two years , the project ’ s social services were extended to the residents of 8 West 118th Street , a 146-unit high rise across the street .
The final element in Ruane ’ s plan was to address the educational needs of the children on the block . He selected St . Paul ’ s School , a private Catholic school which offered a higher quality education compared to the local public schools in the area . Carmel Hill offered scholarships for 30 children on the block . The school has since developed into the Academy of St . Paul and St . Ann . In a recent interview , John Paul Barnaba , the academy ’ s principal , explained Carmel Hill ’ s ongoing support :
• Funding the Renaissance Accelerated Reading program . All students are required to attend each day from 3 – 4 pm ;
• Payment of an extra 15 % of teacher ’ s salaries to compensate them for the extra workload ;
• Full scholarships , including uniforms , for up to 30 students ;
• A new library and a basketball court next to the school ;
• A full-time social worker to assist scholarship students and their families .
Hamm ( the full-time social worker ) collaborated very closely with Ruane from the first days of the Carmel Hill Project . She remembers him as “ a tough task master and very passionate about the success of the project . He was deeply involved .” He visited with tenants in the three buildings on the block including “ Uncle Jessy ,” an elderly superintendent who lived in a dilapidated apartment where the toilet had fallen through the floor . Ruane arranged for his medical treatment . When Jessy passed away from cancer , there were no family members to make funeral arrangements . Hamm made the arrangements and Ruane attended the funeral along with many other residents of the block . He also assisted other residents in obtaining medical help .
Ruane took great pride in the academic achievements of the students at St . Paul ’ s School , celebrating with them as their standardized test scores improved from the lowest quartile to above average . He expanded the scholarship program for graduates to attend Catholic high schools and eventually colleges . Hamm supervised this expansion . She proudly remembers
Ann Hamm ( left ) and Bill Ruane ( right ) receive the “ Fulfilling the Dream ” award in recognition of the Carmel Hill Project , 1998 .
one student who completed high school and attended Wesley College in Delaware on a Carmel Hill scholarship . She became a nurse . Another student earned her master ’ s degree at the State University of New York ( SUNY ) Buffalo and now works as a teacher .
In 1998 , the Carmel Hill Project received a “ Fulfilling the Dream ” award , named in honor of Martin Luther King . Ruane and Hamm were praised for their “ Adopt a Block ” program . In 2004 , the Carmel Hill Fund Education Program was created to support education initiatives in New York , Colorado and Louisiana . In New York , the program supports students by providing books and training for teachers .
Ruane passed away on October 4 , 2005 . One week later , the Sequoia Fund issued its quarterly report in the form of a eulogy signed by his successors , Richard Cunniff , Robert Goldfarb and David Poppe :
Yeats wrote of the choice between perfection of the work or of the life . Bill was the rare man who never had to make that choice . He was exuberant , an optimist , and happy in the
Courtesy of Paige Ruane way that only a truly good man can be . He built a firm that was more like a second family , which grew over the years … He respected every employee , rewarded hard work handsomely and endeavored always to strengthen the fabric of the firm . He was without guile , with no trace of meanness in him . He insisted that there be nothing mean in the way the firm did business … He leaves us a precious legacy , which we treasure : a commitment to do right by clients , by employees and by our own best selves .
James Russell Kelly is Director of the Gabelli Center for Global Security Analysis and Senior Lecturer in Finance at Fordham University .
Sources Buffett , Warren . Buffett Partnership Letter .
October 9 , 1969 .
Buffett , Warren . “ The Superinvestors of Graham and Doddsville .” Hermes Magazine , Columbia Business School . Fall 1984 .
Carmel Hill Fund Education Program . https :// carmelhill . org .
Cunniff , Richard T . Obituary Notice . The New York Times . March 26 , 2014 .
Gurliacci , David . “ Darien Memorial Parade Grand Marshall Announced : Ned Goodnow .” May 19 , 2017 .
Koselka , Rita . “ Kindred Spirits .” Forbes . October 18 , 1999 .
Personal interviews with John Paul Barnaba ( August 3 , 2022 ), Warren Buffett ( September 7 , 2022 ), Jeanne Foussard ( August 10 , 2022 ), Donald Graham ( September 6 , 2022 ), Ann Hamm ( August 17 , 2022 ), Paul Lountzis ( August 25 , 2022 ), Patricia Ruane Lowry ( October 13 , 2022 ), Terrance Pare ( July 14 , 2022 ), Thomas Russo ( July 26 , 2022 ), Lili Ruane ( August 18 , 2022 ), Paige Ruane ( July 22 , 2022 ) and Gregory Steinmetz ( June 30 , 2022 ).
Quinn , Terry . Renewing a Block in Harlem : The Children ’ s Aid Society / Carmel Hill Project : Years 1 – 4 . New York : Children ’ s Aid Society . 1996 .
Sequoia Fund Letter to Shareholders . July 10 , 1973 .
Sequoia Fund Letter to Shareholders . Oct . 10 , 2005 .
Stires , Sidney H . Obituary Notice . The New York Times . October 12 , 2012 .
26 FINANCIAL HISTORY | Winter 2023 | www . MoAF . org