Obituary: Harvey Saligman, longtime trustee, 75

Saligman donated money for scholarships, research and facilities; established the Harvey and Linda Saligman Multiple Myeloma Research Fund


Harvey Saligman, a longtime Washington University in St. Louis trustee, died Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, after a seven-year battle with multiple myeloma. He was 75.

Saligman joined WUSTL’s Board of Trustees in 1986 and was elected an emeritus trustee in 2011. During his tenure, Saligman raised and donated millions of dollars for scholarships, new facilities and research at Washington University.

“He was a dedicated member of our board for more than 25 years, and during that time he was generous, wise and dedicated to our progress,” said Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. “Harvey also was a good friend and a trusted adviser. He will be missed deeply and remembered well by me and by his fellow trustees and business colleagues.”

An accomplished executive, Saligman was managing partner in Cynwyd Investments, a family real-estate partnership, and former CEO of Interco.

Saligman enjoyed collecting American art and fishing with his sons off the coast of Nantucket, Mass. He also was committed to helping others with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that kills about 10,000 Americans each year. In 2009, Saligman and his wife, Linda, established the Harvey and Linda Saligman Multiple Myeloma Research Fund.

That gift already is yielding results, said Division of Oncology Chief John F. DiPersio, MD, PhD. WUSTL hosted clinical trials for two new drugs that have received federal approval. It also has established a large myeloma tissue bank for ongoing research and is a member of the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium, which is devoted to developing new therapies.

“Larger-than-life characters like Harvey Saligman are so rare. I can say to my kids that I met one in my life,” said DiPersio, the Virginia E. and Sam J. Golman Professor of Medicine in Oncology.

“Accomplished, humble, distinguished and truly elegant in every way — Harvey was dedicated to his wife, Linda, and his family and to investing in the science ongoing at Washington University that he hoped would help others with multiple myeloma and other blood cancers. He will never be forgotten, and his vision and legacy in supporting biomedical research will outlive us all.”

The Saligmans also made donations to support undergraduate scholarships at WUSTL and to establish the Craig K. Reiss, MD, Award for Excellence in Teaching at the School of Medicine. In addition, Harvey Saligman served as executive co-chair of The Campaign for Washington University for the School of Art. The Saligman Family Atrium at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum is named in honor of the Saligmans’ contributions and volunteer leadership.

Son Todd Saligman said his father enjoyed attending art openings at the Kemper Museum and talking to students on campus.

“It wasn’t all about the committees,” Todd Saligman said. “He loved being part of the Washington University community. He would tell us about the students he met and I know he enjoyed advising and mentoring them. He also would tell us about the progress the university was making in so many areas. He admired that the university set its sights so high, and he wanted to help.”

Saligman supported many other cultural and civic institutions, including the St. Louis Art Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Nantucket Historical Association and the Friends of Lynn Saligman.

In 2012, he established the Linda & Harvey Saligman Foundation to promote education, medical research and appreciation of the fine arts. He also served on the boards of Mercantile Bank and Ameren and was a former member of Civic Progress.

In addition to his wife and son Todd, Saligman is survived by three other sons: Martin, Adam and Brian Saligman; a daughter, Lilli Meiselman; and grandchildren, Max and Sam.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24, in Graham Chapel on WUSTL’s Danforth Campus. A reception will follow at the Whittemore House.

Memorial contributions to the Harvey and Linda Saligman Multiple Myeloma Research Fund may be sent to Washington University, Division of Oncology, Box 8007, 660 South Euclid Ave., St. Louis, Mo., 63110.

In Saligman’s honor, the WUSTL flag will be lowered to half-staff Friday, Nov. 22, through early Monday, Nov. 25.