The Business Reference Section at the Summit Free Public Library is named after a power couple, Ruth C. and A. Michael Lipper.
After graduating from Columbia College in 1957, Mr. Lipper spent three years on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Communications Officer and Combat Cargo Officer. While his tour of duty finished in 1960, his commitment has not – years later he became a founding Member of the National Museum of the Marine Corps. He founded the fund and brokerage analysis firm Lipper Analytical Services in 1973. Many of the large investment organizations worldwide have consulted with him on various investment issues. A. Michael Lipper’s name has become synonymous with mutual fund data, especially performance information.
Mr. Lipper has shared his unique perspectives on money management in his book “Money Wise: How to Create, Grow and Preserve Your Wealth” published by St. Martin’s Press in 2008. He has been a regular source of opinion articles on world’s markets and their implications in many professional publications. He also writes a weekly blog Monday Morning Musings on investment ideas.
Ruth Lipper married A. Michael Lipper in 1986 and is a graduate of St. Mary Academy in Monroe, Michigan. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Detroit and Master of Business Administration from Wayne State University. She was Executive Vice President/Treasurer of Lipper Analytical Services, Inc. and continues to serve as Chair of the Lipper Family Charitable Foundation. She also served as a Director of TTEC Holdings, Inc. a NASDAQ-traded company headquartered in Colorado.
Both Ruth and Michael Lipper are accomplished business professionals who value hard work and dedication. Their way to success was not easy. In one of his interviews, Mr. Lipper remarked wryly that his four kids “think the dining room table is for dining.” But for him, a self-proclaimed man without a hobby, who worked “12-hour workdays followed by evenings at home with more of the same, dining room tables were places to pile your printouts and paperwork.”
Both workaholics, Ruth and Michael Lipper have worked tirelessly to promote and support arts, education and innovation. He has served as a Trustee on the boards of such prominent institutions as Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Stevens Institute of Technology, as well as the California Institute of Technology. In 2011 Ruth was appointed to the New Jersey State Council for the Arts. She is also active on several New Jersey not for profit boards including the New Jersey Symphony, St. Vincent Academy Advisory Board, the Branch Brook Park Alliance Advisory Board, former President and Emerita Trustee of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center Women@njpac and former Trustee of Drumthwacket Foundation in Princeton (NJ).
The A. Michael and Ruth C. Lipper Discovery Fund at Caltech is aimed at advancing research in neuroeconomics combining experimental economics with imaging of brain activity to study neural processes associated with economic decision making. The couple’s A. Michael and Ruth C. Lipper Graduate Fellowship Fund supports California Institute of Technology graduate students in neuroeconomics. Ruth Lipper says, “We look forward to being both surprised and delighted by all that they will accomplish.”
Ruth and Mike are founding members of Fordham University’s Catholic American Studies Program. At the celebration on June 2, 2022 at Fordham Curran Center for American Catholic Studies that was founded 17 years ago, Theology Professor Michael Lee, Ph.D., the center’s current director, pointedly thanked the center’s original benefactors Ruth and Michael Lipper for establishing the first five-year fund that made the center a reality.
The Lipper family is actively supporting local New Jersey charitable causes. The Lipper family has been and still is a sustaining sponsor of Our House, New Jersey’s leading community featuring innovative programs for adults with disabilities. They are staunch supporters of the Overlook Medical Center. Ruth Lipper is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Summit. They are both members of the Washington Cabinet at George Washington’s Mount Vernon.
In 2011, Ruth Lipper received the Garden State Woman of the Year “Gets It” award, recognizing her commitment – through her work with NJSO, The Newark Museum and NJPAC’s Women’s Association – “to raising awareness about the significant role of women and girls in our culture.”
During the late 1990s Ruth was on the Board of the Summit Library Trustees, fulfilling different roles, Community Relations Representative, Treasurer, and then as President. These were the years when the library was planning and then undergoing renovation and expansion, and Ruth was an ardent champion of the library during these trying times. Ruth and Michael Lipper gave a generous financial gift to the library to facilitate the renovation effort, and fittingly the Business Reference has been dedicated to Ruth C. and A. Michael Lipper.
Many thanks to Adult Services librarian Irene Vershinin for researching the contributions of the Ruth C. and A. Michael Lipper to the Summit Free Public Library and the Summit community. We would also like to thank Ruth Lipper for editing and contributing to this article.