our commitment to upholding her legacy.”
In reflecting on Lucille’s generosity, President Fritz, stated, “The College of Staten Island mourns the loss of Lucille Chazanoff, a staunch champion of this institution, its students, and faculty, as well as the people of Staten Island. She received her degree from CSI and used her success to pay it forward through her work on the Foundation Board, and the enormous generosity that she and her husband Jay have shown the College. Her latest contribution of $7.5 million to the Lucille and Jay Chazanoff School of Business will continue to have an enormous positive impact on our students for decades to come.”
The College of Staten Island will be forever grateful to Lucille for her generosity and kindness. She will be greatly missed by the CSI community. In the words of CSI Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs J. Michael Parrish, “Lucille’s enthusiasm for CSI, and her many contributions to the campus and the Staten Island community, will be remembered here for generations to come.”
By the Office of the President