New endowments at Yale to honor Wendy Sharp and Dean Takahashi

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Pictured at the Feb. 23 celebration at Berkeley College are (from left) David Swensen ’80 Ph.D., Meghan McMahon ’87, Wendy Sharp ’82, Dean Takahashi ’80, ’83 M.P.P.M., Kerry S. Takahashi ’14, and Kai Jun Takahashi BK ’16. (Photo by Anthony Fiorini)

Yale University has announced a generous contribution to the Yale endowment honoring Dean Takahashi ’80, ’83 M.P.P.M. and Wendy Sharp ’82. The new funding establishes an endowed professorship at Yale School of Management (SOM), a scholarship in Yale College, and a chamber music fellowship in the School of Music. Funds contributed to Yale’s unrestricted endowment have also named the Berkeley College common room in their honor.

Takahashi is senior director of the Yale University Investments Office, and Sharp, his wife, is a faculty member in the School of Music. The contribution was timed to mark Takahashi’s 30 years of service to Yale.

Numerous friends, classmates, and colleagues participated in the fundraising effort, led by David Swensen ’80 Ph.D., Yale’s chief investment officer, and two of Takahashi’s Yale College classmates: Charles “Chip” Goodyear ’80 and Josh Bekenstein ’80. The contribution was announced at a celebration held on Feb. 23 at Berkeley College.

“Dean and Wendy exemplify the best of Yale, through their scholarship, mentorship, service, and friendship.”

— David Swensen

“I am grateful to everyone who took part in this special tribute,” Swensen said. “Dean and Wendy exemplify the best of Yale, through their scholarship, mentorship, service, and friendship. The naming of these endowments, along with the Berkeley College common room, will stand as a lasting testimony to their profound impact on the Yale community.”

The new endowments created through the tribute gift will provide permanent support for several areas of the university holding particular meaning for Takahashi and Sharp.

The largest portion establishes a chair at the Yale School of Management, where Takahashi teaches the course “Endowment Management”; he, along with Swensen, also teaches an economics seminar in Yale College. The Dean Takahashi ’80 B.A., ’83 M.P.P.M. Professorship will help SOM build on its strength in the area of finance and asset management.

The Takahashi-Sharp Family Scholarship Fund will support students in Yale College, their alma mater, and advance Access Yale, a $250 million initiative for financial aid across the university. In the School of Music, the Wendy Sharp ’82 B.A. Chamber Music Fellowship supports members of the chamber music program resident quartet, supplying stipends and other resources as needed.

The naming of the Takahashi-Sharp Common Room celebrates their ties to Berkeley College, where Sharp, Takahashi, and their two children all lived as undergraduates. Takahashi and Sharp are both members of the Berkeley College Fellowship.

As colleagues in the Investments Office, Takahashi and Swensen pioneered the “Yale Model,” an approach to endowment management that emphasizes diversification and equity orientation. In the past 30 years, the Yale endowment has grown from $1.0 billion to $25.6 billion and generated nearly $14 billion of spending to support Yale’s operations. With a 30-year return of 13.9%, the Yale endowment has consistently outperformed market benchmarks, such as the S&P 500, as well as all other college and university endowments.

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