BROOKLYN TECH GRAD ISAAC HELLER '43
MAKES $1 MILLION GIFT TO HIS ALMA MATER
BROOKLYN, N.Y., MAY, 2013: Isaac Heller's generous contributions to Brooklyn Tech now total $2.3 million.
The Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation announced that Brooklyn Tech graduate Isaac Heller ‘43, a onetime farm boy who co-founded an iconic postwar-era toy company and then became a leader in commercial real estate, has donated $1 million to his alma mater Brooklyn Tech, which he calls the school that “made my life.” This Heller gift brings the total to $2.3 million that he has contributed to the nation's largest STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) high school. The new gift will be used to support the Alumni Foundation's ongoing efforts to help the school enhance facilities, curriculum, faculty development and real-life learning experiences.
“We are extraordinarily grateful for Ike and Helaine Heller's remarkable generosity,” said Larry Cary, Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation President. “Ike recognizes that Brooklyn Tech today provides a dynamic education that prepares young people for tomorrow's careers just as it did for him seventy years ago. His support helps make that continue to happen.”
Mr. Heller was co-founder of Remco Toys which produced toys that were widely popular in the postwar years and often featured early-day “technology” elements. He then went on to start and head Heller Industrial Parks Inc., a leading company developing and owning industrial parks.
Mr. Heller said, in a recent video interview at Brooklyn Tech, that he founded the toy company after serving in the Navy as a radio technician, puttering in his free time with spare electronics parts to make gadgets and toys for his shipmates. He had been assigned the technician post on his ship after majoring in electrical engineering at Brooklyn Tech. In this way, he has explained, “Brooklyn Tech made my life.”
Mr. Heller, who grew up picking crops on a Catskills farm, knew little about engineering when he enrolled at Brooklyn Tech not long after moving to the city. Mr. Heller's earlier gifts to Brooklyn Tech have supported the Ike Heller Computer Integrated Manufacturing and Robotics Lab, home of the mechanical and electrical engineering programs at Brooklyn Technical High School. It is also the research and development laboratory for Brooklyn Tech's US FIRST Robotics Team, the Tech Knights.   The Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation supports Brooklyn Tech to maintain it at the forefront of STEM education. The Alumni Foundation provides Brooklyn Tech with state-of-the-art equipment and labs, professional development for faculty and college-level opportunities for students.