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Bronx Native Mario Gabelli Contributes $350,000 to Salem State University

Mario J. Gabelli, a renowned investment firm CEO, recently made gifts to further advance the mission of Salem State University. Of his support, $250,000 establishes the Mario J. Gabelli Student Investment Fund, and an initial gift of $100,000 was designated to the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

Born during World War II, Gabelli, whose grandfather died in a coal mining accident in Western Pennsylvania in 1910, was the first member of his family to attend college—a factor that connected him to Salem State’s mission of educating first-generation college students. Gabelli ultimately received his graduate degree from Columbia Business School.

“Our family foundation has supported dozens of various causes over these many years, but our main focus is on higher education. It is the single most effective way for those underrepresented in higher education to build social mobility and certainly helped me achieve personal financial success. As a first-generation college student myself, I’m delighted to support a university that lifts up those who may not otherwise access higher education,” said Gabelli, the Chairman and CEO of GAMCO Investors, Inc., and chairman of LICT Corporation.

Created with a gift of $250,000, the Mario J. Gabelli Student Investment Fund supports Salem State University’s Student Managed Investment Fund, which gives finance students experiential learning opportunities in portfolio management and the investment management process. In their investment courses, offered through Salem State’s AACSB-accredited Bertolon School of Business, students take on the roles of portfolio manager, chief analyst, student trustee, and analysts, analyzing and investing designated funds into a variety of securities.

Gabelli became inspired to support Salem State University through conversations with Bill Cummings, a fellow Giving Pledge member and a dedicated Salem State donor and 2013 honorary degree recipient. Giving Pledge members are individuals who have benefited from the capital markets, the rule of Law and Meritocracy, the underpinning of which is education.

“As Mario and I have gotten to know each other, it’s become clear that we share many of the same values around education: that it should be exceptional, affordable and available to all,” said Cummings, founder of Cummings Foundation and commercial real estate firm Cummings Properties. “I truly appreciate his commitment to the North Shore’s next generation of learners and leaders.”

“We are tremendously honored that Mario Gabelli and Regina Pitaro have chosen to support two key areas of our institution,” said Salem State University President John Keenan. “Their generosity will have a long-lasting and positive impact on our Bertolon School of Business students to help them gain concrete skills and experiences; and on the larger community, as our Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies strives to address challenging social justice issues surrounding discrimination, hatred and genocide. We warmly welcome Mario and his wife, Regina into the Salem State community.”

Nicole Giambusso
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