Farmingdale State College (FSC) announced a $1.4M donation has been received to establish a laboratory for RF and microwave technology. The gift from Murray Pasternack, class of 1960, is the largest in the college’s history. The lab, which is to be named in honor of Mr. Pasternack, will fund a dramatic upgrade in the RF and microwave technology equipment, and support new course offerings for the Electrical Engineering Technology Department in the School of Engineering Technology making it a leader in educating the RF engineers.  

Pasternack’s gift will allow students to train using industry-leading equipment including vector network analyzers, spectrum analyzers, RF signal generators, noise sources, mixed domain oscilloscopes and more. RF components are the active and passive parts that are used to assemble wireless receivers and transmitters. These components are used in many diverse applications including radio, TV, radar, GPS, cell towers and medical electronics.

With this gift Pasternack becomes the largest single donor to the school in its history. Previously he provided two $500,000 gifts to support the launch of an honors program at the college.

“It was important to me that we build a lab where we can train the next generation in this technology,” said Pasternack, “The need for wireless is growing at a time when the number of engineers is decreasing. I aim to reverse the trend.”

Pasternack developed a deep interest in the workings of receivers and transmitters as a student at Farmingdale and credits his experience at FSC as key to his huge success in the RF industry. He retired from a successful career in technology, law and banking. As founder and CEO of Pasternack Enterprises in Irvine, California from 1972 to 1992, Pasternack fundamentally changed the way RF components were sold throughout the electronics industry. 

“Murray Pasternack’s gift is unparalleled in our college’s history,” said FSC President Dr. John S. Nader.  This gift will help us modernize and expand a program that addresses the needs of today’s high technology firms. We are deeply grateful to Murray for choosing to give back to   the college in this way. His generosity and steadfast commitment to creating opportunities for our students is inspiring.”

Indeed, Pasternack’s interests include building a pipeline of engineers needed to meet the rapidly growing workforce demands of a dynamic and growing industry including in-demand jobs on Long Island.  “One of the companies I’ve invested in is just down the street from Farmingdale, and we need excellent engineers to succeed, so this is a good arrangement for everyone. Farmingdale educates them in my lab, then we can hire them on after graduation.”

“Like every great engineer and philanthropist, Murray identifies opportunities to “fix things” or make them better and sees giving as a tool to propel the college forward,” said Matthew Colson, Vice President of Development & Alumni Engagement at FSC. “We are so grateful to have him set an example of how gifts of extraordinary philanthropy can improve outcomes for students. The size of his gift only rivals the humbleness within his heart.”