Statement from SUNY Board of Trustees, Chairman Emeritus H. Carl McCall, and Chancellor Malatras on the Passing of Former SUNY Trustee Carl Spielvogel

April 22, 2021

"Carl Spielvogel lived a truly extraordinary life and was the very definition of a quintessential New Yorker. From modest beginnings as a night student attending City College, Mr. Spielvogel’s unrelenting vision, ambition, and willingness to take chances propelled him to the very top of the advertising world on two separate occasions and made him a legend in the New York City business community.

After decades of success in advertising and serving as U.S. Ambassador to Slovakia, Mr. Spielvogel joined the SUNY Board of Trustees in 2008—bringing the same energy and commitment to SUNY as he did to his own businesses. He helped spearhead groundbreaking policy work on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion that created more opportunities for students from economically disadvantaged communities and those from indigenous backgrounds. An army veteran himself, Mr. Spielvogel was deeply devoted to helping military veterans pursue their higher education. From his generous philanthropy, SUNY was able to launch its inaugural Veterans Affairs Conference.

Beyond his many career successes, Mr. Spielvogel was a deeply caring and giving human being who touched countless lives. Upon meeting him he would have a story to tell that gave you a glimpse of his struggles, triumphs, and experiences, but he was an even better listener—particularly when meeting students. He took to heart their experiences—always assessing how we could do more. It was a privilege for all of us to know him and to serve alongside him. On behalf of all of SUNY, we offer our sincere condolences to Mr. Spielvogel’s wife, two children, and three grandchildren."

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. As of Fall 2019, more than 415,500 students were enrolled in a degree-granting program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide exceeded $1.7 billion in fiscal year 2019, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit

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