Release Date: February 28, 2001
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- University at Buffalo alumnus Stephen Walsh -- business executive, former co-owner and CEO of the New York Islanders NHL hockey team -- and his wife, Janet B. Walsh, have pledged $250,000 to the University at Buffalo's Division of Athletics.
A 1966 UB graduate who got his start as a Wall Street trader, Walsh has designated that his gift be used at the "discretion of the director of athletics with foremost consideration given to the need for capital improvements to facilities for men's and women's basketball."
Walsh said that a meeting about five years ago with Bob Arkeilpane, now UB's director of athletics, "reminded me of four very important years at Buffalo, years that moved me into a different world and sports were a very special part of those years."
Walsh also has agreed to chair the Athletics Campaign Committee for UB's $250 million campaign. "If you compare the campaign to politics, the first sign of interest is to vote; the next step is to write a check and the ultimate in financial support is to ask others to write a check," he explained.
Walsh added: "It takes people and money to build a strong athletic program and we have the people, so I won't rest until I help raise the money to make UB's athletic program as good as its academics."
Bob Arkeilpane, director of athletics at UB, praised the Walshes for their leadership, noting: "Steve and Janet are very generous individuals who support their causes by donating time and money.
"While Steve is particularly excited by the potential of UB's basketball programs," Arkeilpane added, "he also works hard as our campaign chair, sharing his enthusiasm with other alumni who want to boost athletics and raise UB's national profile."
After graduating from UB in 1966 with a degree in political science, Walsh worked for Saul Lerner Co. In 1971, he went to Reich & Co., and then on to Ragnar Options Corp. as an executive vice president, moving to Kidder, Peabody & Co., Inc in 1974, as a partner and director of the options department. In 1979, Walsh started his own private trading firm, where he remains today as managing partner of Walsh, Greenwood & Co.
In 1982, Walsh and his partners launched a financial information service that provided access to a variety of financial databases, in addition to delivering current price quotes on stocks, options and other financial instruments. Called "Shark," the service was purchased in 1986 by Wang Laboratories.
In 1991, Walsh, Greenwood & Co. and First Long Island Investors bought 20 percent of the Islanders hockey team with full operating control over the team. Walsh became co-chairman of the board and CEO of the team. In 2000, Walsh and the others sold the team.
Walsh has been a member of the American Stock Exchange Options Advisory Committee, a founding member of the New York Institutional Options Society, a member of the board of directors of the Long Island Alzheimer's Foundation and an associate trustee for the North Shore University Hospital.
He shares his love of athletics with his children. Andrew, a high school senior, plays competitive hockey. Daughter Sarah, a high school junior, is considered to be one of the top-ranked basketball point guards in the metropolitan New York area. Eldest son, Michael, continues to play hockey in his spare time.
Walsh played intercollegiate baseball his freshman year at UB and played several sports through his fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Phi, which won the Lawrence Pahlowitz Memorial Trophy four consecutive years between 1961 and 1965, as the fraternity annually compiling the highest total score in various intramural sports.
Janet Walsh began her professional career as an options trader for Oppenheimer and Co. In 1988, after several years as a full-time mother and part-time volunteer for various medical causes, including being on the board of the medical school at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, she founded the Long Island Alzheimer's Foundation. She currently is chairman of the foundation's board.
The Walshes live in Sands Point.
Their gift is part of UB's $250 million campaign, the largest ever conducted by a public university in New York and New England. Although it's the fifth major fund-raising campaign conducted by UB, it's the first national/international campaign, the first university-wide campaign and the first to be alumni-driven with campaign volunteer leaders from all over the country. Funds raised will be used to enrich academic programs, support students ranging from undergraduates to post-doctoral students and to enhance university life.
For information on how you can support the University at Buffalo, go to http://www.buffalo.edu/giving.