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Managing the Money

A Profile of Richard L. Menschel

By Jenny E. Heller, Crimson Staff Writer

He graduated from Harvard Business School (HBS) in 1959. He worked as a partner at Goldman Sachs in New York. Now he is a national campaign chair for Harvard's $2.1 billion drive.

Money, it seems, is Richard L. Menschel's area of expertise.

He wasn't out of school for many years before he became a part of the Harvard fundraising machine. Then, though, he says his donation was "smaller in dollars."

Over the years, Menschel has headed efforts to raise money from alumni of HBS Class of 1959.

Now, as campaign chair, his job is once again to spur others to donate to the University. He meets with potential donors in person and extols Harvard's virtues.

During this campaign, he has given to the University as a whole and to HBS. How much, he prefers not to disclose. Some of his donations have endowed chairs; others have gone into both restricted and unrestricted funds, and many of his gifts have been anonymous.

Menschel, who went to college at Syracuse University, has spent much of his time and money on the School of Public Health. This school attracted his attention after the administration encouraged active fundraisers for the larger schools, including Menschel, to help raise money for smaller schools.

The School of Public Health has "a mission that always appealed to me," using a preventative approach, he explains.

Why such devotion to the cause?

To "help out in all ways possible," Menschel says. "It's a way of saying 'thank you.'"

"You appreciate what you were taught and how you were taught."

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