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Attorney Alfred Koeppel, 68, long-time real estate mogul.

Alfred J. Koeppel, 68, an attorney, member of an old and prominent New York real estate family, and the former chairman of the board of trustees at Trinity College in Hartford, died Jan. 19 after a long illness.

Koeppel was a partner in the New York real estate law firm of Koeppel & Koeppel and chairman of the board of Koeppel Tener Real Estate Services, Inc., a national real estate consulting firm. Both firms maintain a tradition of extraordinary commitment to the ideal of a family business: Alfred Koeppel joined his father's firm in 1954 and worked daily for the past two decades with a management team that includes his older brother, Bevin, all three of his children, and a nephew.

Koeppel & Koeppel's roots are in Brooklyn, where Abraham Koeppel immigrated from Germany in 1870 and launched a successful business as a buyer and developer of residential real estate. His sons, Max and Harry, joined their father in the firm of Koeppel & Koeppel and shifted its focus to Manhattan in the 1940s, developing extensive holdings in East Side apartment buildings and Downtown and Midtown office towers. In 1963, the brothers divided the business, creating two family firms that both carried on the name of Koeppel & Koeppel. Max Koeppel and his sons, Bevin and Alfred, concentrated on the commercial side of the business, mostly on office properties in Midtown and Downtown, including property management, investment, and leasing services.

Alfred Koeppel was born in Brooklyn on Sept. 14, 1932, the youngest of the six children of Max and Minnie Koeppel. He graduated from Polytechnic Preparatory Country Day School in Brooklyn, Trinity College in Hartford, and the Brooklyn Law School.

Hard working, unflappable, a master of detail and of the art of drafting legal documents (grammar mattered to him), Koeppel had a warm, modest and generous personality. He loved New York City, to which he returned as a resident in 1980, and urban life and was fiercely committed to the institutions he cared about -- ranging from Trinity College to the King's Point Little League. He served as a trustee and vice president of Temple Beth El of Great Neck for 12 years, as a director of the United Community Fund of Great Neck from 1965 to 1971, and as treasurer of the Village of Kings Point from 1973 to 1974. At the time of his death, Koeppel was a member of the Board of Overseers of Hebrew Union College/Jewish Institute of Religion.

His most passionate commitment as a volunteer, however, was to Trinity College. He earned a bachelor's degree in romance languages there in 1954. After graduation he consistently was involved as a leader in alumni and development activities for almost five decades. As an alumnus, he earned the college's Alumni Medal for Excellence and the Eigenbrodt Cup for outstanding service to Trinity. Most significantly, he served as a trustee for 15 years and as chair of the board from 1990 to 1996. Koeppel's three children graduated from Trinity, and the Koeppel Social Center at Trinity is named in honor of Alfred and Bevin Koeppel, who is also an alumnus.

As chairman of the board of trustees, Koeppel led Trinity through a period of remarkable challenges and achievements. He shaped the consensus that produced Trinity's nationally known effort to transform its declining neighborhood in Hartford and encouraged the College to develop a distinctive emphasis on cities and the study of urban life. His performance as chair was cited in a 1999 case study in the Harvard Business Review on the leadership of nonprofit organizations.

The article praised Koeppel as a model chairman, describing his formidable knowledge of the institution and the reassuring and decisive leadership he exercised during a crisis in 1994 when the college's president resigned suddenly a few weeks before a major capital campaign was to be announced. Acting first as temporary chief executive and then as chair of the presidential search committee, Koeppel guided Trinity into a period of dramatic improvement in its academic, financial, and community standing.

"Alfred was a remarkable person," said Evan Dobelle, the president of Trinity College. "He truly loved learning and understood how colleges work and how to make them better. He was wise and an astonishingly effective chairman. When the board was significantly divided about an issue, he was always the one who would intuit the point on which everyone could be brought to agree."

Classical culture and civilization was one of Koeppel's deepest intellectual interests. Recognizing this, Trinity's trustees voted today to establish the Alfred J. Koeppel Chair of Classical Studies in his honor.

Koeppel is survived by his wife of 46 years, Ruth, and his three children, nine grandchildren, his brother, and three sisters.
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Feb 14, 2001
Words:782
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