Marshall M. Weinberg (B.A., 1950) established three Departmental endowments over the course of a decade: the Endowment for the Frankena and Stevenson Prizes, in 1991; the Weinberg Endowment for Philosophy, in 1995; and the Weinberg Distinguished Visiting Professorship Endowment, in 1999. He subsequently established the Fund for Philosophy and the Cognitive Sciences, in 2006, and the Weinberg Professorship in Philosophy, in 2011. Brian Weatherson is the first occupant of the Professorship. Mr. Weinberg's studies convinced him that philosophy has much to contribute to clear thinking that benefits society.
After graduating from Michigan, Mr. Weinberg spent a year in the graduate program at Harvard. At the time, the faculty there included Harry Wolfson (the Spinoza expert), Philip Frank (the philosopher of science), and C. I. Lewis (epistemology and value theory). Mr. Weinberg eventually chose to move on to the Columbia Graduate School of Business, and then to the New York investment firm Herzfeld & Stern where he spent his professional career. He shares some thoughts about philosophy and investment in a short film, Legacy of Benjamin Graham: The Original Adjunct Professor, produced by the Columbia Business School, honoring the seminal investment strategist who also taught at the school. In the film, some of Graham's former students, including Mr. Weinberg and Warren Buffett, testify to his legacy.
Mr. Weinberg's philanthropy encompasses higher education, reproductive rights -- through the Center for Reproductive Rights and Law -- and issues in international justice. He has sponsored two recent conferences in the Middle East: "Utilizing Research to Promote Opportunities for Arab Children and Youth in Israel" (2003) and "Arab Women and Girls in Israel: Obstacles, Opportunities and Strategies for Change in Health, Education, and Employment" (2005). In 2010, Mr. Weinberg announced an extraordinary bequest to the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute. Those of us who worry that it is not possible to make a difference have much to learn from Marshall's work and example.
At Michigan, Mr. Weinberg supports Judaic Studies and the Program for Population Studies, as well as Philosophy. He appreciates the importance of graduate education in the humanities and has enabled the Department to respond to a number of specific programmatic needs.