In the Name of Social Work

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation's $8 million gift supports programs in social work and nonprofit leadership.

The Mandel name and Case Western Reserve’s renowned social work program have been linked for 25 years.

That relationship was cemented in April, when the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation awarded $8 million to the university to further support programs in social work and nonprofit leadership and engagement.

The gift includes $4.95 million toward an $8.9 million capital campaign for a major renovation of the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. Another $3.05 million endows a chair for the dean and supports related educational initiatives.

To further reflect the essence of the association and shared vision, the school and its two main buildings were renamed the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Community Studies Center.

“I see it as simply emphasizing the close connection we have with the Mandel family and Mandel Foundation,” says Dean Grover “Cleve” Gilmore, PhD. “The Mandel Foundation and Mandel School have similar missions: to make the world a better place.” The school’s reconstruction will, among other improvements, reconfigure classrooms to add space and teaching technology, relocate the school’s library and create an academic commons with a café.

Moreover, the renovation will embrace the school’s burgeoning research, and increase opportunities for collaboration within classrooms and other spaces.

The school, whose social work program ranks ninth nationally by U.S. News & World Report, drew nearly $8 million in external research funding in 2012-13, which marked the most ever, and a 32 percent hike from the previous academic year.

“We envisioned that we could do more,” Gilmore says. “We’re creating a building that fosters those connections.