Gifts in Honor or in Memory

A gift made “in honor” or “in memory” is a unique way to celebrate someone special, while also investing in the prosperity of the region.

In Honor / In Memory

Make a tribute gift recognizing someone special, or to celebrate a special occasion. RPA will send a personalized card to the honoree or the honoree’s family to notify them of your generous donation. After selecting your gift amount on the donation form, you can choose whether your gift is "in honor" or "in memory," and enter the honoree’s name. You can also enter an email if you would like RPA to notify the recipient or another appropriate party electronically. Click here for a sample of an "in honor" card, and here for a sample of an "in memory" card.

RPA Endowed Chairs

One special way of making a difference to RPA and the New York metropolitan area is contributing to the organization's endowed Chairs. These Chairs are named in honor of friends of RPA who have shaped the region in countless ways and the recipients will carry out that legacy through their work with the organization. To make a contribution to an endowed Chair, please contact Karen Trella at [email protected] or 201-926-9935.

The Richard Kaplan Chair for Regional Design

Richard D. Kaplan Photo by John-Cross

RPA, with generous support from The J.M. Kaplan Fund, has established an endowed Chair in honor of Richard Kaplan, our long-serving board member, inspiration and friend. The Richard Kaplan Chair for Regional Design will provide dedicated resources for a prominent urban designer to pursue innovative research and creative planning for the New York metropolitan region.

The Richard Kaplan Chair for Regional Design recipient will rotate every 2-4 years, and will be selected by an oversight committee consisting of the President and Chair of RPA and a representative from The J.M. Kaplan Fund.

Richard Kaplan was famous for several important traits that will be taken into consideration when selecting the Chair recipient:

  • A desire to be the first supporter of a bold project. Rather than following the philanthropic community, Richard inspired RPA to move in bold new directions. These funds will not augment existing projects, but launch new initiatives.
  • A deep appreciation of the transformative powers of design. Richard wanted New York City to be beautiful in every way possible, and advocated forcefully for higher design aspirations. Urban planning in particular suffers from a tendency to “play it safe” when it comes to design – to look for the least objectionable design, rather than the most inspiring. These funds will elevate design in the planning process across the spectrum of the region.
  • Towering ambition. Richard never accepted things as they were, but asked why we weren’t setting our sights higher. Likewise, this funding will be devoted to long shots, rather than safe projects.

Learn more about Richard Kaplan's contributions to the region here.

Recipient of The Richard Kaplan Chair for Regional Design

Miriam Peterson & Nathan Rich of PRO - Peterson Rich Office


The Peter W. Herman Chair for Transportation

This endowed chair honors RPA's longest-serving director and chairman emeritus. The Peter W. Herman Chair for Transportation will provide long-term annual support for a prominent expert’s work in this field.

Peter Herman joined RPA’s board as a Director in 1987 and participated in the creation of the ground-breaking Third Regional Plan: A Region at Risk, which contributed to building a seamless 21st century mass transit system; creating a third node in Manhattan’s central business district on the Far West Side; connecting communities to opportunities in growing urban employment centers like Newark and Stamford; and creating a three-million-acre open space network across the region.

Recipient of The Peter W. Herman Chair for Transportation

Jeff Zupan



Regional Plan Association thanks the generous supporters of our endowments.