September 19, 1996
University Gazette


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  Bloomberg Endows Professorship for Five Faculties

Michael R. Bloomberg, founder and president of the business information-services company Bloomberg Financial Markets and a member of the Business School Class of 1966, has given the University a $3 million gift to establish the William Henry Bloomberg Professorship in honor of his late father. The new chair will support research, teaching, and course development in the fields of philanthropic policy and practice, public service and volunteerism, and the effective leadership and management of nonprofit and public institutions.

In a unique arrangement designed to provide a multidisciplinary, University-wide perspective on the study of philanthropy, appointments to the chair will be made from Harvard scholars, visiting faculty, or accomplished practitioners such as leaders of foundations, nonprofit organizations, or other philanthropic institutions. Five of the University's faculties -- namely Arts and Sciences (Harvard College), Business, Divinity, Government (Kennedy School), and Law -- will share the professorship.

According to the terms of the gift, occupants from each faculty will hold the chair for a maximum of two years. In this way, the resources of the Bloomberg Professorship will be evenly allocated among the five participating schools over the course of a decade.

A major donor to a number of educational and other nonprofit institutions, Michael Bloomberg has shown a deep commitment to and a continuing interest in helping nonprofit institutions through his philanthropic endeavors and his active role as a trustee. "Many important and complex issues confront the nonprofit sector today," he said. "I hope that this endowment, made on behalf of the entire Bloomberg family -- including my mother, Charlotte Bloomberg, and my sister, Marjorie Bloomberg Tiven -- will enable faculty from the various disciplines who hold the William Henry Bloomberg Professorship to enrich the study of philanthropy.

"Scholars at the Kennedy School and the Law School, for example, might focus on the policies and legal structures that affect philanthropy," Bloomberg continued, "while a study of the accountability, effective management, and use of resources by nonprofit and public institutions would fall within the domain of the Business School.

"I am pleased that this gift, part of my family's continuing relationship with Harvard University, honors the memory of my father, a native of Chelsea, Massachusetts. Throughout his life, he recognized the importance of reaching out to the nonprofit sector to help better the welfare of the entire community."

"This very generous gift advances two essential objectives," said President Neil L. Rudenstine. "It represents an important milestone in Harvard's efforts to bring together insights from different disciplines in order to deepen our understanding of complex issues. At the same time, it provides a great lift to our growing efforts to teach and learn about the management of not-for-profit institutions and about the nature of philanthropy. We are deeply grateful to Michael Bloomberg for his generosity, and for the vital and enduring contribution it will make to our academic programs."

"Harvard Business School is proud to count Michael Bloomberg among its alumni," said Harvard Business School Dean Kim B. Clark. "His extraordinary life serves as a benchmark in three areas that are at the core of this School's endeavors -- leadership, technology, and entrepreneurship. And while his career on Wall Street and beyond has flourished to legendary proportions, Michael Bloomberg has never forgotten the importance of his roots in Boston or the influence of his family on his life. We are most fortunate to be included in this generous gift, which will help us considerably in our ongoing efforts to understand and improve the effectiveness of the social enterprise."

"This new professorship offers significant support for the Kennedy School's, and Harvard's, study of public management and nonprofit organizations," said Kennedy School Dean Joseph S. Nye Jr. "Michael Bloomberg's thoughtful gift is both timely and farsighted."

Michael Bloomberg founded Bloomberg Financial Markets in 1981 after a successful career as a general partner at Salomon Brothers, where he headed the firm's equity trading and sales and, later, its systems development. Bloomberg Financial Markets' 65,000 leased computer terminals now provide multimedia, analytical, and news services to this country's investment and securities institutions, commercial banks, government offices, and major news organizations, as well as to most of the world's central banks. Headquartered in New York City and with 65 news bureaus around the world, the company also publishes several magazines, operates an all-news radio station and a direct broadcast television channel, and produces syndicated radio and television programs focusing on topics such as small business and personal finance.

Bloomberg is chairman of the board of trustees of his undergraduate alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, as well as a trustee of numerous other nonprofit organizations, including Central Park Conservancy, the High School of Economics and Finance, the Institute for Advanced Study, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Jewish Museum, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.


Copyright 1998 President and Fellows of Harvard College