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Tennenbaum Endowment

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Same Vision, New Direction

Tennenbaum Endowment broadens reach in support of enterprise innovation at Georgia Tech

Michael E. Tennenbaum IE 1958, HON Ph.D. 2016 The man behind the first multidisciplinary center at Tech to draw on the talents of academic, government, and corporate experts is taking a new philanthropic tack.

Since 2004, the Tennenbaum Institute has focused on bringing problem-solving methods from industrial and systems engineering to bear on business practices and organizational cultures, with the aim of enhancing competitiveness and driving economic growth, particularly in health care delivery and global manufacturing.

Over time, the Tennenbaum Institute’s research and education mission has made an indelible impact — not only imparting skills and methodologies, but also helping to attract Fortune 500 companies to partner with the Institute, grow innovation neighborhoods such as Tech Square and Technology Enterprise Park, and incubate the Center for 21st Century Universities. In addition, the Tennenbaum Institute was instrumental in advancing Tech’s role in cell-based manufacturing and commercializing analytic tools and platforms related to electronic patient records.

Now, founder and namesake Michael E. Tennenbaum, IE 1958, HON Ph.D. 2016, is seeking new avenues for his visionary philanthropy. Effective July 1, 2018, the work of the Tennenbaum Institute will transition to the Office of the Provost and be supported by the Michael E. Tennenbaum Enterprise Transformation Endowment Fund.

In addition to the $2.5 million in expendable funds already deployed, the $5 million endowment combines previous endowment gifts made by Tennenbaum with a new commitment of another $2.5 million.

Replacing the named institute, income from the enhanced endowment will provide support, in perpetuity, for programs and initiatives that promote enterprise innovation at Georgia Tech. These include strategic research, pilot programs, facilities construction or renovation, seed funding, startup funding, challenge grants, and other purposes.

“We couldn’t be more pleased by Michael’s ongoing support in these vitally important strategic areas,” said Rafael L. Bras, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs and K. Harrison Brown Family Chair. “For nearly a decade and a half, the research institute that carried his name helped Georgia Tech make great strides as a hub of innovation. As we continue to advance the research, the methods, and the technology that drive economic development, this enhanced endowment will make possible untold opportunities for students, researchers, and businesses.”

Tennenbaum is the founder of Caribbean Capital & Consultancy Corp., a Puerto Rico-based private merchant bank. Before that, he was senior managing partner of Tennenbaum Capital Partners LLC. He has been named a distinguished alumnus and a Hall of Fame member by both the College of Engineering and the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, and in 2008 he received the Joseph Mayo Pettit Distinguished Service Award from the Georgia Tech Alumni Association. In 2016, Tennenbaum received Georgia Tech’s highest award — the Honorary Ph.D.

Reflecting on a half century of philanthropy for his alma mater in support of academic facilities, undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, and faculty chairs, Tennenbaum says, “The original mission of the Tennenbaum Institute is not now as unique as it was. The new mission will always be on the cutting edge because it will be refreshed constantly by Georgia Tech. Making an impact on worthwhile efforts that endure — that, for me, is what it’s all about.”

“ We couldn’t be more pleased by Michael’s ongoing support in these vitally important strategic areas. ” — RAFAEL L. BRAS, PROVOST AND EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS AND K. HARRISON BROWN FAMILY CHAIR