With your support, we will continue to nurture aspiring designers, evolve the profession, and educate the vanguard of interior design for generations to come.

The 1916 Society is named for the year architect Sherrill Whiton founded the decorative arts program that would become the New York School of Interior Design. For more than a century, NYSID has shaped and been shaped by the profession of interior design.

The 1916 Society consists of people who have made a commitment to the future of NYSID by including the College in their estate plans. David Scott, BFA ’91, principal of David Scott Interiors, and chair of NYSID’s 1916 society, says, “By establishing a legacy gift to NYSID, you can chart future programs and ensure that NYSID’s students will continue to have the same opportunity as I had: to become the designer they were meant to be.”

Members of the 1916 Society include individuals who have written a charitable gift to the College by bequest, made a life income arrangement for the benefit of the College, or named the College as a beneficiary of a retirement plan or a life insurance policy.

For information about joining the 1916 society and assistance in structuring a planned gift, contact:

Joy Cooper
Director of Development
212-472-1500, ext. 430

The Harold and Gisele Jaffe Scholarship


Harold and Gisele Jaffe became members of NYSID’s 1916 Society in 2005, when they included the College in their estate plans. Their gift established the Harold and Gisele Jaffe Scholarship Fund to assist worthy students in the furtherance of their interior design education. Harold Jaffe was an instructor at NYSID from 1990 to 2007.

Harold Jaffe (1922-2014) grew up during the Great Depression and raised in New York City. When he was a child, his family was so impoverished that they had difficulty getting enough to eat. A soldier in World War II, Harold met Gisele Haiman in London, while he was playing the piano in a servicemen’s club for Jews. Gisele (1924-2016) was raised in cultured, upper-class Hungarian Jewish family, but became a refugee when the Fascists invaded Hungary. “She appreciated the arts,” says their son David Jaffe. “She fell in love with the piano playing, then the man.” She married Harold and the couple emigrated to the United States.

With Gisele at his side, Harold studied design at Pratt Institute and founded the firm Unlimited Design based in Great Neck, New York. Over the years, he designed a number of important residential and commercial projects, including the conversion of a former William Randolph Hearst chapel into commercial office space. Later in his career, Harold combined his interests in fine and decorative art into a professional practice in appraisals. He developed an expertise in 19th- and 20th-century fine and decorative art and founded the Louis Comfort Tiffany Society. Harold became a skilled teacher of interior design and appraisal who was recognized for his contributions in the classroom and curriculum at NYSID, New York University, Yeshiva University, and Long Island University. He was very adored by his students at NYSID, where he taught Art and Antique Appraising and The Economics of Taste and Style.

Asked why he thought his parents chose to leave a legacy gift to NYSID, David Jaffe answered, “Interior design was my father’s first love and he had a close connection with NYSID. He got so much satisfaction out of teaching. I’m very proud of his accomplishments, considering where he started. And mom was his partner in all he did. This scholarship means they won’t be forgotten.” The Harold and Gisele Jaffe Scholarship will be awarded for the first time in 2017.