News Honorary Degree Citation: Harold Grinspoon
You attended Marlboro College in its infancy, from 1948-50: you are one of our pioneers. Then you founded Aspen Square Management, a successful real estate company in nearby western Massachusetts with properties across the country. But the best measure of your success is in the realm of philanthropy, where your caring generosity is an inspiration to your community and the world.
You created the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, which since 1993 has supported education in inner-city Springfield, encouraged energy conservation and supported Jewish life among young people and families, to the tune of $110 million. More recently, you launched the PJ Library, distributing free books on subjects of Jewish life and traditions to 100,000 children in communities across the country each month.
Harkening back to your own entrepreneurial beginnings at Marlboro, where you installed the first coin-operated washing machine, you are deeply supportive of entrepreneurial spirit. You have a special talent for recognizing and mentoring talent, giving young women the opportunity to develop leadership skills.
Philanthropy commentator Maya Norton calls you the quintessential example of the “perfect donor.” She says, “He feels a deep sense of personal and social responsibility to the world around him. He is invested in his community and considers himself a key agent of social change.”
With your characteristic generosity, enthusiasm and personal humility, you have promoted literacy and early childhood education, rewarded excellence in teaching, supported education and health in Cambodia and much, much more. We are honored that the Grinspoon Foundation helps fund financial aid for Marlboro students as well.
As your wife and philanthropic partner Diane Troderman observes, you are deeply patriotic and exercise your right to care profoundly. Harold Grinspoon, it is our pleasure to confer upon you the degree: Doctor of Humane Letters.