Longtime benefactor Edward Fein has committed $5 million to support scholarships, one of the largest gifts in the university’s history dedicated to ensuring that Brandeis maintains its core mission to educate the best students without regard to financial need.
Fein’s gift will support scholarships that target students who hail from California, Arizona and Nevada, providing a significant boost to Brandeis’ efforts to attract high-achieving students from the West.
“We thank Ed Fein for this generous gift, which permits Brandeis to support our students through scholarship aid, and to continue to expand our recruitment efforts in the West,” President Frederick Lawrence says. “This scholarship program will help us further raise the profile of Brandeis in the western United States.”
The gift grew out of a meeting between Lawrence and Fein, a retired Wall Street analyst and stockbroker, whose decades-long philanthropic focus has been innovative educational programs, and Jewish continuity and engagement. As Fein spoke of his affection for Brandeis and his desire to provide more young people from the West with the opportunity to attend the institution, Lawrence relayed his interest in recruiting more students from the region and in strengthening the university’s financial aid funding.
And so was born the Edward Fein Scholarship Program, a fortuitous melding of a donor’s vision and an institution’s mission.
Fein, a Brooklyn native who owns homes in Arizona and Nevada, has generously supported Brandeis for more than a decade.
President Frederick Lawrence has announced the launch of the Catalyst Fund, a $100 million scholarship fundraising initiative that will ensure a Brandeis education will be accessible and affordable to future generations of students.
Successful completion of the campaign will allow Brandeis to continue to provide talented students a world-class education at a reasonable cost, maintain its historic commitment to admitting the most qualified candidates without regard to financial need, and host a heterogeneous student population.
“The Catalyst Fund is a bold statement of our belief that a Brandeis education — open to all — truly changes the arc of young people’s lives,” Lawrence says. “As our alumni demonstrate, these individuals go on to change the world for the better in ways both large and small. Accessibility and affordability have been a core commitment of Brandeis since its founding.”
Thanks to lead gifts from alumni trustees of $7.5 million and $5 million, and two $5 million gifts from friends of the university, the Catalyst Fund is already more than one-third of the way toward meeting its target.
During the 2013-14 academic year, Brandeis awarded $59 million in grants and scholarships to undergraduates. Nearly two out of every three students at the university receive financial aid.
|President Frederick Lawrence receives a check from members of the Senior Class Gift Committee: co-chairs Avi Fuld, Shira Almeleh, David Clements and Andre Tran, along with Bethlehem Solomon, Emily Eng and Shani Abramowitz, all ’14. More than 63 percent of the seniors contributed to the gift.|
For me, Commencement is always a highlight of the Brandeis academic year.
I concentrate my attention on the faces: the beaming students, filled with a sense of accomplishment and excited about the future; the proud parents, nostalgic as their son or daughter achieves another important milestone; and the fulfilled professors and administrators, gratified at having played an important role in the development of so many young people.
Over the years, I have participated in 20 Brandeis Commencements, including two as a parent (cheering for my sons, David ’10 and Michael ’13), and I always leave the ceremony feeling a renewed enthusiasm for my responsibilities here at the university.
At Commencement, I’m reminded that I represent the thousands of generous Brandeis donors who support our students and faculty. After all, these alumni and friends provide the funding that allows Brandeis to continue to educate the most promising students without regard to need, attract and retain top faculty, and offer dynamic extracurricular programming. When I stand and applaud the new graduates at the ceremony’s conclusion, I am also celebrating the donors who make it all possible.
These donors are inspired to give to this great institution because of Brandeis’ commitment to academic excellence, the quest for knowledge and the pursuit of social justice, all informed by Jewish values.
Our alumni, parents, trustees, fellows, friends and members of the Brandeis National Committee share President Frederick Lawrence’s vision for the future, which builds upon our already considerable strengths and plots a bright future for the institution.
Thank you for all you do for Brandeis.
Nancy Winship, P’10, P’13
Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement
Rhonda (Shapiro) Zinner, a longtime Brandeis trustee whose family’s generosity helped transform the university, and who enhanced her own individual impact with a personal philanthropy that brought her close to many students, died on March 18 in Boston.
The eldest daughter of Carl and the late Ruth Shapiro, “Ronny” first joined the Board of Trustees in 1992 and later served as secretary (1998-99) and treasurer (2008-11). She was vice chair of the Board of Overseers at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, where she focused much of her attention.
