Mark Fishman ’82 may have forged an estimable career in high finance, but his message to the students gathered at the Dec. 5 dedication of the Fishman Student Center in Carlson Hall was less about making money than about making rewarding life choices.
“Success is not about money, it’s about finding something you love and becoming world-class at it,” he said. “Do not take the advice of others about what you should do — have the chutzpah to follow your life’s dream.”
Fishman was the guest of honor at a packed reception, hosted by the Graduate School of Management, recognizing his financial contribution to refurbish a cluster of drab rooms on Carlson’s first floor into the new center — which includes an expanded student lounge, spruced-up computer rooms, new carpeting and vibrantly painted walls.
In her remarks, GSOM Dean Catherine Usoff thanked Fishman, noting that the center has become a popular meeting/studying space for students. She read a letter from Perry Pero ’61, former chair of the GSOM Advisory Council, who lauded Fishman’s contribution to Clark of his “wisdom, work and wealth.”
Usoff noted that Laura Burgess, program director for academic and student services, and designer Cheryl Johnson of Delorey Contract Interiors, Inc., urged students to offer their ideas about the new space’s aesthetics. The center is truly representative of the entire GSOM community, she said.
President David Angel said Clark can boast of accomplished alumni in many fields, and that Fishman is “proof of concept” that a Clark liberal arts education prepares students for successful, meaningful lives. He said Fishman exemplifies the donor whose primary goal is to make a difference in students’ lives, and he’s done so in numerous ways, including serving as a trustee and on the GSOM Advisory Council, and bringing world-class speakers to campus.
“We celebrate you for the life you live and for your contributions to Clark University,” he said.
Fishman told the GSOM students he realized that “when you come to Clark, you come to a place where people care. I’m humbled that I’ve been blessed enough to give some money back and hopefully make it a little bit better for you to do the things I never thought possible.”
In an interview prior to the dedication, Fishman — who had previously endowed GSOM’s Fishman Library in honor of his late father, Herb, and his mother, Dorothy — said that his father was among the first generation in his family to attend college. The creation of the Fishman Student Center, he said, is testament to Herb Fishman’s belief that “everything is about education.”
“It’s nice to keep his name involved in a place of learning,” he said.
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