Joseph Mandel, Renowned Philanthropist and Mandel School Benefactor, Dies at 102

It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Joseph Mandel, who along with his brothers Jack and Morton, transformed our school with their generosity and steadfast commitment to creating leaders in social change. He died Tuesday, March 22, at the age of 102.

“Joe and his brothers Jack and Mort have been visionary philanthropic leaders who have been committed to making the world a better place. I will always remember Joe with a broad smile on his face as he listened to our social work students describe the work that they do to better people’s lives and build stronger communities. He leaves a rich legacy of people whom he supported who are fulfilling his mission,” said Dean Grover C. Gilmore, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Dean in Applied Social Sciences, pictured at left with Joe Mandel in 2008 at a luncheon celebrating the school’s Mandel Scholars.

Joe Mandel also leaves a beloved piece of artwork on campus. An avid sculptor known for his artistic creativity, he created the brightly-colored modern metal sculpture in the back courtyard of the Mandel Community Studies Center, which he donated to the center on November 5, 2007. It is adjacent to a plaque that dedicates the building in memory to the brothers’ parents, Rose and Simon Mandel.

Case Western Reserve University President Barbara R. Snyder said, “We are saddened to hear of the passing of Joseph Mandel, and feel profound sympathy for his entire family. With his brothers, Jack and Mort, Joseph transformed exceptional success in business to philanthropic engagement that has touched literally thousands of lives, including many members of the Case Western Reserve community.”

Born in Poland in 1913, Joseph C. Mandel was a business leader, philanthropist, and co-founder of Premier Industrial Corporation in 1940 and the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation in 1953. One of the largest nonprofits in America, the Mandel Foundation supports leadership education programs in its own institutions and at several universities internationally, including this school and the Mandel Center for the Humanities at Brandeis University.

“The hallmark of our philanthropy is our commitment to invest in people with the values, ability and passion to change the world,” say the Mandel brothers about their giving — a quote that hangs in the lobby of the Mandel Community Studies Center, which houses Mandel School’s class and meeting rooms on the first floor, as well as two of the school’s research centers on the second floor, the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development and the Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education.

“My brothers and I are proud of our over 50-year association with Case Western Reserve University.  In 1988, we were honored to add our family name to the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences,” said Mort Mandel, chairman and CEO of the Mandel Foundation, in 2014. Most recently, the Mandel Foundation served as the lead donor of the Mandel School’s building renovation project. The $4.95 million lead gift was part of an $8 million award made in 2013 — one that also endowed the dean’s position.

Jack Mandel, the eldest Mandel brother, died at 99 in 2011.