Senior Managing Director, Gofen & Glossberg, Inc.
Knox College Trustee
Joseph Glossberg is not a Knox alumnus. His children didn't go to Knox.
He's not even from Galesburg. Yet in the years he has served on Knox
College's Board of Trustees, he has become a successful and valuable
"Because I'm not an alumnus, I can be very objective," says Glossberg. "I can ask the question other people might not ask."
Glossberg's success can also be tied to the fact that he believes in the value of education. "I'm a great champion of higher education. I believe in the liberal arts," he says. His legacy at Knox speaks volumes -- not only has he helped Knox achieve outstanding returns on its endowment, but he also supports two of the College's most important missions: a diverse curriculum and access to a quality education.
Glossberg grew up on Chicago's North Shore and received his bachelor's and M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School in 1963 and 1965, respectively. In 1965, he joined his father's investment counseling firm, Gofen & Glossberg, Inc., and has been a general partner of the firm since 1969.
He joined Knox's Board of Trustees in 1994, after receiving a personal invitation from former Knox President Richard Nahm. Nahm and Glossberg had worked together on a successful capital campaign for the University of Pennsylvania -- Glossberg had been a member of Penn's Board of Trustees for 10 years and its Investment Board for 17 -- and Nahm recognized that Glossberg's financial expertise was a perfect match for Knox.
In 1994, Knox was preparing to launch its own capital campaign to address its endowment needs. "I was hustled by Rick Nahm to become a trustee," Glossberg says jokingly. "But with my background, I could evaluate what was wrong with Knox's endowment and have the right solutions to long-term problems," he adds.
He became a member of the Board's finance committee, and, over the course of his service, he and fellow committee members have made great strides reducing the endowment spending rate and building better investments. "With the combination of Vice President for Finance and Administrative Services Tom Axtell's good management and the committee's stewardship, the cumulative investment result of the endowment has been extraordinary," Glossberg says.
In 2001, Glossberg established the Joseph B. Glossberg Visiting Israeli Scholar Fund. This endowed fund covers the expenses of the Visiting Israeli Scholar Program, which invites scholars from Israel to teach at Knox each year. "The program had brought in scholars on an ad hoc basis since 1995, but the establishment of a dedicated endowed fund enabled us to make the program permanent," says Professor Penny Gold, who coordinates the program. "This has made a very important contribution to Jewish Studies offerings at Knox."
Glossberg also established a scholarship fund in 2004 to help Knox students from the City of Chicago meet their education expenses. "For me, college was automatic. For a lot of people it's not," he says. "Knox has gone a long way to help those people. I'm glad I can help, too."
Despite Knox's recent fundraising successes, Glossberg knows there is more to be done. "The endowment is one of Knox's great needs. It has to be increased, and bricks and mortar projects, such as Alumni Hall, have to be completed," he says. Both projects are challenging, but ones that Glossberg is poised to help Knox complete.