2000 Tennenbaum Lecture Brings Down the House (at least the roof)!

Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering
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MICHAEL E. TENNENBAUM's financial contributions helped raise the roof of the Georgia Tech auditorium bearing his name. He watched a piece of that roof come down during a Politics, Economics, and Investing lecture in September. Tennenbaum, IE 1958, spoke as a rainstorm moved across campus.

As he spoke, a rain-soaked ceiling tile fell through and rain poured into the Tennenbaum Auditorium. "I guess y'all need more gifts," Tennenbaum quipped. And to the students he said, "Maybe you should start giving money back to the school earlier."

Tennenbaum, managing director of the Los Angeles-based investment firm Tennenbaum & Co., is also chairman of the California High-Speed Rail Authority. The downpour didn't get his talk off track for long, in addition to politics and economics, he discussed the need for high-speed rail transportation. "A lot of our country's success lies in the fact that we have a great highway system," he said. "But we are way behind in rail. Rail is several times more energy-efficient."

Tennenbaum pointed out that those who had been caught in one of Atlanta's traffic jams could see a field of vehicles with only one person inside them. "That's not a good use of resources. Go to France and ride the high-speed rail system and you will see how nice it can be. It's getting late to build one" in the United States, in part, because of the congestion in metropolitan areas, Tennenbaum said. "The need for this is growing. There is no national coordination of these issues," he said. "It's kinda depressing."

Tennenbaum established the endowment for the Tennenbaum Lecture in 1977, and this year was the first time he delivered the lecture.

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  • Created By: Barbara Christopher
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Mar 20, 2001 - 8:00pm
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:06pm