Willem Kooyker (BBA, ’71), who endowed the deanship of the Zicklin School of Business in gratitude for the free education he received from the school as a young Dutch immigrant, has died.
Kooyker, who studied economics in night classes at what was then known as City College Downtown, died on November 3 in Manhattan after a brief illness. The founder and chair of Blenheim Capital Management, LLC (which closed when he retired in 2018), Kooyker came to New York City more than 50 years ago as an analyst for a Dutch spice trading company. By day, he exchanged commodities of cocoa, coffee, and sugar, and by night he studied economics in the business school of Baruch College, which was then tuition-free.
In a profile written for the centennial of the founding of the School of Business, Kooyker called Baruch “my launching pad.” For the rest of his life, he expressed his thanks for that springboard through financial assistance for education for the less fortunate. Wim, as he was known to his friends, generously established and endowed the Zicklin deanship, ensuring strong leadership for the future. He additionally provided seed funding for the school’s Global Leadership Program and endowed the Zicklin faculty support fund. His support advanced the Zicklin School’s ambitious goals, made a profound impact, and was a source of encouragement for the entire college.
In addition to his wife, Judith-Ann Corrente, Kooyker is survived by three children, seven grandchildren, and a brother.
“Wim and his family have been wonderful friends of the school; students and faculty benefit every day from their support,” said Fenwick Huss, the Willem Kooyker Dean of the Zicklin School. “I personally cherish the time I was able to spend with Wim over the years. He was wise and good.”