Millionaire bookseller donates $1 million for Kingsborough scholarships

Generous: 2019 Kingsborough Valedictorian Irina Russu, CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez, Kingsborough President Dr. Claudia V. Schader, and Barnes and Noble Founder Leonard Riggio pose at the schools commencement ceremony in June.
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Three cheers for Leonard Riggio, the founder and chairman of Barnes and Noble book chain, who recently donated $1 million toward scholarships for students at Kingsborough Community College.

The bookworm announced the donation after his keynote address at the college’s commencement ceremony on June 13.

“Nothing is more important to me than the pursuit of civil and human rights,” said Riggio. “Young people suffocated by student loans is not my idea of a functioning society. Free high-quality college education must be available to all.”

The donation will go toward the “100 Strong Scholarship Fund,” which will provide full tuition for 100 recent High School graduates who are starting their scholarly career at Kingsborough next fall.

The college’s president said the donations would help the young students focus on their educational journey — rather than worry about finances.

“Many of our students are the first in their families to go to college. Many work full- and part-time jobs, and care for their children and parents,” said Claudia V. Schader. “Mr. Riggio’s very generous gift will allow these students the opportunity to focus on their academic success and lifelong learning, without concerns of how they will fund their education.”

Founded in 1963, the college — located on a 70-acre campus in Manhattan Beach — is Brooklyn’s only community college, and serves around 10,000 students. The school was recognized in April as one of the top 10 Community Colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy think tank.

The school hopes that Riggio’s donation will help propel the school to new academic heights.

“Mr. Riggio is making an indelible difference in the lives of our students for years to come, and we are truly grateful for his support,” said Schader.

Standing O salutes Riggio and Kingsborough Community College the generous donation!

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at or by calling (718) 260–4577. Follow him at
Updated 6:32 am, July 26, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Jonathan Millman from Cambridge MA says:
Bravo! Mr. Riggio. Bravo!
July 26, 2019, 12:08 pm
libby G from Bath Beach says:
Mr. Riggio, G-D Bless you and thank you on behalf of those students who received this wonderful gift from you!!!
July 30, 2019, 7:16 am

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