BRONX, N.Y., September 23, 2010 – Mario J. Gabelli, CBA ’65, has made a $25 million gift to Fordham, the largest in the University’s history. The gift will help propel Fordham’s campaign to its $500 million goal, and in gratitude the University will rename the undergraduate business college the Gabelli School of Business.
“It is impossible to overstate how much Mario Gabelli’s gift means to Fordham, and to higher education,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham. “His extremely generous gift will greatly enhance Fordham’s ability to deliver a world-class business education. The University community, including those who will join us in future generations, are deeply in his debt.”
Fordham University formally announced the gift at the College of Business Administration (now Gabelli School of Business) capital campaign kickoff at the Homecoming celebration on September 25, 2010, at the Rose Hill campus (see video below). The gift will allow Fordham to expand student scholarships and faculty chairs, and it will be crucial to the creation of the Center of Global Investment Analysis, which will bring together students, faculty, and professionals in the financial community to enhance scholarship in the study and understanding of capital markets.
Gabelli, a philanthropist, investor and chairman and CEO of GAMCO Investors Inc., is a native of the Bronx and resident of Greenwich, Conn. He is a second-generation American, the first in his family to attend college and a summa cum laude graduate of the former College of Business Administration at Fordham. He also holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University. His wife, Regina Pitaro, a 1976 graduate of Fordham College at Rose Hill, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Fordham University, echoes Gabelli’s support of education.
“Education is the great leveler, the engine of America’s meritocracy, and it must remain so for the country to compete in the global economy,” Gabelli said. “My grandfather died in a coal mining accident in western Pennsylvania, one hundred years ago, and my family always stressed the importance of education as a stepping stone to creating a better life. I am proud and blessed to be able to contribute to that effort.”
Gabelli’s gift brings the total raised in support of Excelsior | Ever Upward | The Campaign for Fordhamto $364.8 million, and CBA (now Gabelli School of Business) funds raised to date to $43 million. The gift to Fordham is part of Gabelli’s long-term philanthropic strategy to support education, as well as other causes.
Other organizations he has supported through the Gabelli Foundation or the Gabelli Family Foundation at the Jewish Communal Fund include Columbia Business School, Boston College, Roger Williams University, University of Miami, Fordham Preparatory School, Montefiore Childrens’ Hospital School Health Program, the National Italian-American Foundation and the American-Italian Cancer Foundation.
“Very simply, Mario Gabelli has put Fordham Business at the table in the financial capital of the world,” said Donna Rapaccioli, Ph.D., dean of CBA (now the Gabelli School of Business) and dean of the business faculty. “He both understands and fervently believes in the transformative power of education, and with his very generous gift, he will transform the way business students are educated at Fordham.”