Bud Koffman to be honored for community support and athletic endeavors
By: Linda Salomons
| Bud Koffman played football at University of Pennsylvania under Coach George Munger.
Excerpts taken from the 2005 JCC Yearbook article on pages 4 and 5.
The Jewish Community Center Athletic Hall of Fame will honor Burton “Bud” Koffman on Sunday, May 15, at 4 pm. He will be recognized by his family and friends for his “competitive spirit,” community service and athletic endeavors. Those who know Koffman are encouraged to attend the event, which will include light refreshments. Reservations can be made by contacting the JCC at 724-2417 or LauraH@binghamtonjcc.org. The cover charge will be $30 per person or $50 per couple. The reservation deadline is Friday, May 6.
Koffman was born in 1925 to Harry Koffman and Bella Disenhouse. He grew up in Binghamton with his sister, Charlotte, and his brother, Richard. He attended prep school for two years at Mercersburg Academy and in 1943 entered the University of Pennsylvania, where he was able to initially only complete one semester before going into the service. As a private first-class in the First Airborne Task Force during World War II, Koffman travelled to North Africa, Italy, France and Germany. He worked with army intelligence, reading and sorting maps.
After the war, Koffman had the opportunity to attend Birmingham University in England before returning to the University of Pennsylvania, where he played football under Coach George Munger. Koffman remains part of a group of “Munger Men” who played and lettered throughout Munger’s years as the university’s head coach, from 1938-53. Koffman graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business with a B.S. in economics.
After returning to Binghamton, he began his career working with his father in the family’s Public Loan Company. Later, he started his own business, the Beacon Loan Company, which served Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Years later, Koffman merged both companies and remains there today.
Koffman married Ruthanne Rosefsky, daughter of Alec and Eva Rosefsky, in 1958, and resided in Binghamton. They have four children – David, Betsy, Steven and Jeffrey – and eight grandchildren.
In 1967, Koffman was instrumental in the development of the Jewish Community Center complex in Vestal, according to a JCC representative: “He has given significant gifts and also offered his dedication and financial expertise.”
“I truly believe that one of the reasons I am still here in Binghamton is to help take care of the Jewish community,” said Koffman. He believes he has been “very fortunate” and has “fond memories of his children and grandchildren’s activities” at the center. Many of Koffman’s grandchildren attended the JCC’s Early Childhood Center, and some still attend Camp JCC each summer.
Koffman credits his parents for his “strong work ethic and his unconditional commitment to humanitarian causes.” In addition to his work as a CEO, business owner and investor, he is involved in several charitable programs. Throughout the years, he has volunteered with many groups, organizations and individuals. Koffman has served as an officer on the boards of the United Way, Lourdes Hospital, the YWCA, PAL and Banker’s Trust. He has been honored as the NAACP’s “Man of the Year.” He is a member of Harpur Forum and is on the Binghamton University Advisory Board to the School of Management, where he has lectured on entrepreneurial matters. In 2003, Koffman received the Distinguished Service Award from the BU Alumni Association.
Koffman could be called an “all around athlete,” according to a JCC representative. When he was young, he enjoyed boxing and wrestling before moving on to baseball, basketball and football at Mercersburg Academy. He then played Division I football for the University of Pennsylvania. Koffman has also played tennis and racquetball, has belonged to a paddleball league, has ridden on horseback and has water-skied. He considers himself “a hacker” at golf.
Koffman’s businesses and philanthropic activities have worldwide reach, but he still considers Binghamton his home. According to his friends and family, Koffman’s “compassionate qualities permeate everything he does.” Those close to him pointed out that even though he is “a worldly man,” he is “equally happy with dinner at a local restaurant in Binghamton.”
About the JCC Athletic Hall of Fame
Established in 2009, the purpose of the JCC’s Athletic Hall of Fame is to recognize athletic-related achievements and/or accomplishments of individuals who have been active participants at the Binghamton JCC. Past Athletic Hall of Fame inductees include Jamey Savitch in 2009 and Stan Drazen in 2010.