Free World-Class Concerts are Legacy of New York City Arts Benefactor, Educator

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The late Dr. Michael Shugrue had underwritten nearly a dozen free performances by New York Philharmonic musicians at CUNY’s College of Staten Island

Dr. Michael Shugrue arrives at the College of Staten Island for a New York Philharmonic performance in 2007.

NEW YORK – The recent passing of Dr. Michael Shugrue is not likely to diminish the passion for the arts he inspired in his students.

In 2004, the then 70-year-old retired English professor and former faculty dean at CUNY’s College of Staten Island (CSI) launched the Shugrue Cultural Development Fund.

Dr. Shugrue’s goal was to present world-class concerts free-of-charge on Staten Island; he had since underwritten nearly a dozen free performances by New York Philharmonic musicians at CSI.

 “Michael wanted to have the concerts available for all to enjoy, and didn’t want cost to be a factor of attendance,” said Dr. Tomas D. Morales, president of CSI. “He did a great service to the citizens of Staten Island, and to those who came from Manhattan, New Jersey and elsewhere to hear the very best.”


The Shugrue musical series at CSI’s Center for the Arts has included performances by the New York Philharmonic’s full orchestra and ensembles, violinist Linus Roth, The Knights chamber orchestra, and other noted musicians. The free concerts will continue through June 2011, the end of the school year. The next performance, scheduled for Feb. 14, will feature renowned Russian-American violinist Yevgeny Kutik.

Dr. Shugrue’s generosity at CSI extended beyond the concerts, with his establishment of the Robert E. Jackson Scholarship and the Shugrue Family Fund in memory of his brother.


Dr. Shugrue died on Dec. 1. His will be remembered during a mass on Jan. 8, at 10 a.m., in St. Joseph’s Church, 364 Avenue of the Americas, Manhattan. Contributions in Dr. Michael Shugrue’s memory may be made to either the Shugrue Family Fund or the Shugrue Cultural Development fund through the College of Staten Island Foundation: 2800 Victory Blvd., Building 1A, Room 401, Staten Island, NY 10314.