Edward J. Minskoff

Edward J. Minskoff (B.A. Economics ’62)

Edward J. Minskoff built his career from the ground up and has had his fair share of triumphs and challenges. He exemplifies what it means to be a Spartan, and he recently gave back to his alma mater in a way that guarantees that future business students will benefit from one-of-a-kind opportunities. In 2018, Minskoff provided the largest single gift in MSU’s history toward the completion of the Broad College’s new Minskoff Pavilion, named in his honor.

This year, Minskoff served as the fourth guest of the Roy S. Pung Speaker Series, talking about his life as a Spartan alumnus and founder and CEO of Edward J. Minskoff Equities.

“He is so much a part of what the Broad College is today,” Dean Sanjay Gupta said at the beginning of the fireside chat.

Minskoff is one of the top real estate developers in the United States, and MBA students were eager to ask him questions and get advice about entering the business realm post-graduation.

“In my career I have been very fortunate and very lucky to have selected great investments and great developments,” Minskoff said.

After graduating from MSU with a degree in economics, Minskoff quickly gained traction in the industry and moved from Los Angeles to New York City, signaling a complete lifestyle change. He became the CEO of the U.S. branch of Olympia and York, the development firm responsible for the creation of the World Financial Center, at just 30 years old.

“I was fortunate to build [Olympia and York] into the largest development company in North America, having developed in the neighborhood of about 40 million square feet in major U.S. cities across the country,” Minskoff said.

In 1987, he founded his own development company, Edward J. Minskoff Equities. Currently it represents 4 million square feet and has developed over 30 million square feet in cities across the country. “Most of the properties that I have developed have won many, many awards for their architecture, which is part of the business that I really enjoy,” he said.

Succeeding in the real estate development business takes strategy and dedication. It takes time to be recognized as a credible developer. What sets Minskoff apart from other developers is his mindset, he said.

“I am an eternal optimist, so I have to believe that what I’m doing will be successful,” he said. “If you have a pessimistic attitude about the world, then you should find something else to do.”

Although there are highs and lows in everyone’s career, Minskoff has managed to fail forward and benefit from his hard work. His true Spartan grit and determination make him an extraordinary role model.

At the end of the discussion, Dean Gupta and Minskoff reflected on the addition of the Minskoff Pavilion to the Business College Complex. Minskoff wanted to leave his legacy behind, and what better way to do it than to ensure that future business professionals would have access to the best higher education in the country?

“The Pavilion would bring some of the best minds in the country, as far as the students attending Michigan State University, and over a period of a number of years, the university’s MBA program would be more highly respected and be one of the top 10 institutions in the country sooner or later,” Minskoff said.

“As a result of what we have, we are able to do things in the program that are truly of the cutting edge,” Gupta added. “We cannot thank you enough for that, and just know that the gratitude is truly heartfelt.”

The Pavilion contains collaborative study rooms, labs, and classrooms that all contribute to the new era of innovation at MSU. Every Spartan has their own unique favorite place in the Pavilion, and students and faculty alike are excited to utilize all that it has to offer for generations to come.

More information on upcoming events in the 2020–2021 Pung Speaker Series, as well as information on past events, is available on the Full-Time MBA webpage.