Creating “Infinite Impact” for What is Truly Important

Marshall Weinberg

Marshall Weinberg

Marshall Weinberg, a prominent investment broker and philanthropist, has been creating “infinite impact” at the University of Michigan for decades. He has set up several very notable charitable projects across the university, among them three endowments for the Institute for Social Research Population Studies Center. Weinberg’s generosity to the university saw him in the spotlight in 2008 when he was honored with the David B. Hermelin Award for Fundraising Volunteer Leadership. “There were about a thousand people there when I was awarded,” he recalls. “It was no small deal, and I was really moved.”

Weinberg reveals another emotional moment connected to the university: when he first met ISR Research Professor Emeritus Albert Hermalin. “I was so impressed with him and his work. He told me he was putting up his own money to help establish prizes for students,” Weinberg says. “I thought, my God, if this man, a professor of modest means and who is so outstanding, is putting up his own money, then this must be really important.”

“Someone once said that when you help a professor or someone who will go on to teach people, your reach continues and who knows where it will end,” Weinberg says. “Their students will pass on the information to their own students in the future and so on. It’s eternal and profound.”

The profundity of Weinberg’s impact was brought to light when ISR created a book called The Weinberg Effect (referring to the total number of students taught by former award-winners). The result is a concise, and oftentimes touching, chronicling of how Weinberg’s generosity has made some remarkable differences in students’ studies and careers. “I couldn’t believe how many people were contacted and took the time to respond,” says Weinberg. “These people are all over the world, in various positions, making big impacts in society.”

“The students I’ve assisted can’t even begin to imagine just how proud I am of them. They are doing very important work,” he says. “There are just too many people who simply don’t give a damn about anything, and when I see them with their diamonds and furs it disgusts me. They don’t give to anything really meaningful,” he adds. He is firm in his belief that money should never be a motivating factor when it comes to choosing a career path. “My award recipients may not be earning the highest salaries at this time, but they should take great pride in the good that they are doing,” he says. “They are the people who know what is truly important in our society.”

Weinberg Award Programs