|The Class of 1952 became the first class to win an Alumni Achievement Award.|
The entire Class of 1952 and the man known as the “father of green chemistry” received 2012 Brandeis Alumni Achievement Awards during Reunion weekend on June 8-10.
President Fred Lawrence presented the awards to “the pioneers,” the university’s first graduating class, and to Paul Anastas, M.A.’87, Ph.D.’90, during an on-campus ceremony.
Given annually since 1988, the Alumni Achievement Award recognizes alumni who have made distinguished contributions to their profession or chosen field of endeavor. It represents the highest form of university recognition bestowed exclusively on alumni.
The Class of ’52 is, fittingly, the first Brandeis graduating class to receive the Alumni Achievement Award. Members of the class not only went on to prominence in their professional lives, but played important roles in leading and supporting the university they helped bring to life in 1948.
Class members enjoyed successful careers in the arts, business, education, law, medicine, science and many other fields. Class of ’52 alumni also served on the Brandeis Board of Trustees and took an active role in the Alumni Association, while generously supporting scholarships, fellowships, capital projects and the Alumni Annual Fund.
Anastas, whose master’s and doctorate are in chemistry, is regarded as the founder of the green chemistry movement for his work in advancing the design and manufacture of environmentally friendly chemicals.
He recently returned to Yale as the Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professor in the Practice of Chemistry for the Environment after taking a leave of absence to serve as head of research at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). At the EPA, he played a critical role in decision making regarding the cleanup of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and in realigning the EPA’s research enterprise around the concept of sustainability.
From 2004-06, Anastas served as director of the Green Chemistry Institute, in Washington, D.C. He was previously the assistant director for the environment at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he worked from 1999-2004. During an earlier stint at the EPA, he is credited with establishing the field of green chemistry as the chief of the Industrial Chemistry Branch and the director of the U.S. Green Chemistry Program.
The Alumni Association Board of Directors elected five new members-at-large at the group’s spring meeting at Brandeis House in New York.
“We look forward to working closely with this group of engaged, committed Brandeis alumni to help the association continue to serve Brandeis’ 40,000 undergraduate and graduate alumni,” says Alumni Association President Adam Rifkin ’97, a Brandeis trustee.
Ron Glover ’73
Ron serves as vice president of diversity and workforce policy at IBM. A 1970 graduate of the Transitional Year Program, he earned a B.A. in political science and was the first African-American to lead the Student Union. Ron graduated from Suffolk University Law School in 1978. He and his wife, Gail (Corbin) Glover ’73, have been generous supporters of Brandeis, and Ron served on his 25th Reunion committee. The couple live in Framingham, Mass.
Reflection: “At Brandeis, we were made to feel equal and empowered to chart our destiny.”
Jessica Nell Hansen, M.F.A.’05
Jessica is artistic director and co-founder of Lean & Hungry Theater, a professional theater company in Washington, D.C., that performs one-hour audio adaptations of Shakespeare plays and other classics for educational curriculum support. She earned her M.F.A. in acting and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild. She recently organized two events for the Alumni Club of Washington, in which she is an active member. Jessica lives in Washington with her daughter.
Fondest memory: “Singing improv with Bobby McFerrin. I felt so fortunate. Only at Brandeis could you get that kind of opportunity.”
Laura Neiman ’97
Laura is president of Neiman Brothers, a 95-year-old family business that manufactures, produces and distributes a full line of ingredients and bakery goods. Neiman Brothers was named Loyola University’s 2010 Illinois Family Business of the Year. Laura joined the firm after earning her B.A. in economics. In 2011, she was inducted into the University of Illinois at Chicago Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. Laura is active in the Alumni Club of Chicago and volunteers for the Alumni Admissions Council.
Reflection: “It is both a privilege and a pleasure to give back to the university that gave me so much.”
Steve Tradd ’74
Steve serves as senior vice president at Fisher Investments’ private client group. A 1970 graduate of the Transitional Year Program (TYP), he also participated in Brandeis’ pioneering Upward Bound program for promising high-school students. He earned his B.A. in urban studies and sociology. A Boston native, Steve and his wife, Elaine, have four children. They live in Longwood, Fla., and own a summer home in Bellingham, Mass.
Reflection: “If not for the Upward Bound and TYP programs, I would never have attended Brandeis. I am joining the Alumni Association Board of Directors so I can help continue these and other good works.”
Beth Fleischman Zweibel ’88
Beth serves as a director of the Henry Nias Foundation in Mamaroneck, N.Y. She established and supports a Nias Foundation scholarship that is awarded annually to a Brandeis student. After receiving her B.A. in psychology from Brandeis, she earned an M.A. in counseling psychology from Tufts University. She has served as class correspondent since 2008 and is active with the Alumni Admissions Council. Beth has helped organize her Reunions and hosted New Student Send-Offs. A resident of Avon, Conn., she has two children.
Fondest memory: “Watching ‘Back to the Future’ in Ford Hall. I think about that every time I watch the movie with my kids.”
Six decades of alumni gathered for Reunion 2012 to see old friends, reminisce about the glory days, meet today’s students and explore the ever-changing campus.
More than 1,000 alumni and their families enjoyed generally fine weather for the five-year reunions of the Classes of ’52, ’57, ’62, ’67, ’72, ’77, ’82, ’87, ’92, ’97, ’02 and ’07.
Reunion 2012 featured a couple of significant firsts:
- Some two dozen members of the Class of ’52 returned to campus to celebrate the university’s first 60th Reunion. These “pioneers” received the Alumni Achievement Award for their special contributions to Brandeis.
- More than 50 people took part in the first Alumni of Color Reunion, which was organized by Denise Dabney ’72 with help from Marsha Jackson ’74 and Evelyn
White Tate ’77. During the “Reunion within a Reunion,” alumni of color from the 1950s to the 2010s attended a reception, panel discussion and dinner as they reflected on their special place in Brandeis history.
Other highlights included Alumni College, the Fire and ’Deis Welcome Back Party, a Q&A with President Fred Lawrence, the Ralph Norman Barbecue, the Ice Cream Social, campus tours, class dinners and a jazz brunch.
The 12 Reunion classes raised more than $2.3 million in support of the university.
To see additional photos from Reunion, visit the Alumni Association Website.