Philanthropy Provides New Opportunities for Real Estate Students

By Nicole Bradshaw / Dec 15, 2023

Group shot of students and faculty by a painted container
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Real Estate Development program students and director, Maria Day-Marshall attending the Spring 2023 Celebration of Excellence.

It has been a landmark year for the Real Estate Development Program at the University of Maryland. In Fall 2022, we launched our undergraduate major in Real Estate and the Built Environment, celebrated the major’s first graduate in May 2023, and welcomed two new faculty members, Jesse Saginor, Ph.D. and John Park, Ph.D. in Fall 2023. Today, our master’s and undergraduate programs continue to attract bright, dynamic students who are passionate about the real estate development professions and seek to make a difference in the built environment.  

The advancement of the program is being fueled by several new philanthropic investments. The following gifts are helping students afford their education and helping them take advantage of the full range of experiential education opportunities The School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (MAPP) offers:  

  • The Robert J. Corletta Endowed Graduate Award in Real Estate Development was established in 2022 by the Neighborhood Development Collaborative (NDC) to recognize outstanding graduate students in the Real Estate Development Program, with a preference for those having an interest in affordable housing. Former Colvin Institute Director Margaret McFarland serves on the board of the NDC and helped shape this generous award that will support graduate students in perpetuity.
  • The Richard Finkelstein Maryland Promise Scholarship was established by the Levitetz Family Foundation in 2022. This endowment, part of the Maryland Promise Scholarship Program, provides need-based scholarships for real estate undergraduate students who are residents of Maryland or Washington, D.C., and exhibit strong academic and leadership potential.
  • The Ferguson Center of Excellence (CLE) sponsors scholarships for undergraduates who major or minor in real estate development. Bill Ferguson, the founder of CLE, specifically chose the University of Maryland as one of its beneficiaries due to our excellence in real estate education and diverse student population, which aligns with CLE’s goal of helping students of racial, ethnic and gender diversity earn undergraduate degrees and secure promising careers in real estate development and related sectors.
  • The program has also provided scholarships to graduate students through funds contributed in memory of Walton and Frances Egelanian and in honor of their son, Nick Egelanian, a long-time lecturer and a leading retail and shopping center expert. Additionally, the program receives annual scholarship funds for graduate students from the Reznick Foundation, honoring its founder, David Reznick, for his contributions to affordable housing and community development.

These gifts honor the strong culture of philanthropy upon which the program was founded, beginning with the Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development endowed by the late John Colvin and his wife, Karen, in 2008. This endowment, the largest ever received by MAPP, helped establish the University of Maryland as a leader in real estate development education by emphasizing the role of experiential education through programs like the Colvin Case Study Challenge and Capstone Competition.

As our program continues to grow, scholarships and other support will become more important and impactful for our students. If you wish to make a gift, please contact Leia Livingston (  

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