In Memoriam: Saul P. Steinberg
- by Matthew Brodsky
“At Wharton, as undergraduates, we got the distinct feeling that anything was possible,” Saul P. Steinberg, W’59, told The Philadelphia Inquirer in 1989. “It turned out to be true.” A noted entrepreneur, financier, philanthropist and esteemed Wharton alumnus, Mr. Steinberg passed away on Dec. 7, 2012 in his Manhattan home. He was 73.
Our distinguished colleague will continue to have an enduring presence at Wharton and the University of Pennsylvania through the buildings that bear his name—Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall and Steinberg Conference Center—the support he provided for student financial aid and to endow faculty chairs, and through his legacy of volunteerism. Throughout his lifetime, Mr. Steinberg made overwhelming contributions of time, talent and treasure to Penn and Wharton, which reflected not only his high regard for the School and the University, but his overall commitment to philanthropy.
Mr. Steinberg was an Emeritus Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania and Chair Emeritus of the Board of Overseers at the Wharton School. As a University Trustee, he served on the Executive Committee, the Long-Range Planning Committee, the Facilities and Campus Planning Committee, the Internationalization Committee, and the Nominating Committee, and was Vice Chairman of the Development Committee.
As Chair of the School’s Board of Overseers from 1987-1999, Mr. Steinberg helped shape the School’s international presence. During his tenure, Wharton increased its global focus, creating international immersion programs for students and faculty, and became the first U.S.business school to establish boards in Asia and Europe.
Among Mr. Steinberg’s notable gifts to the School were his endowment of the Wharton deanship—the Reliance Professorship of Management and Private Enterprise—and his lead gift to renovate and expand Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall. A remarkable benefactor, he funded the Steinberg Conference Center—which houses the Aresty Institute of Executive Education—established the Wharton-Reliance Symposium and founded the PEN at Penn program, which, beginning in 1987, brought a number of literary greats from the PEN American Center to campus as Steinberg Fellows, including George Plimpton, Susan Sontag and Stephen Sondheim. In addition, he provided support for a number of professorships and fellowships that benefited faculty and students at Wharton, the School o fArts and Sciences and the Perelman School of Medicine.
Mr. Steinberg is survived by his wife, Gayfryd and six children.
Editor’s note: Read more about Mr. Steinberg and link to his New York Times obituary at the Wharton News page.