Investor Mario J. Gabelli Establishes Endowed Professorship in Finance at Iona University

Continuing to build on the momentum at Iona University, investor Mario J. Gabelli has generously established an endowed professorship in finance at the LaPenta School of Business. In addition to this gift, a pledge has also been made to advance strategic initiatives on Iona’s new campus in Bronxville, home to the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences.   


“On behalf of Iona University, I want to thank Mario and his family for their generous support and shared belief in the power of education,” said President Seamus Carey, Ph.D. “This new endowed professorship will help to attract top talent to Iona as we continue to elevate the level of academic excellence and distinctiveness across the University.”  


As founder, chairman and CEO of GAMCO Investors, headquartered in Greenwich, Conn., Gabelli is esteemed for his investing acumen. He is also widely celebrated for his philanthropy.  


A Bronx native, Gabelli was raised with a strong work ethic and developed an interest in business at a young age. Neither of his parents, however, were educated beyond the sixth grade. He would become the first in his family to attend college.


Reflecting during a recent interview, Gabelli credited the academic scholarships he received as being the catalyst for his business success – hence, why most of the Gabelli Foundation’s giving is focused on education.  


“It is amazing the difference a good education can make in an individual’s future success,” said Gabelli, who graduated summa cum laude from Fordham University and went on to earn his MBA from Columbia Business School.  


The Mario J. Gabelli Endowed Professorship in Finance will establish new opportunities for academic excellence at the newly renovated, state-of-the-art LaPenta School of Business. Accredited by AACSB International, a prestigious recognition awarded to just 5 percent of business schools worldwide, the LaPenta School of Business has a distinguished track record of educating graduates who are ready to succeed in the workforce. The Princeton Review has also recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as one of the best business schools in the nation.  


While not himself an alumnus, Gabelli said he has hired and worked alongside many Iona graduates, and their attitudes toward success have often aligned with his own.

All the positive momentum emanating out of Iona under President Carey’s leadership sparked Gabelli’s interest in investing in the University, he said, noting that institutions of higher education ultimately need financial resources, facilities, top faculty and students to continue to elevate and accelerate their success.   


“Because of my belief in giving back where I was helped, which is education, the great underpinning of meritocracy, I want to assist institutions that are already succeeding in order to accelerate their success,” Gabelli said. “The ‘PHD’ attitude – ‘Passionate, Hungry, Driven’ – that is now all over Iona t-shirts is really appropriate to my view of success in life.” 


Gabelli has also pledged an investment toward strategic initiatives in Bronxville, saying the vision President Carey has brought to the new campus is what he and his family look for when identifying entities for philanthropic support.


“President Carey brings momentum,” Gabelli said. “What I believe in in terms of education and success is what Iona stands for.”