Behavioral-finance pioneer and Santa Clara University professor Meir Statman and his wife, retired manager and longtime mental health volunteer Navah Statman MBA ’84, are donating $3 million to advance faculty excellence at Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business.
The funds will establish The Meir and Navah Statman Family Endowment for Finance Department Faculty Development and Research at the Leavey School. The endowment will further the academic quality, purpose, and mission of Santa Clara University as a Jesuit and Catholic University.
"Santa Clara University has benefited from the friendship, generosity, and leadership of the Statmans for many decades," said Acting President Lisa Kloppenberg. "We are honored and delighted they have chosen to give back to the teacher-scholar community in which Meir has proved such a tremendous role model. Their gift will help us nurture and advance future generations of SCU business educators."
The funds will be used for teaching and scholarship grants to faculty members and, at the discretion of a committee of faculty members, for teaching and scholarship expenses such as research databases.
"When people ask me for one word to describe Santa Clara, it is decency," said Meir Statman, who has taught at SCU since 1979. "We are expected to treat our students, fellow faculty and staff decently, with competence, conscience, and compassion, and we can expect them to treat us decently. Santa Clara provided me with what I need to pursue my vocation as a teacher and scholar, contributing to my students, fellow scholars, professionals, and the broader community."
About the Donors
The Statmans have been members of the Santa Clara University family for more than 40 years. Though Meir originally sought out SCU to leverage a job offer for a raise at Rutgers University, where he was teaching at the time, he felt immediately at home at SCU, and never presented SCU’s offer at Rutgers.
Meir would go on with his SCU colleague, Professor Hersh Shefrin, to become one of the pioneers of "behavioral finance." The field combines knowledge from finance, economics, psychology, sociology, and other areas, to explore how investors and managers make financial choices and how their choices are reflected in financial markets.
Navah Statman, who worked as a librarian before coming to SCU, completed her MBA at SCU in 1984. She then worked in logistics planning and program management at Amdahl Corp. and Sun Microsystems. Meir and Navah were helped immensely by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in caring for a family member disabled by bipolar illness. Over the years, Navah turned her time and attention to serving as a volunteer at NAMI.
Navah helped NAMI grow educational programs such as Family-to-Family courses and she continues to serve as a volunteer on a warmline for people suffering mental illnesses and for their families. Her contributions were recognized by Santa Clara University in 2005, when the Alumni Association awarded her an Ignatian Award for service to community.
Meir is the author of Behavioral Finance: The Second Generation, published by the CFA Institute Research Foundation; Finance for Normal People, published by Oxford University Press; and What Investors Really Want, published by McGraw Hill.
He is a member of the advisory boards of five financial journals and associate editor of two. Among numerous honors and awards, Meir was the recipient of a Batterymarch Fellowship, two Bernstein Fabozzi/Jacobs Levy Awards, a Davis Ethics Award, a Moskowitz Prize for best paper on socially responsible investing, a Matthew R. McArthur Industry Pioneer Award, and three Baker IMCA Journal Awards.
The couple has previously donated to the Santa Clara Fund, Leavey School of Business, MBA Alumni Fund, and the Faculty and Staff Special Assistance Fund.
"Whenever we have good news in life, Navah would say ‘we have to donate some money.’ We call it good luck insurance," said Meir. Now, after decades of being blessed with skills and talents that are in demand in the financial world, the couple wants to give back yet again.
"We hope this gift will help members of the finance department increase their contributions as teaching scholars," said Meir.
Navah and Meir Statman both grew up in Israel, each the eldest of three children. Meir’s parents fled Poland in 1939, as the Nazis invaded. Both of his parents wandered in Siberia and down to Uzbekistan, where they met and were married. Meir was born in 1947 in a refugee camp in Germany, and his family moved to Israel in 1949. Navah’s father had immigrated to Israel from Romania, and her mother from Syria. They met and married in Israel, where Navah was born in 1948.
Navah and Meir both attended the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where they met as undergraduates, and were married in Israel more than 51 years ago. In addition to her SCU MBA, Navah holds a master’s in library science from Columbia University. Meir received his MBA from the Hebrew University and a Ph.D. from Columbia University Graduate School of Business.
They have two grown daughters, Barbara and Ruth, and live in Cupertino.
About Santa Clara University
Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University sits in the heart of Silicon Valley—the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial region. The University’s stunningly landscaped 106-acre campus is home to the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asís. Ranked among the top 15 percent of national universities by U.S. News & World Report, SCU has among the best four-year graduation rates in the nation and is rated by PayScale in the top 1 percent of universities with the highest-paid graduates. SCU has produced elite levels of Fulbright Scholars as well as four Rhodes Scholars. With undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, and graduate programs in six disciplines, the curriculum blends high-tech innovation with social consciousness grounded in the tradition of Jesuit, Catholic education. For more information see www.scu.edu.
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Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Communications | firstname.lastname@example.org | 408-554-5121