George L. Engelke earned his bachelor of science degree in accounting from Lehigh in 1960. As a student, he was the sales manager for Lehigh’s yearbook Epitome; a member of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity; and Beta Alpha Psi, a national accounting honor society. He earned freshman honors.
A certified public accountant, Engelke worked at KPMG Peat Marwick before starting at Astoria Federal Savings and Loan Association in 1971 as vice president and treasurer. Through his tenure, he was named chief operating officer, president, and chief executive officer. He has served as chairman of the Board of Directors since 1997. He was named chief executive officer and director of Astoria Financial Corporation, the holding company of Astoria Federal Savings and Loan Association, since its formation in 1993, and served as president of the corporation from 1993 to 2007.
A member and leader of many associations and boards, he served on the Thrift Institutions Advisory Panel to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, and the Advisory Board of Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City, Inc., among others. In 2006, he was awarded the Community Achievement Award from the Garden City, New York Chamber of Commerce. He was a former trustee of the University of Long Island.
Engelke served on the Lehigh University Alumni Association Class Reunion Committee and his 50th Reunion Fund Committee. He was a member of Lehigh’s Wall Street Council.
His wife, Sandy, is a graduate of Penn Hall College and is a real estate professional at Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty company. She is a licensed associate broker and a certified council residential specialist. She has served on the board of the Garden City Chamber of Commerce, and was president of the appraisal division of the Long Island Board of Realtors.
The Engelkes are long-time members of the Asa Packer Society and the Tower Society, Lehigh’s leadership giving societies. They have always given Lehigh the ultimate vote of confidence in allowing their generosity to be directed by the university for its most pressing needs. Their commitments include the Shine Forever campaign and naming a breakout room in the Clayton Executive Suite in the Rauch Business Center. Their donations to the Lehigh Fund were the largest unrestricted gifts in each fiscal year from 2005 through 2009, with the latter being the largest unrestricted gift on record.
The Engelkes have four grown children, one of which, Courtenay, is a 1992 Lehigh alumna. George Engelke passed away on December 13, 2014. Mrs. Engelke resides in Garden City, New York.