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Shenkman Hall dedication honors trustee

Trustee Mark Shenkman gave $5 million to the University last spring, renaming Ivory Tower. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Photographer
GW renamed Ivory Tower after Mark Shenkman, a member of the Board of Trustees who gave $5 million to the University. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Photographer
This post was written by Hatchet reporter Henry Klapper.

The University dedicated the former Ivory Tower residence hall to Mark Shenkman on Friday, four months after he made a $5 million donation and GW renamed the hall after him.

Dozens attended the ceremony in the building’s courtyard, where University President Steven Knapp, Board of Trustees Chair Nelson Carbonell and Residence Hall Association President Ari Massefski all spoke.

Knapp also gave Shenkman a framed Shenkman Hall banner, a smaller version of the flag that hangs outside the residence hall, as a “small addition” to Shenkman’s flag collection.

Here are some of the highlights from the event:

1. Completing a “lifelong dream”

Shenkman said at the ceremony that he has always dreamed of having a building at GW named in his honor. He graduated in 1967 with a master of business administration degree from the GW School of Business.

“One of my lifelong objectives was repaying GW for accepting me and giving me my opportunity at my Wall Street career,” Shenkman said. He went on to start Shenkman Capital Management, a Wall Street wealth management firm, in 1985.

Mark Shenkman got his master's degree from GW in 1967. Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Mark Shenkman earned his master’s degree from GW in 1967. Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer

“I can now check a box in my life accomplishments,” he said at the end of his speech.

Shenkman’s gift will go to the Career Services Center and career services in the business school.

2. An “inspiring example” to our students

Knapp said Shenkman’s ongoing commitment to the University serves as an “example of what it means to be an alumus to our students.”

His $5 million donation is the largest-ever gift from a sitting trustee. Shenkman also played a role in connecting billionaire philanthropist Michael Milken to GW. Milken and Sumner Redstone gave a combined $80 million to the public health school last spring, which prompted GW to name it the Milken Institute School of Public Health.

Carbonell said Shenkman is “quite a confidant,” who has given him advice about overseeing the Board of Trustees.

“He has a tremendous sense of pride in GW, in its history and connection to George Washington,” Carbonell said.

3. Making students proud

“Students will be proud to be able to say that they lived in Shenkman Hall,” Massefski said at the ceremony.

“Future generations will eat dinner, hang out in the lounges and probably meet their future husbands and wives in Shenkman Hall,” he said.

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