Murray Pasternack's Gift Unwrapped
His $500K scholarship fund will give students the resources they need to succeed.
Even before enrolling at FSC, Murray Pasternack ’60 had developed a keen interest in radio frequency (RF) components — the modules that transmit signals and are most often used in everyday consumer products such as microwaves, garage door openers, and wireless alarm systems. That passion propelled him to spectacular success in the RF industry and, most recently, to the status of one of Farmingdale’s largest alumni benefactors.
Pasternack has donated $500,000 to support the Murray Pasternack Endowed Scholarship in Engineering as part of the College’s anticipated Honors Program. The gift will provide 20 annual scholarships to Engineering Technology honors students. Separate from and in addition to their need-based financial aid and other scholarships, it affords these students the ability to devote more time to co-curricular pursuits and the applied learning opportunities that define the Farmingdale experience.
“I strongly believe that the Agricultural and Technical Institute at Farmingdale — now known as FSC — provided me with the depth of knowledge I needed to succeed in my first chosen field, the electronics industry,” Pasternack says. “Now that I am finally transitioning to retirement, I am looking to say ‘thank you’ to those who helped me in my long journey.”
Originally from Franklin Square, Pasternack received his AAS degree in Electrical Technology at a time when the landscape of the College was literally different, and the RF and microwave industry was in its infancy. But just as FSC grew and transformed itself, so did RF technology.
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 industry. His signature catalog greatly simplified the ordering process and became the industry standard.
Pasternack’s gift will provide funds for research opportunities, intercollegiate academic competitions, attendance at professional conferences, and travel expenses to participate in competitive and prestigious internships.
“The College seeks ways to recognize academic excellence among students who demonstrate financial need,” President Nader says. “Mr. Pasternack’s gift will help the College establish a long-planned Honors Program that will set FSC apart from our peer institutions in the region.”
In fact, Pasternack was just the kind of student he seeks to assist now. He worked nearly full time while attending classes — a familiar story among FSC alumni, who still come largely from middle-income and underrepresented populations. FSC continues to provide that kind of opportunity, expanding academic programs, equipping students with critical thinking skills that lead to excellent career paths, and now extending the Pasternack scholarship fund.
“The Farmingdale Foundation is dedicated to changing lives and building futures, and Mr. Pasternack’s gift will do just that,” says Matthew Colson, Vice President for Development & Alumni Engagement. “We’re grateful for Murray’s leadership and generosity and look forward to more of his fellow alumni coming forward to join him in this special way.”