Speaker - Marc Pollick

 Marc  Pollick  Thumbnail


After graduating from the University of Chicago, Mr. Pollick subsequently earned graduate degrees in Social Science, East European Jewish History, and Holocaust Studies. He pursued his doctoral studies at Boston University under the direction of Professor Elie Wiesel, winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize for Peace. He lectures often throughout the United States and Israel, and has taught courses on The Holocaust at the high school and university levels. In 1982, Pollick was appointed Founding Executive Director of the Zachor Institute for Holocaust Studies in Miami, Florida. One year later, he created and hosted the cable TV series, “We Remember.” He has twice led student groups to Holocaust sites in Eastern Europe, and in 1983, led the first-ever group of children of Holocaust survivors on a “Journey of Conscience” to Eastern Europe and Israel. In 1989, he served as a senior researcher for the permanent exhibition of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Prior to founding The Giving Back Fund in February 1997, Marc Pollick was the Assistant Director of the Center for Jewish Studies at Harvard University and the Founder of The Elie Wiesel Institute for Humanitarian Studies.Working with Wiesel, Mr. Pollick came to appreciate the unique power and opportunity inherent in leveraging celebrity and wealth on behalf of philanthropy. He formulated the idea for an organization that would work with celebrities to use their fame for the common good, and in 1997 he established The Giving Back Fund (GBF) to provide philanthropic management and consulting to professional athletes and entertainers. By concentrating on celebrities, Mr. Pollick sought to diversify the typical donor base to include people of color, women, and young people, groups often underrepresented in traditional philanthropy. The first athlete with whom GBF consulted was Boston Celtic Captain Dee Brown, followed soon after by BC legend and NFL Quarterback Doug Flutie, and performing artists Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. Pollick contributes frequently to major periodicals on the topic of philanthropy and writes a regular column on sports philanthropy for Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal. Pollick was recently recognized for his achievements as a recipient of the 2004 University of Chicago Alumni Award for Public Service. Upon receiving the award, Pollick commented, “For me, the University of Chicago was not just a college. It was the impetus for a radical shift in my life’s direction. Every assumption I had prior to arriving in Hyde Park was challenged—from what is important in life, to what constitutes an educated person. As an undergraduate, I discovered role models who would become lifelong heroes—in the persons of Jonathan Kozol, Jesse Owens (who tutored me in the long jump!), Rabbi Harold Kushner, and Elie Wiesel. I learned not only how to think, but how to employ that thought process to produce significant actions. I vividly remember coming to college as a freshman knowing that I wanted to change the world but not having a clue where to start. Without a doubt, the relationships I developed at UC and the influences I absorbed have directly equipped and enabled me to fulfill my freshman goal of wanting to make the world a bit better. I was profoundly altered by my UC education—in the classroom, on the athletic field, and in the dorms. The Giving Back Fund is the professional manifestation of that treasured experience.”

2 Programs

Olympic Champions Clay & Weggemann on Creating Success

12.04.12 | 00:35:04 min | 0 comments

Celebrity & Cause: International Development

11.30.11 | 00:00:00 min | 0 comments