Thanks to a $5 million gift from businessman Robert Kraft and his family, the Transitional Year Program (TYP) will be renamed in honor of Myra (Hiatt) Kraft ’64, a dedicated Brandeis trustee and supporter who died in 2011.
The Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program represents the perfect marriage of an individual and an institution, both deeply committed to providing opportunities to the disadvantaged.
“Myra was a humanitarian in both a personal sense and a community sense, and she believed that young people with motivation, determination and focus shouldn’t be held back because they lacked opportunity,” President Frederick Lawrence says. “She had a unique way of relating individually to everyone she met. She loved helping people unlock their inner potential to have an impact on the world.”
Through her work with the Robert and Myra Kraft Family Foundation and as president of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, Myra sought to improve the lives of people at Brandeis, in Boston and Israel, and around the world. She had a particular interest in helping children.
Since its founding at Brandeis 45 years ago, TYP has helped more than 1,000 young people earn a college education. The one-year academic program prepares students who have not had access to the necessary resources either at home or in school for a rigorous four-year undergraduate experience.
“Myra loved Brandeis University, and nothing would have made her more proud than to have her name associated with the Transitional Year Program,” Robert Kraft says. “It has been helping underprivileged students achieve greatness through higher education for decades. The investment in these aspiring students each year will continue to have an immeasurable impact in our communities for generations to come. The TYP personifies what Myra’s life was all about.”
The Krafts have supported a number of initiatives at Brandeis, including many scholarships and a chair in Arab politics. Consistent with their commitment to interreligious dialogue, the family also established the Myra and Robert Kraft and Jacob Hiatt Chair in Christian Studies at Brandeis and a similar chair in Judaic studies at Holy Cross, a Jesuit institution in Worcester, Mass.
Myra became a Brandeis trustee in 1986 and served as vice chair of the board for 10 years. She also served on the presidential search committee that brought Lawrence to Brandeis.
The Class of 2013 established an all-time high for Senior Class Gift participation, the third straight year the graduating class set a mark for the number of seniors contributing.
A total of 76 percent of the recent graduates made a gift, topping the 2012 record of 75 percent. Last year’s mark bettered the 2011 standard of 71 percent.
“We are thrilled that the senior class continues to support the university at these levels,” says Nancy Winship, P’10, P’13, senior vice president of institutional advancement. “It is a reflection of the way the seniors feel about President Lawrence and their satisfaction with their Brandeis experience that they are already supporting the university.”
As they did in 2011 and 2012, President Frederick Lawrence and his wife, Kathy, pledged to make a generous contribution to Brandeis if the Class of 2013 set a new participation record.
Seniors who made a gift wore blue-and-white medallions on their gowns during Commencement on May 19. Those who made a gift at the Justice Brandeis Society level ($100 or more) received special Louis Brandeis pins. Class of 2013 members who signed a five-year pledge received a gold “5” pin signifying their commitment.
Participation in the Senior Class Gift is a reliable indicator of future engagement with the university.
|Senior Class Gift Committee members, all ’13, present the gift to President Frederick Lawrence.
Front row, from left: co-chair Gabrielle Kaplan, Jesse Manning, co-chair Darrell Byrd II and Aziz
Sohail. Back row: Lien Phung, Erin Fan, Erica Rabner, Harrison Goldspiel, Ellyn Getz, Abby
Armstrong, President Lawrence, Nathan Koskella, Emmily Smith and Shayna Parker.
A record number of alumni attended Reunion 2013 — and, by all accounts, President Frederick Lawrence met nearly all of them.
He welcomed Reunion-goers to campus at Friday night’s Fire and ’Deis gala, presented the Alumni Achievement Awards and participated in a Q&A on Saturday morning, spent time at the Ralph Norman Barbecue on Saturday afternoon, stopped in at every on-campus class dinner on Saturday night, and said goodbye at the Farewell Jazz and Champagne Brunch.
Though this was just his third Reunion since becoming president in January 2011, Fred has quickly established enduring connections with our alumni. They know him to be warm, sincere and exceedingly bright. They are inspired by his vision for what Brandeis can become, and have acted on his appeal to them to assume a more prominent role as university stewards.
Fred is just as popular with another segment of the Brandeis family — our students. He stops to talk with them on his journeys around campus, and invites them to have dinner with him and his wife, Kathy, at their home near campus.
My younger son, Michael ’13, tells me that students truly value their Brandeis experiences, including their special kinship with Fred. There is no greater measure of this than the Senior Class Gift; just as we did during Fred’s first two years, we again set a participation record (76 percent) this spring.
In coming years, the university will need the support of the entire Brandeis family — alumni, friends, parents and members of the Brandeis National Committee — to ensure our future is as bright as our past.
