William Newman entered Baruch College at the age of 15. At 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving from 1944 to 1946, achieving the rank of lieutenant. He graduated from Baruch College, receiving a BBA in 1947 and an honorary doctorate in 1997. His support for Baruch has been extensive including funding of the Steven L. Newman Real Estate Institute, providing key support for the reconstruction and naming of the College's library and conference center, building of the innovative William and Anita Newman Vertical Campus, and presenting Baruch with a record-breaking gift of $25 million.
Mr. Newman's long-standing support for Baruch College allowed for the creation of the Newman programs that originally included a BS in real estate within the School of Public Affairs. The program evolved to become part of the new BBA in real estate at the Zicklin School of Business and now includes Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level programs. A wide range of certificate and professional licenses and continuing education are offered through the Newman Real Estate Institute. The William and Anita Newman Library was named the best college library in the nation for 2003 by the academic arm of the American Library Association. The William and Anita Newman Medal for Philanthropy was established to recognize extraordinary leadership-level generosity to Baruch College. Most recently, Mr. Newman endowed the Chair for Baruch’s Jewish Studies program.
A real estate industry legend, Mr. Newman as founder, CEO and chairman of New Plan Excel Realty Trust, Inc., built the company into one of the nation's largest real estate corporations focusing on the ownership, management, acquisition, development and redevelopment of community and neighborhood shopping centers. As a self-administered and self-managed REIT, the company contained a national portfolio of more than 400 retail properties with total assets in excess of $6 billion.
Marking his prominence in the real estate industry, William Newman received the Wall Street Transcript's gold, silver, and bronze medals for national leadership, and Ernst & Young's Real Estate Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1998. He was chairman of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts from 1990 to 1992. He is a significant supporter of Jewish Federation where his ongoing commitment to Israel and the Jewish people has been enriched and strengthened through his dedication and philanthropy. He founded the Fairchester Chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization and assumed active roles in The Chief Executives Organization and the World Business Council. Mr. Newman has always taken a hands-on approach to his philanthropy, public service and professional engagements. His extraordinary vision and generosity continue to be a model for leadership and respect by all.