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Know thy neighbor

9:06 AM  Sep 28th, 2015
by Melanie Henterly

Phil Warth ’69 believes that if you know your neighbor, you will want to be friends. “To not know them is to misunderstand them,” he said.

Warth is the founder of Facilitated Growth, a New York-based private equity firm, and chairs the board of First Nonprofit Foundation. Warth has succeeded professionally in terrain where nonprofits meet entrepreneurship. Now he wants future UD students to succeed where their education meets public issues — and the world. He and his wife, Cynthia, have established a $1 million charitable trust at UD. It will fund critical thinking for evaluating public problems and policies and the expansion of geopolitical studies.

“I think understanding one another makes people less likely to support the notion of war and makes governments less likely to explore that,” he said.

Warth has come to know others in a variety of ways. He has served as a city planner, as president of America’s Second Harvest, the Nation’s Food Bank Network (now Feeding America) and as president and CEO of First Nonprofit Insurance Co.

He said UD helped him develop critical thinking skills, which he calls a “necessary component of getting to the truth of things.”

He said he also values UD’s close-knit campus, so the trust also will assist with renovations of Kennedy Union. “It’s THE gathering place on campus,” he said, “and it’s important for it to be comfortable and desirable.”

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