Thomas Blumenthal, former member of the Regents Council and current chair of the Board of Trustees, has been featured in numerous publications. But for the Mount community, the most newsworthy article was in our own newsroom announcing a partnership between GEARYS Beverly Hills, where Blumenthal is president and CEO, and the Center for the Advancement of Women.
GEARYS, which has been owned by Blumenthal’s family for two-thirds of its 90 years, has committed to a one year Champion sponsorship, assisting in the center’s research, advocacy, and leadership development initiatives.
Blumenthal doesn’t just give lip service—or funds—in his support of women. The majority of his executive staff are women, one of whom has two degrees from the Mount and another who is currently pursuing her MBA here. He brought them all to the Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California™ event. “I spend a tremendous amount of time at the University,” he says, “so I wanted them to see why I’m away from my business. It was also great for people at the Mount to see how many women executives I have within my company.”
Blumenthal credits his grandmother, who graduated from all-women’s Mills College in northern California, for being a guiding force in his life. “She always felt that women deserved to have the same opportunities as men,” he says. “She was way ahead of her time. She was a wife and mother, but she also was a very strong force in our family business. My grandfather never looked at her any differently because she was a woman, and they made every major decision together. I always admired that.”
Blumenthal has interacted with enough Mount students to have formed a strong opinion of them. “I have never met Mount graduates who don’t speak beautifully about their experiences,” he says. “Maybe it’s because they come from a sense of gratitude. It just gives me such a great feeling when we’re helping students.”
The Mount has benefited from Blumenthal’s years of support and decision making, but he feels that he has benefited just as much from the University community. Blumenthal says he’s proud to be a feminist and more men need to be able to say that. “When I look around the room at meetings at the Mount, I’m so proud to be the only man in the room with smart, strong women around the table,” he says. “I’m happy to be there. I’m lucky to be there. I learn from these women.”