Investment advisor Martin J. Whitman ’49 contributes naming gift to Syracuse University School of Management
Investment advisor Martin J. Whitman ’49 contributes naming gift to Syracuse University School of ManagementJune 24, 2003Cynthia J. Moritzcjmoritz@syr.edu
Syracuse University’s School of Management will be named the Martin J. Whitman School of Management in honor of the prominent New York City investment advisor-a 1949 alumnus and longtime supporter of the school.
Whitman has made a long-term financial commitment to the school that is one of the largest gifts ever received by SU. Per agreement of both parties, the exact amount will not be disclosed. It ranks among the University’s largest gifts, which have included two pledges of $15 million each from the Newhouse family, one in 1963 and one this past April; a pledge of $20 million from an anonymous donor; and $14 million from the estate of Ruth Freeman Meyer.
“Martin Whitman has created a historic moment for the School of Management,” says Dean George R. Burman. “Marty is a wonderful person who, over many years, has shown a commitment to the school and to our students. He has been generous with his time, speaking and teaching to the benefit of our students. He has been generous with previous gifts focused on making Syracuse University available to students through scholarships. The new naming gift will create a very special opportunity for the school to continue to improve its performance and reputation. Marty has great respect as an investor. He is our friend. I cannot imagine a better name for the School of Management.”
Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw also expresses his gratitude to Whitman. “We are grateful to Martin Whitman for his support of the University in so many ways. This naming gift is but another example of his commitment to his university. I am delighted that the School will bear his name. Martin Whitman is a distinguished professional. His success as a businessman, his integrity in his dealings and his willingness to teach and mentor others are exactly the kind of role models needed in an institution of higher education.”
“I am honored and pleased,” Whitman says, “and I look forward to continuing my close relationship with the School of Management and the University in the years to come.” Among Whitman’s other contributions have been money to fund the Lois and Martin Whitman Scholarships, named for Whitman and his wife.
Whitman is co-chief investment officer of Third Avenue Management LLC, the investment adviser to the Third Avenue Funds as well as to private and institutional clients. He manages the Third Avenue Value Fund. Whitman has a long, distinguished history as a control investor and is a recognized expert in the field of bankruptcy. He has successfully identified value in distressed securities for more than 50 years. Third Avenue Management invests predominantly in the equities of well-capitalized companies, priced at no more than 50 percent of their takeover value.
Whitman was named Mutual Fund Manager of the Year by Morningstar in 1994.
Whitman serves on the board of Nabors Industries Inc., an American Stock Exchange-listed company in the land drilling and oil services industry. For the past 28 years, he has been a Distinguished Management Fellow at the Yale School of Management. He has also taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business.
Whitman began his career as a security analyst at Shearson, Hammil in 1950. For the next 20 years, he held positions as director of research and corporate finance at several firms. In 1974, he founded M.J. Whitman & Co. Inc. In 1984, Whitman became president and CEO of Equity Strategies Fund, Inc., an open-end investment company. In 1990, he founded and became chairman of Third Avenue Value Fund Inc., the predecessor to Third Avenue Management LLC.
Whitman is the author of “The Aggressive Conservative Investor” (Random House, 1979) and “Value Investing: A Balanced Approach,” (John Wiley & Sons, 1999) as well as a number of articles on security analysis and investment banking. His other professional endeavors include leading proxy contests and acting as consultant to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the President’s Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island and Bankers Trust. He has lectured on securities and valuations in various forums, including for the American Management Association, Columbia University School of Law, New York University School of Law and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
In addition to his 1949 bachelor of science degree from the School of Management, Whitman received a master’s degree in economics from the New School for Social Research in 1958. He is a chartered financial analyst.