“The Shapiro family collectively and Ronny Zinner individually have had an immeasurable impact on this university,” President Frederick Lawrence says. “Ronny’s involvement with Heller reflected her values and goal of improving people’s lives through positive social change. She was a remarkable woman — kind, wise and generous in every way. She will be greatly missed.”
Curtis Tearte ’73 and Steven Bunson ’82 were elected to the Brandeis Board of Trustees, continuing a trend of increased alumni involvement on the university’s governing board.
Tearte is founder and CEO of Tearte Associates, which specializes in investment management and business consulting. He recently retired from IBM, where he served as managing director for the state of Georgia and as a member of the company’s worldwide management committee.
An African and Afro-American studies major, Tearte joined the Alumni Association Board of Directors last year and helped organize his 40th Reunion in 2013. He also hosted a send-off event for the Posse Scholars at his home in Atlanta last year. He made a lead gift to help establish the Joseph D. Warren, MSW’72, PhD’83, Endowed Scholarship to honor the longtime director of Brandeis’ Upward Bound program.
He chairs the Tearte Family Foundation, which provides professional development and financial support to high-potential students, and the Jackie Robinson Foundation’s Southeast Scholar Advisory Committee. Tearte is a board member of the Atlanta Tipoff Club and the University of Connecticut Law School Foundation, at his law-school alma mater. He and his wife, Jylla, have two daughters, Cherice and Anjylla.
Bunson is a participating managing director in the finance division at Goldman Sachs, where he has worked since 1986. He became managing director in 1997 and was named participating managing director nine years later.
An economics major, Bunson has served as a member of the Board of Overseers at the Brandeis International Business School (IBS) since 2003. He also co-chaired his 30th Reunion Committee, organized a Goldman Sachs career day for Brandeis students last year and hosted a reception at his home for President Frederick Lawrence in 2012. At Brandeis IBS, he established the Bunson Finance and Society Initiative, and supports student scholarships and fellowships.
He is a trustee of the Bunson Family Foundation, serves as a vice president of the National Corporate Theatre Fund and is a member of the Dean’s Leadership Committee at his business-school alma mater, the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell. He and his wife, Joy, have a son, Daniel.
Currently, 26 of the 41 members of the Brandeis Board of Trustees are alumni, including Perry Traquina ’78, chair; Jonathan Davis ’75, vice chair; and Stephen Reiner ’61, secretary. Five of the alumni are also parents of Brandeis graduates. Five additional trustees who are not alumni have children who graduated from Brandeis.
Nancy Winship, P’10, P’13, senior vice president of institutional advancement, won the prestigious Quarter Century Circle Award for distinguished professional achievement from District I of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
She received the award at a ceremony during CASE’s annual district conference in Boston. District I encompasses the six New England states plus eastern Canada.
In 20 years as Brandeis’ chief fundraiser, Winship has been a major change agent, energizing donors, reconnecting disengaged alumni and implementing sophisticated giving programs. She has been an integral part of a fundraising effort that has secured more than $1.4 billion for Brandeis since her arrival in 1994.
“Nancy Winship is one of those extraordinary advancement professionals who lives and breathes her profession 24 hours a day,” says John J. Glier, chief executive of GG+A, a leading international philanthropic consultancy.
During Winship’s tenure at Brandeis, annual fundraising has quadrupled, the endowment has grown to $820 million, and gifts from alumni have grown sixfold.
Before coming to Brandeis, she served as vice president for endowment and development at Combined Jewish Philanthropies in Boston, and as director of metropolitan relations and associate director for planned and major gifts at Northwestern University.
Seven alumni and friends have been elected to the Board of Fellows, an honorary society that recognizes members of the Brandeis family who have made significant contributions of their time or resources to the university.
The new fellows are Reuben Auspitz ’69; Tony Chang, PhD’83; Ellis Landau ’65, P’91; Elizabeth (Sarason) Pfau ’74 and Daniel Pfau ’73; Seung-il Shin ’64, PhD’68; and Mary Ann Snider.
“I proudly welcome these seven extraordinary people to the Board of Fellows,” says Trustee Joyce Krasnow, P’83, chair of the Board of Fellows. “They have contributed greatly to bringing Brandeis University to the stature it enjoys today.”