Edward E. Shorin, the genial Topps Chewing Gum executive who became a champion for continuing education on Long Island, died Monday. He was 86. Mr. Shorin expanded Topps Chewing Gum’s presence internationally and played a key role in the growth and development of continuing education programs on Long Island.
“Ed Shorin was the quintessential gentleman,” said Edward Travaglianti, chairman of Long Island University’s board of trustees. “He blessed us with 13 years of trusteeship, sharing his prodigious intellectual gifts, business acumen and passion for student-centered education with our community. He was a generous benefactor whose wisdom, creativity and commitment to our students knew no bounds.”
A dynamic and successful businessman, Mr. Shorin expanded the international presence of his family’s business, Topps Chewing Gum Company, establishing manufacturing ventures from Australia and Yugoslavia to Nigeria and the Philippines before retiring as the company’s international vice president.
“Ed was successful in life in the broadest sense,” said his son Richard Shorin. “His second career as an LIU trustee was tremendously satisfying, enabling him to touch the lives of thousands of students.”
Mr. Shorin’s association with LIU began when he retired from Topps in 1984 and started taking continuing education courses in the Hutton House Lectures Series at LIU Post, near his home in Manhasset, N.Y. He found the experience to be so rewarding that he actively recruited friends and neighbors to join him, and he volunteered to help administer the program. Mr. Shorin became chairman of the Hutton House Lectures advisory board in 1995, initiating a vocal advocacy on behalf of lifelong learning initiatives and assisting in the design of various programs intended to benefit adults in neighboring communities.
Under the leadership of Mr. Shorin and Dr. Kay Hutchins Sato, LIU Post’s assistant provost for continuing education, annual Hutton House course enrollments rose from a few hundred to more than 7,000. Most recently, the Hutton House Lecture Series was chosen as a recipient of the Association for Continuing Higher Education’s 2013 Older Adult Model Program Award.
Over the years, Mr. Shorin expanded the scope of his work at LIU. In 2001, he joined the LIU Board of Trustees and went on to become chancellor of two of the University’s regional campuses, LIU Brentwood and LIU Riverhead, serving as the liaison between the faculty on these campuses and the board of trustees. He also recruited volunteers for a broad range of University-based community service programs, developing a volunteer registry and enlisting a select group of retirees to help promote student welfare at LIU Post. His efforts established a group of 50 retired executives who act as mentors to international students, sharing their knowledge of business and insights into American culture.
In addition to devoting his time and talents to the University, he also supported the institution through his philanthropy. In 1997, Mr. Shorin and his wife, Genevieve, along with their dear friend, the late Dr. Larry Strauss, made a donation to support the renovation of the Hutton House Lectures Library. Subsequently, he helped to raise funds for the main Hutton House lecture hall. Mr. Shorin established a scholarship in the LIU Post School of Health Professions and Nursing in memory of Dr. Strauss. Upon the death of Mrs. Shorin after 56 years of marriage in June 2009, Mr. Shorin created an endowed scholarship fund in her memory.
“He was always cutting-edge, and he was always extremely generous,” Dr. Sato said. “He kept the welfare of our students foremost in mind, but he was mindful of the needs of the administration as well – he understood that university operations are different from those of a business, and he was wise enough to adjust his expectations accordingly.
“Ed was a decent, kind, generous, and extremely good-natured soul who thought the best of everyone and treated all with the respect he knew they deserved,” she said.
Mr. Shorin was a fixture at campus events and never missed an opportunity to talk to students about what was going on in their lives and how the University could help them to achieve their goals. He was awarded an honorary doctorate at the 1999 LIU Post commencement ceremony.
Born in December 1926 in Brooklyn, N.Y., Mr. Shorin graduated from the High School of Music and Art in New York City, served in the U.S. Navy and then attended Bucknell University, earning a B.S. in Economics in 1949 before joining Topps. He and Mrs. Shorin had two sons, Richard (Andrea) of Ambler, Pa. and James (Michelle) of Palo Alto, Calif.
Donations may be made to the Edward and Genevieve Shorin Memorial Endowed Scholarship at LIU Post. All contributions are fully tax-deductible and will be acknowledged by Long Island University. Checks should be made payable to Long Island University with the Shorin Scholarship Fund indicated in the memo portion. Please forward to: Office of Development, LIU Post,720 Northern Blvd., Brookville, NY 11548, Attention: Edward and Genevieve Shorin Memorial Scholarship. Please contact Lisa Mulvey, associate vice president for development, LIU Post at Lisa.Mulvey@liu.edu with questions on how to make your donation.
A memorial service was held on Monday, August 26 in Hillwood Commons Lecture Hall at LIU Post.