From the Princeton Weekly Bulletin, May 26, 1997


Lowenstein gift
to create finance center

A $10 million gift from the Leon Lowenstein Foundation will establish the Bendheim Center for Finance. The gift honors foundation president Robert Bendheim '37.

"The generosity of the Lowenstein Foundation will enable us to create a world-class center of education, scholarship and public leadership in the field of finance, which is increasingly important to our understanding of national and international economics," said President Harold Shapiro, who is himself an economist. "We are delighted that this gift honors our friend Bob Bendheim, who has had such a distinguished career in business, in civic affairs and in philanthropy."

The Bendheim Center will focus on scholarship and teaching in finance as it relates to such issues of economic policy as asset pricing, corporate finance and the international movement of capital. The resources of the center will be used to support new faculty specializing in finance and related areas in management and public policy; to enhance Princeton's curriculum with specialized undergraduate and graduate courses; and to establish a major venue where experts in finance from academia, government and the private sector can meet regularly to exchange views and information. Building on the strengths of Princeton's faculty in the Department of Economics and the Woodrow Wilson School, the Bendheim Center will provide a multidisciplinary setting in which to conduct research and develop public policy.

New dimension to Princeton

"I am delighted to be able to bring this new dimension to the outstanding academic reputation of Princeton University," said Bendheim, former president and CEO of the textile manufacturing firm, M. Lowenstein Corp. "I hope that the center will play a major role in expanding our dialogue about finance and its role in the nation's economy and policy."

While Princeton's Economics Department is among the premier programs in the country, the University has not offered an undergraduate certificate or a graduate degree in finance. The Bendheim Center is to establish an undergraduate certificate program with a wide range of finance courses to provide students with the background required to enter corporate or financial management training. It is also expected that the center will develop a master's degree program in finance. This program would specialize in applying advanced mathematical and computational techniques to financial analysis, which would prepare students to enter such fields as investment banking or brokerage.

Lowenstein Foundation support

Bendheim, who majored in economics, joined the Lowenstein company after he graduated from Princeton. After working as a trainee, he served for four years in the U.S. Navy Supply Corps and then returned to the company, where he was named president and CEO in 1964. He retired in 1986 and is now president of the Leon Lowenstein Foundation, which provides funding for medical research and New York City public schools and youth programs. He is a member of the board of trustees of both Fordham University and Mount Sinai Hospital and a director of the United Way.

In recent years the Lowenstein Foundation has supported a wide range of projects at Princeton, including the endowment of Bendheim Hall, home of the Center of International Studies. Last year, as part of the Anniversary Campaign for Princeton, the foundation made a major grant to establish the Bendheim-Thoman Center for Child Wellbeing and Development, which honors both Bendheim and his daughter Lynn Thoman '76.

Establishing an outstanding finance program at the University is among the main goals of the Anniversary Campaign, which will continue to raise funds to complete the endowment of the Bendheim Center for Finance.The campaign, organized as part of the commemoration of Princeton's 250th anniversary, seeks to raise a total of $750 million for the University by June 30, 2000.