Among Case Western Reserve University’s most transformative and generous supporters, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation has been named the recipient of the 2023 President’s Award for Visionary Achievement. The annual award honors those who have made a profound, positive and lasting impact on the mission of the University.
Case Western Reserve University President Eric W. Kaler presented the award to Stephen H. Hoffman, Chairman of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation and President Emeritus of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, during convocation Wednesday, May 17, at the Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center. Hoffman accepted the honor on behalf of the Foundation and its President and CEO Jehuda Reinharz.
“The Mandel Foundation has been instrumental to the enduring success of the greater Cleveland community and, importantly, to Case Western Reserve. We are deeply grateful to both Steve and Jehuda for continuing the Foundation’s longstanding support of the University,” Kaler said. “The impact of the Foundation on our campus has been extraordinary. Faculty, staff and students alike have benefitted from its tremendous generosity.”
Brothers Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel started their philanthropic journey in 1953, not long after launching the Premier Automotive Supply Company in 1940. The company went on to become one of the world’s leading industrial and electronic parts corporations.
The Mandel brothers’ philanthropic engagement at Case Western Reserve University dates back over four decades. In 1988, the family made a $3 million gift—at the time, the largest in the history of the University’s then School of Applied Social Sciences—to support construction of a new school building and ongoing programs. The donation also resulted in a new name, the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.
Then in 2013, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation made a renewed $8 million commitment to support a major renovation of the school building and establish an endowed position for its dean—the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Dean in Applied Social Sciences, a role held by Dexter Voisin since last year. In honor of this commitment and the Foundation’s new name, Case Western Reserve rededicated both the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Community Studies Center.
Also in 2013, Mort Mandel became an alumnus of Case Western Reserve, earning his bachelor’s degree in chemistry. Nearly 75 years earlier, Mandel had accepted a scholarship and attended Adelbert College (which would later become part of the University), but his formal education was interrupted by the founding of the business with his brothers and service in the U.S. Army during World War II. For his capstone project, Mandel wrote It’s All About Who You Hire, How They Lead…and Other Essential Advice from a Self-Made Leader, a book that captured the leadership knowledge and skills he had acquired over his lifetime. Mort Mandel also was an emeritus trustee and the recipient of an honorary humanities degree.
The Foundation has provided ongoing support to the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences by investing in future community leaders through the Mandel Leadership Fellows Program and it has created new undergraduate scholarships through the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Distinguished Scholar Fund. In addition, the Foundation has supported endeavors at the Health Education Campus, a joint initiative of Case Western Reserve and Cleveland Clinic, including the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Wellness and Preventive Care Pathway and the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Professorship of Wellness and Preventative Care. This pathway immerses students in nutritional studies focused on holistic, lifestyle-focused wellness techniques designed to enhance patient outcomes.
More recently, in March 2023, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation made a $2 million gift to support the University’s new Experimental Humanities initiative in the College of Arts and Sciences, which more deeply integrates education in the humanities with science, technology, engineering and math fields. The University will apply the funds to establishing a new major in Experimental Humanities and providing funding support for humanities research projects, particularly those that drive innovative ideas through scientific collaborations.
In total, the Mandel brothers and the foundation have provided more than $61.75 million in philanthropic support to Case Western Reserve University.