Whitman Day to celebrate school’s benefactor
Whitman Day to celebrate school’s benefactorApril 02, 2004Cynthia J. Moritzcjmoritz@syr.edu
On April 7, the naming of the Martin J. Whitman School of Management will be commemorated with several public events in the first annual Whitman Day celebration. Noted investor Mario Gabelli, of Gabelli Asset Management, will deliver the inaugural Whitman Lecture at 11 a.m. in the Whitman School. From 4:30-6:30 p.m., the public is invited to meet Martin J. Whitman ’49 and his wife, Lois Whitman, at a free reception in Schine Student Center’s Goldstein Auditorium.
In addition to attending the public events, Whitman will attend several classes at the school and a luncheon in his honor. At the luncheon, two faculty members will be given Whitman Awards, one for teaching and the other for research. In addition, 16 students will be named Whitman Scholars.
“This is a special year in the history of our school,” notes Interim Dean Sandra Hurd. “It’s important that we set aside a day to celebrate and honor the wonderful generosity of Marty and Lois Whitman as well as give our students and the campus community a chance to get to know them. To meet Marty is to understand our terrific pride in carrying his name, for his entrepreneurial mind-set, intellect, integrity, and compassion are the very characteristics we hope to instill in every one of our graduates.”
Whitman has made a long-term financial commitment to the school that is one of the largest gifts ever received by SU; the agreement by both parties states that the exact amount will not be disclosed. It ranks among two pledges of $15 million each from the Newhouse family, one in 1963 and one in 2003; a pledge of $20 million from an anonymous donor; and $14 million from the estate of Ruth Freeman Meyer.
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 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. Whitman was named Mutual Fund Manager of the Year by Morningstar in 1994. 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.
Many in the business community recognize Gabelli as a frequent guest on “Louis Rukeyser’s Wall Street” and a commentator on CNBC and CNN. He is the founder, chairman, CEO and CIO of Gabelli Asset Management, a diversified asset management and financial services company known widely for its value-oriented investment strategy. He is recognized as a pioneer in applying Graham & Dodd principles to the analysis of companies in a wide range of industries. Gabelli developed the proprietary Private Market Value methodology that is an analytical standard in the value investing community.