Gordon Gund is best known for his successful business endeavors as the Chairman and CEO of Gund Investment Corporation, the former lead director of the Kellogg Company and Corning boards, the former majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers who drafted LeBron James, and much more. But perhaps even more importantly, Gordon is recognized as a prominent philanthropist. During the 1960’s, Gordon Gund gradually began losing his vision due to retinitis pigmentosa. Just ten years later, Gordon was completely blind, however, his vision loss did not prevent him from being active and successful in all aspects of his life. In 1971, Gordon, along with his wife, Llura “Lulie” Gund, co-founded the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) to find treatments and cures for inherited retinal diseases. Today, the FFB is the world’s leading private funder of retinal disease research.
Gordon’s dedication to the blind and visually impaired community continues today through his ongoing involvement with the FFB as Chairman Emeritus along with his generous support of organizations like the Carroll Center for the Blind that provide vital services for the blind and visually impaired community. Gordon cemented his commitment to and strong advocacy for the world-renowned vision rehabilitation instruction at the Carroll Center by making a $1.5 million gift to support services provided in the main building on the Carroll Center’s campus in Newton, MA. This transformational gift is the largest outright gift in the Center’s 86-year history and
aligns with the Gund family’s ongoing support of the blindness community for the past five decades.
As someone with vision loss himself, Gordon has a profound understanding of the critical need for vision rehabilitation services like those offered at the Carroll Center. “The values and the qualities of the services provided by the Carroll Center are extraordinarily helpful to people who are dealing with blindness or visual impairment. I know my wife, Lulie, would be proud to have her name attached to this vision rehabilitation center,” said Gordon. “I also know she would join me and the rest of our family in wishing the Carroll Center continued success in their efforts to assist the thousands of visually impaired and blind people who will come through these doors to achieve independence, self-confidence and a fulfilling life.”
The services offered in the Lulie Gund Center for Vision Rehabilitation are key to producing successful outcomes for clients to live independently, whether it be obtaining or retaining employment, school advancement and college transition, community engagement, essential skill development, or emotional adjustment to vision loss. The building houses programs like braille instruction, assistive technology and device training, personal management and essential skills training, low vision services, manual and sensory arts instruction, vocational training, adjustment counseling, fencing, recreational activities, and more.
The Carroll Center for the Blind officially renamed the main building during an intimate ceremony on December 5, 2021. The Lulie Gund Center for Vision Rehabilitation will carry the namesake of Gordon’s late wife, Lulie, who was instrumental in supporting him throughout his personal journey with vision loss. “The Lulie Gund Center for Vision Rehabilitation is the heart of our campus, both programmatically and in its location,” said Greg Donnelly, Carroll Center President and CEO. “We are honored to pay tribute to Lulie’s tremendous legacy of advocating for research into blinding diseases and providing the same opportunities that she had to those who were less fortunate.