The Kosciuszko Foundation, which promotes Polish culture, education and history in the United States, was one of the original proponents of the Polish studies chair at Columbia and helped facilitate fundraising, along with Warsaw’s Semper Polonia Foundation. The Brooklyn-based Polish Slavic Federal Credit Union, headed by Bogdan Chmielewski, was the first corporate donor to the project, contributing more than $500,000. The credit union capped off the effort with an additional check for $181,000. “This is a truly historic and prideful day for Polonians and all Polish-Americans,” said Chmielewski, who attended the ceremony in Warsaw. “Poland’s visibility within the hallowed halls of U.S. academia will increase greatly. Furthermore, there will be heightened awareness of Poland’s vast contributions to world culture.”
Other major donors include the Warsaw Stock Exchange, led by Ludwik Sobolewski; The National Depository for Securities, headed by Elzbieta Pustola; ENEA, an energy conglomerate led by Pawel Mortas; Poland Energy Group, led by Tomasz Zadroga; the Special Economic Zones of Katowice, Warmia and Mazury, Pomorska and Kostrzyn-Strubicka, and the Malopolska Agency for Regional Development, with Piotr Wojaczek, acting on behalf of the regional zones; and the Bogdan Fiszer Silesia Capital Fund, led by Bogdan Fiszer. Antoni Chroscielewski coordinated fundraising efforts on behalf of the Polish Army Veterans Association.