Adrian Marcuse, an engineer-turned-president of the fashion industry school LIM College in Manhattan and a longtime Glen Cove resident, died June 29 in Florida.
The cause of death was complications from congestive heart failure, according to his daughter Elizabeth Marcuse Martin of Woodbury. Marcuse, who took the college from a one-year certificate program to a four-year accredited school, was 95.
Born March 25, 1922, in Queens, Marcuse was raised there by parents who would found the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising, now LIM College, in 1939 to train young women for careers in retailing through a one-year certificate program.
Marcuse received his bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1942. He returned to MIT to earn a master’s degree in aero- and thermodynamics in 1946 after serving as a lieutenant in the Army Air Force for three years in the South Pacific during World War II.
He spent 16 years as an engineer, working at Westinghouse Electric Corp. and United Technologies, contributing to early research of supersonic flight at the latter, Marcuse Martin said.
In 1962 he joined his father at LIM College, and he became its president 10 years later. Marcuse Martin succeeded him in 2002.
“As much as he was an engineer by education, he was an educator by passion,” she said. “He really began to take it [the college] to a level that my grandfather had never envisioned.”
Even though “he didn’t know the fashion industry from a hole in the wall” in the beginning, she said, Marcuse first got the female-only school to grant associate’s degrees but later transformed it into a coed, four-year college that awarded bachelor’s degrees and was accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. He was also a founding member of the New York-based Association of Proprietary Colleges.
“I don’t think my father recognized how much good he did,” she said. “He laid the groundwork for me to be able to take it to a master’s institution.”
Marcuse Martin said her father never pushed her to take his place; she spent 20 years in the fashion industry before coming to LIM College.
“Clearly it got into my blood,” she said. “I still feel that I haven’t filled his shoes.”
Marcuse moved to Glen Cove with his family in 1954 and lived there until 2004, when he relocated to Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and stayed there until his death. He served on the Glen Cove Planning Board in the 1970s and 1980s, Marcuse Martin said.
He also is survived by his wife of 32 years, Jeanne Marcuse of Palm Beach Gardens; daughters Nancy Marshall of Avon, Colorado, and Sally Crawford of Los Angeles; stepdaughter Amy Rossman of Demarest, New Jersey; and two granddaughters. He was preceded in death by his sister, Muriel Kenler, and his first wife of 35 years, Janet Marcuse.
Interment at Pinelawn Memorial Park in Farmingdale is to be private. A memorial will be held in Manhattan in September.