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Klein Present founds Heart for Tradition and Globalization at Oakland College


Klein Present founds Heart for Tradition and Globalization at Oakland College


Barry M. Klein was an unabashed fan of Oakland University. He was a devoted alumnus, unwavering supporter, and unwavering advocate of the university. With his death on January 18, 2020, Oakland University lost a generous and loyal friend. As a final act of support, Klein made a transformative gift through his estate, which in part founded the Barry M. Klein Center for Culture and Globalization. His legacy and vision will increase OU’s standing in the international academic community and contribute to a fuller understanding of the social and cultural forces that affect current global issues.

Barry M. Klein

Changing lives through philanthropy

In 2003, Klein made a first donation promise about his estate. Thanks to its remarkable success, the estate made an additional multi-million dollar donation today that will expand the George R. and Helen Klein Memorial Scholarship and create two new initiatives: the Barry M. Klein Scholarship Endowed Fund and the Barry M. Klein Center for Culture and Globalization.

The George R. and Helen Klein Memorial Scholarship in the School of Education and Human Services was founded by Klein in 1997 to honor his parents, George R. and Helen Klein, and to give back to the university that “taught him, to think critically ”. . ”He wanted to acknowledge that both of his parents supported his training at the OU, his return from the Haight-Asbury neighborhood of San Francisco after the“ Summer of Love ”in 1967 and his transition from hippie to“ real estate expert ”.

At the time, he said, “It is a wonderful thing to help people with talent and ability but not the financial means to enable them to come to Oakland. It is very good for me to see that we can attract more talented students to the OU through scholarships. “

The Barry M. Klein Scholarship Endowed Fund supports students at Honors College. Preference is given to students who are not entitled to any other funding and whose further course of study is significantly influenced by the granting of a scholarship.

The Barry M. Klein Center for Culture and Globalization is a robust, multi-faceted program that will attract renowned scholars to enrich the academic, educational experiences, and social impact of OU.

Barry M. Klein Center for Culture and Globalization

The Barry M. Klein Center for Culture and Globalization is a realization of Klein’s vision of attracting world-class scholars to the OU, promoting national and international dialogue and creating opportunities for students and faculty to study culture and globalization at an unprecedented level to experience.

The center will be housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, but will collaboratively leverage synergies across campus to create enriching and transformative experiences for faculty, students, and the community.

The following initiatives are being established within the center with funds from the Klein estate:

Barry M. Klein Visiting Chair
Barry M. Klein Distinguished Faculty Awards
Barry M. Klein Student Research Program
Barry M. Klein Fund to support the culture and globalization program

Kevin Corcoran, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, is honored to help make the new center work in the Klein spirit. “The Barry M. Klein Center for Culture and Globalization represents an extraordinary vision from an extraordinary man,” Corcoran says. “The center will make Oakland University a place for deep reflection on issues related to globalization and culture. The Klein Center will enrich and educate our students and our community, and inspire people to make positive changes here, in southeast Michigan, and around the world. “

Remembering Barry M. Klein

Klein graduated from Oak Park High School in 1964. He was admitted to Oakland University and graduated in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. A self-proclaimed member of the counterculture of the 1960s, he said he valued the intellectual freedom and diversity that he found on OU campus.

He was the chairman of Barry M. Klein Realty Enterprises, LLC of Centerline, Michigan. In 2010, he and his wife, Linda Walsh-Klein, moved to Naples, Florida, where they lived in Naples Heritage, a golfing community. He worked in governance and community relations for Naples Heritage. He was also a member of the East Naples Civic Association, a Collier County Planning Commissioner, and a Life Mason.

His passion for rockabilly music led him to become a columnist and member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

He was a wine connoisseur and collector of fine wines and traveled regularly on wine tasting tours.

He loved running and fitness and did many half marathons in Michigan and Florida. And while it was frustrating at times, golf always had a special place in his heart.

Klein was the beloved husband of Linda Walsh-Klein and the esteemed father of Jason A. Klein, Jacquelyn R. Wyatt, and Jeffrey B. Klein.

Member of the OU family

Klein joined the Oakland University Alumni Association shortly after graduating in 1968 and has been a regular on campus thereafter. He was a member of the OUAA Board of Directors and a former director of the OU Foundation. In 1984 he received the OUAA Distinguished Alumni Award and in 2003 the OUAA Spirit Award. He was also an active member of the golf community at OU and a familiar face on the Katke-Cousins ​​and R&S Sharf golf courses.

Klein was also a longtime supporter of Oakland University and generously endorsed initiatives that made students successful in our community. In an interview with OU Magazine, Klein explained his decision to give something back to his alma mater.

“I really believe Oakland University is the premier higher education institution in the greater Detroit area. More than 90 percent of our students come from southeast Michigan and over 90 percent of graduates stay in the region after graduation. Our graduates have a tremendous impact on the future of the country’s economy. Because of this, I think it is up to anyone with philanthropic tendencies to donate to Oakland, ”he said.

A legacy with an impact

Klein’s generosity helps shape the future of Oakland University and the future of the countless faculty and students who will be touched by his support in the years to come.

Oakland University President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, MD, is grateful for Klein’s generosity and guidance. “Barry Klein’s gift will create a resilient, sustainable center with the unique ability to expand and advance academic understanding of our world today,” says Pescovitz. “Merging Barry’s vision with OU’s academic mission will change the way we see the world.”

Thanks are also due from Oakland University to Klein’s family, particularly Linda Walsh-Klein, who played an instrumental role in defining the vision for this gift. “The entire university community sincerely thanks Linda for her guidance and passion in making this transformative gift a reality,” says Pescovitz. “I look forward to sharing with the family all the ways your support will change the lives of our students and faculty in a positive way.”

Join Oakland University and Linda Walsh-Klein for a virtual celebration of the life and legacy of Barry M. Klein on January 18, 2021 at 2 p.m. spenderrelations@oakland.edu to register for this virtual event.


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