Marge Magner ’69, is nearly brought to tears when she is told that her vision, represented through the Magner Career Center, is directly responsible for positively impacting the professional lives of thousands of Brooklyn College students. The depth of their gratitude is bottomless, matched only by Magner’s commitment to their success. Students often ask her how they might repay her for her boundless generosity and everything that the center’s staff has done to help them. She makes only one request.

“When you have the opportunity to give to others, to spend time with others, to help others, please do it,” Magner says about those who have benefited from the center. “There must come a time when we say, ‘There is nothing more important than helping someone else to reach their goals as I have reached mine.’”

Magner, a native of the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn and the product of a family of graduates from various institutions within the City University of New York (CUNY) system, says that she was destined to attend Brooklyn College not only because of proximity, but also because it provided a rigorous education at an affordable price. She graduated in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and later received her Master of Science in Industrial Administration from Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management.

Magner is a founding member and general partner of Brysam Global Partners, a private-equity firm that invests in consumer financial services in emerging markets. Prior to the formation of Brysam Global Partners, she served as chair and CEO of the Global Consumer Group at Citigroup (2003–2005). During this time, she was named to Fortune‘s list of Most Powerful Women in Business (2001–2004), Forbes‘ list of the World’s Most Powerful Women (#19), and U.S. Banker’s list of the Most Powerful Women in Banking (#1). She is currently a director of Accenture, a management consulting and technology services company; and Gannett Company, Inc., a publishing company. She recently completed two two-year terms as chair for the Brooklyn College Foundation. Magner is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Krannert School and a member of the board of Millennium Promise.

Her idea for the Magner Career Center came to life when the college reached out to her in the hopes of tapping into her acumen to find ways to help students realize their potential. Magner envisioned a way that was measurable, meaningful, and lasting, yet would be flexible enough to evolve. She assessed the needs of students and found tremendous opportunity to prepare them for their professional lives beyond the college.

For the 10 years it has been in existence, the Magner Career Center, a unique entity among CUNY institutions, has had a record of unparalleled success in providing diligent and driven students an edge in the market and preparing them to meet the real-world challenges facing graduates entering the workplace. The center provides expert academic, career, and internship counseling services—including resume and cover letter review, mock interview sessions, as well as access to career workshops and job and internship fairs. It also has relationships with over 2,500 employers, who actively recruit at the campus, offering employment and internship opportunities. Nearly 50 percent of those internships are paid; others are supplemented with competitive stipends.

With the support provided by the Magner Career Center, students “recognize that something fundamental has occurred: Their hopes and dreams are possible and, further, appropriate,” says Magner. “I never want them to lose sight of their unlimited potential. I don’t want them to give up when things get difficult. I want them to know that there are people who care and can help.”

Dan Thorn ’12, who majored in broadcast journalism and is now a news anchor at WVNS-TV 59 News, utilized the center when he was a student at the college and says that it was instrumental in providing him the edge he needed to succeed in his field.

“Between the free-of-charge workshops from Dale Carnegie, round table discussions with professionals, and industry-specific job fairs—I wouldn’t be where I am now without the professional skills I learned at the Magner Career Center.” Thorn says. “I hope every student at Brooklyn College realizes how truly valuable the center is. The center’s staff is willing to run with you toward your dream. As someone living his dream and continuously working toward his goals, I’m proud to say how big a role the center played in my life.”

Crucial to the success of the center is alumni engagement. It has an expansive network of over 900 alumni who coach and mentor students and nurture corporate relationships with the college.

“Giving financially is important,” says Magner, who also donates generously to the college. “Small amounts, big amounts, whatever is appropriate. There are fundamental financial needs to be met and alumni can be a tremendous help in preventing current and future Brooklyn College students from being saddled with debt. But perhaps the more important issue is to care enough about our students to spend time with them, to give them the benefit of our own experience, knowledge, and wisdom so that they are better prepared for what they will have to face out there. And the Magner Career Center is a great repository for those efforts.”

Magner’s hope for the center is that it continues to expand, find innovative solutions for and anticipate the needs of the populations it serves. She is also optimistic that more and more students will utilize the center as they realize its crucial role in their future successes.

For more information about the Magner Career Center and its resources, or to learn how to become an alumni mentor, please visit the center’s website. To make a charitable donation to the center, please contact the Brooklyn College Foundation.