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For nearly 30 years, Columbia Business School has benefited from the generosity of the Heilbrunn and Lerner families. Robert Heilbrunn, who studied under value investing pioneer Benjamin Graham at Columbia, was a champion of the discipline throughout his life. The Heilbrunn family established the Robert Heilbrunn Professorship of Finance and Asset Management in 1988. The professorship, which was filled by Bruce Greenwald, heralded a renaissance of the value tradition at Columbia Business School. Seeing the potential of the School's value investing curriculum which was flourishing under Professor Brunce Greenwald's capable leadership, in 2001 the family established the Heilbrunn Center for Graham and Dodd Investing, ensuring the permanency of the investing franchise at the School. Since then, Columbia Business School and the Center have established themselves as leaders in the field.
Robert and Harriet's daughter, Helaine Lerner, along with her husband, Sid Lerner, continue to be involved with the Center. In 2016, the Lerners endowed the Greenwald/ Lerner Value Adjuncts Fund. This newly created fund supports the brilliant adjunct professors who teach Applied Value Investing, a staple of the Value Investing Program. Taught by practitioners who have successfully utilized the principles of value investing, this course bridges theory and practice and gives students unprecedented access to industry leaders.
Mario Gabelli '67 with Helaine and Sid Lerner at the fifth annual "From Graham to Buffett and Beyond" Omaha Dinner in 2014.