Carnegie Mellon University

Our Donors

The Humanities Scholars Program is able to provide outstanding educational opportunities for students thanks to the support of several generous donors. From special courses and campus-wide guest speakers to extracurricular activities, the following donors help make HSP the engaging program that it is.

Howard Ellin

Howard Ellin graduated with a bachelors of science from Carnegie Mellon in 1985. He then went on to Harvard Law School, graduating in 1988. Today Ellin is a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates, one of the leading law firms in the world, serving clients in every major international financial center. In addition to supporting the Humanities Scholars Program, Ellin is also a member of the Carnegie Mellon Board of Trustees.

David Shapira

A native of Pittsburgh, David Shapira attended college at Oberlin where he received his degree in economics. Interested in pursuing economics further, Shapira went on to Stanford where he earned his Masters degree. A wiser businessman, he eventually returned to Pittsburgh where, in 1971 he began working for Giant Eagle, Inc. Quickly working his way up in the ranks at Giant Eagle, Shapira became president and CEO in 1980, a position he held until 2011. Shapira is also a member of the Carnegie Mellon Board of Trustees. He is involved in many charitable and philanthropic causes, including supporting the Humanities Scholars Program.

Arthur Vining Davis Foundations

Established through the generosity of late American industrialist Arthur Vining Davis, the Foundations are, among other things, strongly committed to supporting private higher education in America. Trustees focus on providing grants to four-year, residential, liberal arts institutions that place strong emphasis on teaching. The Foundations typically support schools of renowned academic excellence and a solid record of financial strength with exceptional support from trustees and alumni.

Kim and Eric Giler

Kim and Eric Giler met while students at Carnegie Mellon. Kim is a 1978 graduate of H&SS with a degree in English and Spanish and Eric is a 1977 graduate from the Graduate School of Industrial Administration. Eric is the founder and CEO of Brooktrout Inc., which develops high tech telecommunications equipment. Both wanted to support a program that provided the diversity available through a well-rounded background in the humanities. Their gift to the Humanities Scholars Program established the Giler Humanities Lectures Fund, which pays for visits by outside scholars and internal workshop events for students in the program. By supporting lectures available to all of the campus, the gift benefits the entire Carnegie Mellon community.

Diane and Bradford Smith

As Carnegie Mellon alumni, Brad and Diane decided to give back to the university, specifically to a program that brings the humanities and the greater community into closer contact. Brad, a 1969 graduate of the college of engineering, is president and CEO of Strategic Analysis, Inc., a defense contracting firm. Diane, one of the first graduates of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences in 1971, is an attorney. Their gift funds student research, activities at the intersection of humanities and the community, support to faculty for new course developments, and support for guest speakers, among other activities.