By Lauren del ValleASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR
Clad in academic regalia and the presidential medallion, Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz braced the Ice Bucket Challenge at the paws of mascots Kate and Willie. Nominated by North Shore-LIJ Health System President and CEO Michael Dowling, President Rabinowitz accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge amidst nearly 200 members of the Hofstra University community Monday, Aug. 25th outside of Hofstra Hall.
“…I’m not one to let a challenge go unanswered. We brought a lot of the campus community together for my ice bucket challenge and fostered some school spirit during Welcome Week,” said President Rabinowitz in an email interview.
President Rabinowitz joked that his nomination served as the Hofstra Medical School partner’s retaliation for Rabinowitz’s higher standing on the annual “Most influential Long Islander lists.”
“It was a fun event,” said the ALS event coordinator and University Relations Vice President Melissa Connolly. “The President was a great sport. It was a great opportunity to raise awareness about ALS.”
Rabinowitz challenged three of Hofstra’s most notable alumni, Francis Ford Coppola, Nelson DeMille and Randy Levine. The three alumni graduated in the classes of 1960, 1970 and 1980, respectively.
As Rabinowitz took his challenge with his presidential medallion, he suggested the award-winning director, Coppola, take the challenge with an Oscar statue in hand. He thought the best-selling author should get his checkbook wet. And in the practice of a New York sports fan, Rabinowitz offered that the Yankees baseball club president recruit a new pitcher upon completing the ALS challenge.
His audience breathed an audible sigh of relief upon Rabinowitz’s assurance that he wouldn’t pass the challenge down the Hofstra hierarchy, joking that it would be more an order than a challenge.
According to the ALS Association, since the Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viral, the foundation received over $100 million in donations.
“I am president of a university that has a student body that is as altruistic and charitable as any college in America so how could I do anything other than put my head where my mouth is,” said Rabinowitz.
The university president blinked and shivered the ice water away while the mascots bowed and waved to their audience in triumph. Rabinowitz also donated privately to ALS research.