Cornerstone Laid for the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate Center at the TAU Faculty of Management

Business Wire founder calls the extensive center his way of "betting on the kids of the future"
25 May 2014
TAU President Joseph Klafter (left) with Lorry I. Lokey at the cornerstone laying ceremony.

At a sweeping building site on the university's award-winning campus, the cornerstone for the new Lorry I. Lokey Graduate Center at the TAU Faculty of Managament was laid during TAU’s recent International Board of Governors Meeting. Lokey, the noted San Francisco philanthropist and founder of Business Wire, wielded a spade to applause from a distinguished gathering at the groundbreaking ceremony.


The new 53,820-square-foot center will house five research institutions, a state-of-the-art, 300-seat auditorium fully equipped with media and presentation systems, and offices for all graduate programs, 20 tenure-track faculty and 30 administrative staff, as well as lounge and refreshment areas. The center will be a major transformation for the Recanati Business School, currently housed in a 75,000-square-foot building serving 1,200 undergraduates, 2,160 master's students, and 70 Ph.D. candidates.


Guests at the groundbreaking ceremony included TAU President Prof. Joseph Klafter, Dean of the Faculty of Management Prof. Asher Tishler, Vice Dean Prof. Moshe Zviran, Chairman of TAU's Executive Council Dr. Giora Yaron, and Mr. Lokey's partner Joanne E. Harrington. American Friends of Tel Aviv University were represented in numbers, including National Chairman Jon Gurkoff and President & CEO Gail Reiss.


A Champion of Education

"What a thrill to make an investment," said Lokey, who serves on Tel Aviv University's Board of Governors. "Those of us giving grants are really betting on the kids of the future — we want them to do better than we did. Through Tel Aviv University, we are just getting better and better."


Lokey's charitable nature is in his DNA: even during the Depression, his parents continued to give to organizations they supported. By his late 20s, Lokey already was giving away 10 percent of his income, starting with gifts to his local temple and to Stanford University, from which he holds a B.A. in Journalism. To this day, he still donates to the elementary school he attended.


"It is a privilege to give," says Lokey. He has donated $702.5 million throughout his lifetime — virtually 98 percent of his net worth — with the bulk of it going to educational institutions. "Without people giving grants, we'd never make it. I'm just thrilled to be a part of it all."


During his visit to Israel, Lokey escorted three University of Oregon research professors to Tel Aviv University, Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva, Weizmann Institute in Rehovat, and Technion Institute in Haifa. They met peer-level scientists at each institution.


An Impact on Israel

At the ceremony, President Klafter thanked Lokey both for his benevolence and his singular worldview. "Lorry, you are a great philanthropist who has given substantially of your wealth for the benefit of others. It is a great vote of confidence in our excellence that you have chosen to make Tel Aviv University a recipient. We are deeply thankful to have you as a partner in this important project, through which your love of Israel will gain concrete shape and form, and will have a lasting impact on the state's economy and society."


Honored with countless awards, Lokey is annually ranked with the top U.S. philanthropists. A native of Oregon, he moved to San Francisco in 1952. In 1961, he established the media relations firm Business Wire, which he sold to Berkshire Hathaway in 2006.


As originally reported by AFTAU.


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