The Legacy of Roland Harriman: A Pioneer in Finance and Philanthropy

The Legacy of Roland Harriman: A Pioneer in Finance and Philanthropy

Our Roland Pine products are inspired by Roland Harriman so we thought it would be befitting to honor his legacy and share his vision.  Roland, scion of the illustrious Harriman family, left an indelible mark on both the financial world and the realm of philanthropy. Born into privilege on November 21, 1895, Roland was the son of railroad magnate E. H. Harriman and his wife Mary Williamson Averell. From an early age, Roland was immersed in the world of business and finance, and he would go on to play a significant role in shaping the course of American history through his entrepreneurial endeavors and charitable contributions.

Early Years and Education:

  1. Harriman received a comprehensive education befitting his family's stature. After attending the exclusive Groton School in Massachusetts, he went on to study at Yale University, where he excelled both academically and athletically. At Yale, Roland was a member of the prestigious Skull and Bones society, a secret organization that counted many influential figures among its members.

Career in Finance:

Following his graduation from Yale in 1917, Roland embarked on a career in finance, joining the prestigious investment firm Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., founded by his grandfather, Joseph W. Harriman. Roland quickly rose through the ranks at Brown Brothers Harriman, demonstrating keen business acumen and leadership skills. In 1931, he became a partner in the firm, solidifying his position as a prominent figure on Wall Street.

Throughout his career, Roland played a key role in shaping the direction of Brown Brothers Harriman, helping to navigate the firm through the turbulent economic landscape of the early 20th century. His strategic vision and prudent decision-making earned him the respect and admiration of his peers in the financial industry.

Philanthropic Endeavors:

In addition to his achievements in finance, Roland was also deeply committed to philanthropy and public service. Inspired by his father's legacy of philanthropy, Roland dedicated himself to supporting charitable causes that aligned with his values and principles.

One of Roland’s most notable philanthropic endeavors was his involvement in the founding of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in 1933. As one of the organization's founding members, Roland played a crucial role in providing humanitarian aid to refugees and displaced persons around the world. Over the years, the IRC has become one of the world's leading humanitarian organizations, providing assistance to millions of people affected by conflict, natural disasters, and other emergencies.

In addition to his work with the IRC, Roland was also actively involved in supporting educational and cultural institutions, including Yale University, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the American Museum of Natural History. His generous contributions helped to fund scholarships, research initiatives, and cultural programs that continue to benefit society to this day.

Legacy and Impact:

Roland’s legacy continues to resonate in both the financial and philanthropic spheres. His pioneering spirit, entrepreneurial drive, and commitment to making a positive difference in the world serve as an inspiration to future generations of leaders and philanthropists. Through his enduring legacy of generosity and compassion, Roland Harriman left an indelible mark on the world, reminding us all of the power of vision, integrity, and philanthropy in shaping a better future for generations to come.