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Mundheim Scholarship Fund
October 17, 2006, Volume 53, No. 8

Robert Mundheim

Former Penn Law Dean Robert H. Mundheim, who in the 1980s began the effort to create a significant endowment for the Law School, has now made a major gift of his own. He and his family have contributed $1 million to establish The Mundheim Family Fund for Financial Aid.

This gift will provide scholarships or interest-free loans to students in need. “There is no finer legal education than that offered by the Law School,” said Professor Emeritus Robert Mundheim, of counsel to Shearman & Sterling in New York. “Our gift will help assure that students admitted to Penn Law need not turn down admission for financial reasons.”

Current Law School Dean Michael A. Fitts added, “Bob Mundheim had a remarkable impact on the Law School during his deanship; many of the initiatives we are pursuing today can be traced back to his tenure. What a wonderful way to commemorate his indispensable service to the school.”

Mr. Mundheim was dean from 1982 to 1989. During those years he launched the campaign to build the Nicole E. Tanenbaum Library building. He also led the effort to establish the nation’s first mandatory public service program at a major law school, and furthered its interdisciplinary initiatives by vastly expanding the activities of the Institute for Law & Economics.

He joined Penn Law’s faculty in 1965. As an academic, he anticipated trends in the corporate and financial worlds. His studies on corporate governance and the role of independent directors began in the 1960s, long before the recent corporate scandals and Sarbanes-Oxley reforms made that subject popular. His work on tender offers with Arthur Fleischer, Jr. was the harbinger of a type of corporate acquisition that dominated the corporate scene for a substantial part of the last third of the 20th century. His recognition of the increasing significance of globalization in financial activity prompted his organizing with Penn Professor Noyes Leech in 1972 the International Faculty in Corporate and Capital Market Law. The University recognized his academic achievements by appointing him a University Professor in 1980. 

Each member of Mr. Mundheim’s family also has a link to Penn. His son, Peter, graduated from the Law School in 1996. His wife, Guna, CW ’59, has been the assistant dean at the College for more than 20 years and has served as a lecturer in painting (watercolor). His daughter, Susan, earned a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of fine arts from the College in 1990.

Almanac - October 17, 2006, Volume 53, No. 8