Thank you for all you do for Brandeis.
Nancy Winship, P’10, P’13
Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement
The Brandeis family gathered for the annual Commencement Dinner, which featured the six honorary-degree recipients.
|President Frederick Lawrence (standing) with Lizbeth Krupp; honorary-degree recipient Ellsworth Kelly; Lisbeth Tarlow; and Christopher Bedford, Henry and Lois Foster Director of the Rose Art Museum.|
|Trustees Louis Perlmutter ’56 and Bart Winokur.|
|Trustees Allen Alter ’71; Leslie Meltzer Aronzon ’84; and Adam Rifkin ’97, president of the Alumni Association.|
|Mal Sherman, outgoing chair of the Board of Trustees, and Trustee George Krupp.|
|Robin Traquina; Terese and Trustee Paul Zlotoff ’72; Trustee Lisa Kranc ’72; and Perry Traquina ’78, chair of the Board of Trustees.|
A group of Brandeis alumni and friends visited campus for a two-day look at the inner workings of the university. In addition to spending time with President Frederick Lawrence, the group participated in information sessions with senior administrators.
|Michael Baumrin ’75, Marty Kupferberg ’81, Michael Zeuner ’86 and Eric Furfine ’88.|
|Mitch Baruchowitz and Michael Gerstein, both ’96.|
|Boris Moyston ’00; Fellow Detlev Suderow ’70, P’05; and Doug Monasebian ’84.|
Joyce Krasnow, P’83, has found another way to serve Brandeis.
A generous supporter of the university, one-time national president of the Brandeis National Committee and trustee from 2004-06, Joyce was recently elected to a three-year term as chair of the Board of Fellows. By virtue of her office, she has also returned to the Board of Trustees.
Joyce, a fellow since 2006, takes over as fellows chair from Trustee Paul Zlotoff ’72. He helped reinvigorate the 225-member Board of Fellows by adding programming and creating a Fellows Council of leaders.
“I will continue the momentum that Paul created,” says Joyce, who divides her time between Los Angeles and Vail, Colo. “I will convey to the fellows how much we appreciate their contributions to the university in the past, and moving forward will provide them with meaningful opportunities to engage with Brandeis today.”
A total of 17 alumni and friends, including four alumni couples, were recently elected to the honorary organization: Len Asper ’86; Harvey Baumann ’64 and Phyllis (Tropper) Baumann ’67; Sherwood Gorbach ’55 and Judith (Lack) Gorbach ’58; Glenn Langberg and Susan Lewtan Langberg, both ’82; Kent Lawrence ’66; Linda (Rothman) Levine ’62; Walter Mossberg and Edith (Marcus) Mossberg, both ’69; Barry Newman ’52; Leslie Pearlstein, P’94; Phyllis (Nichamoff) Segal ’64; James and Rosalie (Ripaldi) Shane ’66; and Judith Shapiro ’63.
During the traditional hooding ceremony at the annual Fellows Breakfast on Commencement morning, new fellows Glenn Langberg ’82, Susan Lewtan Langberg ’82 and Robin Brooks ’57 received their hoods from Nancy Winship, P’10, P’13, senior vice president of institutional advancement, and President Frederick Lawrence.
|Glenn Langberg and Susan Lewtan Langberg, both ’82, with Nancy Winship and President Lawrence.|
|Robin Brooks ’57 with Nancy Winship and President Lawrence.|
Just as donors to Brandeis helped him receive a first-rate college education, Perry Traquina ’78 is providing talented students the opportunity to attend the university.
Perry, the new chair of the university’s Board of Trustees, and his wife, Robin, in 2006 created two endowed scholarship funds that have enabled a dozen students — some of them the first in their families to attend college — to earn a Brandeis degree.
“When we were thinking about giving back, it felt comfortable to us to create a scholarship targeting prospective students who were closer aligned to where I was once upon a time,” he explains.
Perry grew up in Chicopee, Mass., the middle child of Catholic Portuguese immigrants. His father spent more than three decades in a factory, making tires by hand for the United States Rubber Co. His mother worked a string of blue-collar jobs, including making gauze for Johnson & Johnson and tennis balls for Spalding.
Though his father completed only third grade and his mother never went beyond first, they stressed to Perry and his two siblings that education was the ticket to a better life. “My father always said, ‘Do well in school and you won’t be making tires for a living,’” Perry says.
Perry received a generous financial aid package to attend Brandeis, where he majored in American studies and economics. He graduated summa cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
After graduating from Harvard Business School, Perry joined Wellington Management. He has spent his entire professional career with the firm, serving as CEO for the last decade.