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School News

April 28, 2014

Scholarship Endowed in Honor of Former Dean Boris Yavitz

Topics: Leadership

The Dr. Boris Yavitz Scholarship was recently endowed, honoring the former Columbia Business School Dean. “Boris cared deeply about the School and its students,” said Irene Yavitz, wife of former Dean Boris Yavitz, PhD ’64. “We’re so excited about this scholarship — it’s a fitting testament to his commitment and passion for the School.” 
A business strategy professor at the School starting in 1964, Yavitz was appointed dean by then University President William J. McGill in 1975. In that role, which he occupied for seven years, Yavitz was seen as a dedicated, unifying force. During his tenure, he strengthened ties amongst the Columbia Business School community and solidified the School’s reputation as a top graduate institution. Since Yavitz’s death in 2009, Columbia Business School has received donations in his honor totaling over half a million dollars. These funds will now support the creation of this permanently endowed scholarship, which will provide need-based financial aid to students enrolled at the School.
“This scholarship will serve as a worthy tribute to Dr. Yavitz’s extraordinary legacy,” said Dean Glenn Hubbard, the Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics, “and it will provide vital support to future generations of business leaders.”
A native of Tbilisi, in what is now the country of Georgia, Yavitz served in the British Navy during World War II. He moved to the United States at age 23 and earned both a master’s degree in engineering and a doctorate in business at Columbia before joining the School’s faculty. He also served as a director and deputy chairman of the New York Federal Reserve from 1977 to 1982 and as a director on the board of several major companies. When he stepped down as dean of the School, he continued as the Paul Garrett Professor of Public Policy and Business Responsibility.
“Our family could not be more proud,” said Yavitz’s daughter, Judith. “This is a marvelous day, and we are so thrilled to be a permanent part of the Columbia Business School community. Nothing would have pleased my father more.”

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