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Crystal Windows Chairman Donates $1.1 Million for Queens College School of the Arts

Crystal Windows Chairman Donates $1.1 Million for Queens College School of the Arts
Three generations of The Chen Family present their $1.105 million endowment to Queens College (photo courtesy of Dominick Totino Photography and Queens College).

Thomas Chen, chairman and founder of Crystal Window & Door Systems, and the Chen family established a $1,105,000 endowment for Queens College in New York City. The endowment will support programs at the College’s new School of the Arts. The endowment was announced by Thomas and his son Crystal President Steve Chen at a press conference held at Queens College on Wednesday, Nov. 10. The Thomas Chen Family/Crystal Windows Endowment will promote contemporary visual Asian art at Queens College through exhibitions, student scholarships, and a visiting artist program.

“I am proud to make this contribution on behalf of the Chen Family and Crystal Windows to Queens College,” says Thomas Chen. “As someone who never had the opportunity to attend college, I believe supporting a prestigious local institution like Queens College with its long history of benefitting immigrants and first generation Americans makes perfect sense. This is the first major gift to the new School of the Arts, a subject near and dear to my heart. This makes the endowment very special to me and a wonderful legacy for my family.”

Regarding the gift to Queens College, President Frank Wu says, “Queens College is profoundly grateful for the generous support of Thomas Chen and the Chen family, whose endowment will enable the college to offer exciting new programs and scholarships. At the same time, Thomas Chen’s remarkable life and outstanding career will inspire our students, showing them that with vision and hard work, the American dream is attainable.”

U.S. Congresswoman Grace Meng and New York State Senators Toby Stavisky and John Liu were among speakers to address the audience, and they noted Crystal Windows’ growth and success, its support of Queens philanthropic and cultural institutions, and its commitment to New York. Lee Fenerstock, president of the Queens College Foundation, and Simmi So, a current Queens College art student, spoke of what the endowment would mean to the College’s art programs. The Chens also received a proclamation from Queens Borough President Donovan Richards.

On behalf of the Chen family, Thomas and Steve Chen presented the endowment to Wu. “Even though our operations are now national, Queens remains the home of Crystal Windows. My family has always believed in sharing our good fortune to better the community,” says Steve Chen. “We have a longstanding interest in art, and we have focused much of our philanthropy on supporting the arts. Appreciation of art transcends the languages and borders that separate us. Art is a force that unites people and the world, so The Chen Family is happy this endowment will support the arts and art education in Queens for many generations to come.”