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Haller foundation gives Pitt business school $5 million gift |

Haller foundation gives Pitt business school $5 million gift

The namesake foundation of late Pittsburgh industrialist Henry E. Haller Jr. will contribute $5 million to endow a chair for the dean of the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh, school officials announced Wednesday.

Officials said Haller’s foundation left it to Pitt’s discretion to use the gift to support the greatest needs of its business programs.

“It’s a tremendous advantage to the school, because it is designed in a way that the dean will have resources to aim at the most important issues or subjects, whether it’s a new area of study for students or a way to support top faculty. In that sense, it was a tremendously generous commitment by the Haller foundation to trust Pitt and say we want to allow you to invest in what will be most beneficial to the school in the future,” said John T. Delaney, the inaugural Henry E. Haller Jr. dean.

Haller, 98 when he died in 2012, earned his undergraduate business degree at Pitt in 1936 and a degree in mechanical engineering from the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in 1940.

He joined his father’s company, the former National Valve and Manufacturing Co., as a plant trainee in 1936 and worked his way through the ranks to executive vice president in less than 20 years. The firm, which built piping systems for utility companies, power-generating stations, the space industry and even nuclear submarines, employed 3,500 people at its peak and generated millions of dollars in annual sales.

Haller was involved in a variety of civic organizations in Pittsburgh and established the Henry E. Haller Jr. Foundation in 2000 with his wife, Linda B. Haller.

He previously endowed scholarships at Grove City and Thiel Colleges, as well as at Pitt. Pitt officials said the Henry E. Haller, Jr. Scholarship, started at Pitt in 2003 for College of Business Administration students, has benefited 10 students.

“He wanted students to get the best possible education so they could be successful,” Delaney said.

Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or [email protected].

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