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Join Our Centennial Celebration!

March 22: MSASS Tour of “This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement” at the Maltz Museum (Social Work Month event)

March 23: Social Entrepreneurship: When Social Mission and Market Forces Meet (2017 Strategies in Social Investment Speaker Series; 1.5 PD)

March 24: Cleveland Effective Neighboring Project (Research and Training Colloquium; 1.5 CEU/PD)

April 27: Volunteerism & Philanthropy: Cultivating Gifts of Time and Money (2017 Strategies in Social Investment Speaker Series; 1.5 PD)

To see videos of past Centennial events and research colloquia, please visit YouTube.

Help us raise $100,000 for student scholarships to commemorate our 100th anniversary and you can make history! If you donate to the Centennial Endowed Scholarship Fund by May 21, 2017 — the 100th and final week of our Centennial celebration — we’ll preserve your place in history by including your name in the Centennial time capsule as a fund donor. Details >>

On October 13, 2016, Cleveland’s iconic skyscraper, the Terminal Tower, was lit blue in commemoration of the Mandel School Centennial! It was a terrific honor, a bright beacon of social justice in the night sky, and the perfect way to invite the entire city to join the celebration.

Click here to see and download a photo by Cleveland photographer Steve Zorc.

The special Centennial Homecoming + Reunion gathered more than 1,500 alumni and guests to three different events over two days for a once-a-century celebration!

+ Inspiring Hope, Shaping the Future: The Deans’ Perspectives and Cocktail Reception on October 14 | Event details | Photo album | Video

+ Celebration Luncheon on October 15 gathered more than 300 alumni, family and friends at the Tudor Arms Hotel to present 100 Centennial Alumni Awards and honor the Hall of Achievement inductees | Photo album | Video

+ 100th Birthday Block Party on October 15 attracted nearly 1,000 revelers | Event details | Photo album

Centennial Alumni Awards

During the Centennial celebration, the Mandel School honored 100 extraordinary alumni who best represent the spirit of the school and embody the Centennial theme of “Inspiring Hope. Shaping the Future.” The award categories are Distinguished Alumna, Professional Achievement, Nonprofit Leadership, Louis Stokes Community Service Leadership, and Early Career Success. The winners were awarded and honored at the Homecoming+Reunion 2016 Luncheon on October 15 and are inducted into the newly-established Hall of Achievement. Read the full announcement.

Do you have a fond memory or photo from your time at Mandel School (MSASS/SASS)? Please share it! We’d love to include them in our historical compilations and future videos! Contact or 216.368.5141 to make arrangements for submission.

The Service Sub-Committee of the Centennial Planning Committee is an active group of students, alumni, faculty and staff who are dedicated to ensuring the Centennial includes a service mission. For the first year of the Centennial, they focused on the American Indian Education Center, organizing a successful holiday gift drive and protesting the use of Chief Wahoo by the Cleveland Indians. Stay tuned for their plans for the 2016-2017 school year!

100 Weeks of Centennial is one way for us to count the many ways the Mandel School is a special place (and has a special place in history).

The newly-established Mandel School Hall of Achievement was founded upon the school’s Centennial to recognize the accomplishments of outstanding alumni, faculty, partners, and friends who have greatly impacted the school and the fields of social work or nonprofit management for the past 100 years. These individuals have received school awards, major Case Western Reserve University acknowledgments, or top industry honors.


In 2015, Dean Grover “Cleve” Gilmore appointed three people to co-chair the Mandel School’s Centennial celebration: Professor Emeritus John Yankey, Associate Professor Kathleen Farkas, and alumna Denise Gibson, PhD, MSSA. The co-chairs formed a Centennial Planning Committee comprised of alumni, students, faculty and staff, which then formed into the following sub-committees: Awards/Honors, Service, Events, Historical, and Fundraising.

The objectives of the Centennial are to:

  • Raise the profile of the school locally, nationally, and internationally to showcase the school’s innovation, research, and academic excellence and attract future students and faculty.
  • Educate the public regarding, and the school’s contributions to, the evolution of social work practice.
  • Make connections between the school’s history, present, and its future to acknowledge and celebrate important milestones and legacies in the school’s history.
  • Convey the impact of the school on the Greater Cleveland community and the broader world.
  • Engage the school’s various constituencies in Centennial Anniversary activities.
  • Strengthen alumni relations and programming, including bringing alumni back to campus and to celebrate and tell the stories of how they’re making a difference in the world.
  • Project a clear vision for the future of the school as part of launching a new era.

The School of Applied Social Sciences (SASS) – now named the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and referred to simply as the Mandel School – was founded in 1915 by resolution of the Western Reserve University Board of Trustees, when James Cutler was appointed our first dean. However, the heart and soul of the school was established in 1916, when the curriculum was created and the school’s doors opened to 35 students that fall. So we’re planning a celebration spanning 100 Weeks — throughout the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years!