Today, Columbia University announced the establishment of the Mendelson Center for Undergraduate Business Initiatives, a joint program between Columbia College and Columbia Business School. The Center was established with a $10 million gift from the Mendelson family, whose relationship with Columbia spans four generations. The Center will foster an ongoing business education program for select Columbia undergraduates.
"With this gift, the Mendelsons have made an enduring contribution to Columbia, creating a dedicated home for undergraduates interested in studying business," said Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger. "By bringing together Columbia College and our Business School in this novel shared initiative, the Mendelson family's generosity and commitment will benefit students for generations to come."
The Mendelson Center makes permanent Columbia’s special concentration in business management, through which undergraduates enroll in specially designed courses with Business School faculty. These courses connect business skills with elements of Columbia’s liberal arts education—for example, how finance is connected to principles of economics and how marketing depends on psychology.
"The Mendelson Center for Undergraduate Business Initiatives gives our students an unparalleled opportunity to combine the values and skills honed in our Core Curriculum and through our more than 100 liberal arts majors and concentrations, with the experience of studying with world-class faculty at Columbia Business School," said James J. Valentini, Dean of Columbia College and Vice President for Undergraduate Education. "Our students are very enthusiastic about creating, organizing, and managing enterprises, so we are grateful for this gift.”
“This extraordinary gift will have a lasting impact on business education at Columbia, bridging theory and practice and encouraging the exchange of ideas both within the University community and beyond,” said Glenn Hubbard, Dean of Columbia Business School and Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Professor of Economics. “The Mendelson family’s generosity will enhance the special concentration in business management’s existing activities and enable it to reach more students and even greater heights.”
For the Mendelsons, Columbia University is a family tradition dating back to Samuel Mendelson, an immigrant from Lithuania who graduated from Columbia College in 1906. This gift was made by Mendelson family members Laurans A. ’60CC, ’61BUS and Arlene H. Mendelson; Eric ’87CC, ’89BUS, P:’17CC, ’19CC and Kimberly Mendelson; Victor ’89CC, P:’18CC, ’20CC and Lisa Mendelson.
“My time at Columbia College and Columbia Business School was transformative,” said Larry Mendelson. “I hope the Mendelson Center will provide Columbia undergraduates with opportunities like the ones I had. There is nothing better than participating in intellectual exploration while gaining practical ability in business, navigating easily between the realms of ideas and action.”
Larry Mendelson, chairman of the board of HEICO Corp., served as a Trustee of Columbia University from 1995 to 2001, as well as chairman of the Trustees’ Audit Committee. He served on the Columbia College Board of Visitors from 1984 to 1989. Victor and Eric Mendelson, co-presidents of HEICO, currently serve on the Columbia College Board of Visitors, which Victor Mendelson chairs.
The family’s prior philanthropy at Columbia includes the establishment of the Samuel and Blanche Mendelson Memorial Scholarship Fund and the endowment of two professorships: the Mendelson Professorship in Economics and the Mendelson Family Professorship in American Studies.
About Columbia University
Among the world’s leading research universities, Columbia University in the City of New York continuously seeks to advance the frontiers of scholarship and foster a campus community deeply engaged in the complex issues of our time through teaching, research, patient care, and public service. The University is comprised of 16 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools, and four affiliated colleges and seminaries in Manhattan, and a wide array of research institutes and global centers around the world. More than 40,000 students, award-winning faculty, and professional staff define the University’s underlying values and commitment to pursuing new knowledge and educating informed, engaged citizens. Founded in 1754 as King’s College, Columbia is the fifth oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.
About Columbia Business School
Columbia Business School is the only world-class, Ivy League business school that delivers a learning experience where academic excellence meets with real-time exposure to the pulse of global business. Led by Dean Glenn Hubbard, the School’s transformative curriculum bridges academic theory with unparalleled exposure to real-world business practice, equipping students with an entrepreneurial mindset that allows them to recognize, capture, and create opportunity in any business environment. The thought leadership of the School’s faculty and staff members, combined with the accomplishments of its distinguished alumni and their position at the center of global business, means that the School’s efforts have an immediate, measurable impact on the forces shaping business every day.
About Columbia College
Columbia College is a renowned undergraduate liberal arts college within a world-class research university in the great city of New York. Established in 1754 as King’s College, Columbia College is the cornerstone institution within Columbia University and is distinguished by its unparalleled Core Curriculum, a series of seminar courses in philosophy, history, politics, literature, art, music, science, and writing that provides students with a comprehensive understanding of modern civilization. Through the Core Curriculum, its unique undergraduate community, and its many academic, research, and pre-professional offerings in New York City and around the globe, Columbia College forms the foundation for a lifetime of continued learning and prepares students to engage in an increasingly diverse and rapidly changing world.