Finance  ·  Research

NYU Stern Establishes Chao-Hon Chen Institute for Global Real Estate Finance


New York University’s Stern School of Business has formed a new real estate finance institute — the Chao-Hon Chen Institute for Global Real Estate Finance — with a $20 million gift from alumnus and Stern Executive Board member Charles C.Y. Chen

Named in honor of Chen’s father, the new and largest donation will support new initiatives in market areas disrupting real estate alongside global expansion in research, industry engagement and immersive learning for students.

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“Charles’ generosity and vision present a tremendous and especially timely opportunity for Stern to lead in reshaping the dynamic real estate industry, which is currently undergoing significant transformation due to the myriad global, economic, finance and climate forces at work,” Raghu Sundaram, dean of NYU Stern, said in prepared remarks. “Equally important, Charles’ gift demonstrates the potential impact that is possible on a global scale through a multidisciplinary institute such as this one. We are deeply indebted to Charles for establishing a model of excellence we hope to replicate in other important areas here at the school.”

The new Chao-Hon Chen Institute will house three interdisciplinary initiatives including new and emerging real estate markets, proptech and climate change, each of which are fundamentally disrupting real estate on a global scale. 

“The impetus for this gift is to honor my father, who is a strong believer in the power of education and was the first in our family to attend a major university,” Chen said in prepared remarks. “He has also been instrumental in building our family business and in driving our family’s philanthropy. In his name, I am delighted to partner with the school to endow an enduring hub of thought leadership and industry engagement that will benefit students and faculty for years to come.” 

The new institute will partner with centers at NYU and its campuses around the world and award scholarships to high-performing undergraduate and MBA students studying real estate. 

Our industry faces significant challenges and this is a period of significant disruption,” said Sam Chandan, director of Stern’s Center for Real Estate Finance and the appointed director of the new institute. “What I encourage students to think about is to think of it as the most exciting and dynamic time to be entering the real estate industry. There has never been a time that I can recall in real estate where there has been as much opportunity to reimagine and rethink, and there’s never been a greater openness to new ideas.

Emily Fu can be reached at