The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation awards $8 million to Case Western Reserve

Announcement comes as university renames buildings: Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, and Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Community Studies Center

Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation has awarded Case Western Reserve University $8 million to support programs in social work, nonprofit leadership and community engagement. The commitment includes a $4.95 million lead gift to support an $8.9 million capital campaign project for the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.

The project will provide a major renovation and improvements for the existing building and rename the building the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. An additional $3.05 million will be used to endow a chair for the dean, to be named the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Dean of Applied Social Sciences, as well as funding for related educational initiatives.

“We believe in the mission and achievements of Case Western Reserve’s programs in social work, leadership and community engagement,” Morton Mandel said at a campus ceremony to announce the grant. “We look forward to even greater accomplishments in the preparation of leaders who make a meaningful difference in the world.”

Morton Mandel launched the foundation with his brothers, Jack and Joseph, after the trio experienced extraordinary business success with an automotive parts company they created in 1940. Last year, Morton Mandel published It’s All About Who You Hire, How They Lead… and Other Essential Advice from a Self-Made Leader. The book defines leadership as the ability to drive sustainable change.

Based in Cleveland, the foundation also has an office in Israel, where programs such as the Mandel Leadership Institute contribute to the education of that country’s most promising civic and social advocates.

The foundation supports education and leadership programs focused on nonprofit and socially relevant initiatives around the globe. Its priorities include higher education, Jewish education and continuity, leadership and urban renewal.

“Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel have set an international standard for catalyzing transformational change for individuals and organizations,” Case Western Reserve President Barbara R. Snyder said. “We are grateful for every contribution the foundation has made to our university, and deeply honored by this new commitment.”

The Mandel family has long been engaged with Case Western Reserve. In 1988, the foundation made a naming gift for what was then the School of Applied Social Sciences. Today, the school claims the nation’s ninth-ranked program in social work, according to U.S. News & World Report’s graduate school rankings.

The foundation recently changed its name to identify publicly its three founding brothers. With this commitment, the university also is recognizing the brothers and their impact on the university and greater Cleveland community.

“The foundation has made an enormous difference in the development and success of our school,” Dean Grover “Cleve” Gilmore said. “Its investment has allowed us to prepare leaders who provide positive change for the individuals and organizations they encounter—and its standard of excellence always emboldens us to work to be even better.”

As the school’s research and academic programs become more integrated, the need for more flexible and synergistic spaces has increased. Opened in 2007, the new Mandel Community Studies Center now houses The Dr. Semi J. and Ruth W. Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education to provide the center’s renowned scholars a cohesive space for teaching and research.

The existing building for the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences is located about 200 yards west of the center. The planned school renovations will allow additional programs to be housed within two buildings across the street from one another, creating a more dynamic and engaging environment for students and faculty.