Gerald B. Cramer ’52, H’10, devoted friend, advocate, and generous benefactor of Syracuse University, died Feb. 13, 2018. Cramer, whose extraordinary philanthropy seeded opportunity for countless students and advanced faculty excellence, had served on the Board of Trustees since 1995 and was a Life Trustee at the time of his passing.
Born in 1930, Cramer was a 1952 graduate of Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management and remained deeply involved with his alma mater throughout his life. His dedication and impact were recognized with numerous University distinctions during that time, including a George Arents Pioneer Medal—the University’s highest alumni distinction—and an honorary doctor of laws degree.
After earning a degree in accounting from the Syracuse University Whitman School of Management and attending the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, Cramer launched a successful career as an investment manager that would span 50 years. He was a managing director of GOM Capital and a co-founder and chair emeritus of the investment advisory firm Cramer, Rosenthal & McGlynn, where he held overall responsibility for the firm’s investment policy. He also was associated with the investment brokerage houses of Oppenheimer & Co., where he was a senior partner, and Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner and Smith. He also served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War.
“Gerry exemplified the power of one person to make a positive difference in the lives of others,” says Chancellor Kent Syverud. “He funded dozens of scholarships and provided leadership support for innovative programs that were important to him. He had a big heart and an even bigger vision that will continue to shape Syracuse University’s legacy and impact for generations to come.”
Cramer’s love for Syracuse University touched every segment of the campus community. But his philanthropy had an especially transformative impact on students and faculty of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He served on the school’s Advisory Board for more than 15 years and vigorously supported initiatives designed to foster global scholarship and engagement. He funded faculty positions in global affairs, economics and aging studies; provided leadership support for the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism; and supported numerous scholarships and programs in international relations, including a student exchange program between Maxwell and the Interdisciplinary Center at Herzliya, Israel …