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Howard Gittis’s $5 Million Gift to Law School

H. Gittis

Howard Gittis, L ’58, has made a $5 million gift to the Law School to support the school’s endowment. In recognition of the gift, the Law School will name Gittis Hall at a ribbon cutting ceremony in the spring.     

“No one embodies the virtues of Penn Law more than Howard Gittis,” said Dean Michael A. Fitts. “Howard has applied the analytical skills he learned here, and his unparalleled acumen as a counselor to many, to become a leader in the world of business. He has made a determined effort to improve the quality of education at this institution, so that succeeding generations can follow his lead.”

Commenting on his gift, Mr. Gittis said: “Penn Law has been the engine driving my career. It has meant everything to me. So it is a wonderful feeling to know that while helping the Law School we can also expand the opportunities for quality legal education, which has meaningfully shaped my life.” 

Gittis Hall will be the new name of Roberts Hall, which houses faculty offices, student lounges and classrooms. The building has undergone extensive renovations. The initial work was completed in the summer of 2003 and included a 3,200 square foot addition. Further renovations to classrooms and improvements to mechanical and electrical systems will begin after classes end in May, with completion by the 2006 spring semester. 

Mr. Gittis, vice-chairman and chief administrative officer of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc, has a long history of supporting the Law School and the University, as well as many  philanthropic causes. In 1991, Mr. Gittis funded a new facility for the Law School’s clinical education programs, now known as the Gittis Center for Clinical Legal Studies. 

Mr. Gittis graduated from Penn Law School in 1958. He also earned a B.S. in economics from Penn in 1955. He is a member of the Law School’s Board of Overseers. Mr. Gittis is currently serving as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Temple University, where he recently established the Ronald O. Perelman Professorship in Entrepreneurial Finance at the Fox School of Business and Management. Mr. Perelman is chairman and chief executive officer of MacAndrews & Forbes. 

Prior to joining MacAndrews & Forbes in 1985, Mr. Gittis was a partner at the Philadelphia law firm of Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen where he had served as chairman of the executive committee. During his 25 years there, Mr. Gittis concentrated on general litigation, real estate, and corporate acquisition and divestiture work. In 1985, the National Law Journal listed Mr. Gittis among the 100 top attorneys in America.

His dedication to professional and community service has earned him numerous awards including the Penn Law School Distinguished Service Award, the Temple University Russell H. Conwell Founders Award, the Temple University Hospital Auxiliary Acres of Diamonds Award, and the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanities Award.



  Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 15, December 14, 2004


December 14, 2004
Volume 51 Number 15


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