LIU will host its 2014 Gala at the Waldorf Astoria Starlight Roof on Thursday, June 12, at 6 p.m., in New York City. The gala will honor Bruce Ratner, executive chairman of Forest City Ratner Companies, and Mary M. Lai, LIU treasurer emerita, for their contributions to the LIU community and for providing inspiration to students, alumni, faculty, and staff. The event will also feature silent and online auctions.

Throughout its history, LIU has dedicated itself to providing students from all walks of life an excellent, highly personalized education. The LIU Gala has been established to support students’ dreams of obtaining a private college education, one that will provide a solid foundation for life-long success.

Mr. Ratner has been instrumental in the advancement of development in downtown Brooklyn. In 1985, he started his New York-based real estate development company, where he currently serves as chairman, and is one of the largest urban real estate developers in the country. He also is majority owner and developer of the Barclays Center and is recognized for bringing the Nets to Brooklyn. His MetroTech Center, an 11-building corporate campus, is occupied by more than 18,000 workers and has often been credited with helping spur the renaissance of downtown Brooklyn. A graduate of Harvard College and the Columbia University School of Law, he also holds honorary degrees from Brooklyn College, the Pratt Institute, and LIU.

Mrs. Lai, a living legend in higher education finance, is in her 69th year of full-time employment at LIU, she was LIU’s first chief financial officer (CFO) and one of the first women in the country to achieve that rank. She remains an integral part of LIU, serving as treasurer emerita and senior advisor. She earned a B.S. in Accounting and Economics from LIU Brooklyn in 1942 and returned to her alma mater in 1946, serving as the university’s CFO for nearly 58 years. She has served on more than 50 accreditation teams, is a trustee at St. Joseph’s College, and has been trustee of LeMoyne College and Boston College. Throughout her career, she has earned numerous honors as well as honorary degrees from Fordham University and LIU.

“We are excited to host the LIU 2014 Gala and honor the incredible contributions of Mr. Ratner and Mrs. Lai,” said Dr. Kimberly R. Cline, president of LIU. “We thank those who support this exciting event, which will benefit our students through scholarships and other academic opportunities.”

For more information about the LIU Gala, including sponsorship options, tickets, and journal packages, please visit If you have questions, please email or call the LIU Office of Development at 516-299-4052.