It might be time for another lifetime achievement award for longtime Brandeis National Committee leader Shirley Pollock, G’07.
At 94 years young, she’s still one of the principals in the Los Angeles chapter, helping to coordinate a number of initiatives, including the chapter’s steering committee, the book and current-events groups, and the Dining Around Town and Sunday on the Town programs.
“My friends are all Brandeis people, and I enjoy being with them,” Pollock says of her continued involvement with the BNC. “I still have great love for the university and for what it represents.”
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pollock joined the BNC when she and her family — husband Martin, who died in 2008, and daughters Barbara, Nancy and Terri Ann — moved to Los Angeles in 1977.
Pollock soon moved into chapter leadership roles, serving as vice president of membership (1981-85) and president (1985-87). She went on to join the BNC national executive committee, heading the Brandeis Abroad travel program; serving as president of the 14-chapter Western Region (1989-91); and leading the Book Fund, Library Work Scholar and Life Membership efforts.
“Brandeis has enriched my life,” Pollock says. “I loved all the people I worked with and always enjoyed my visits to campus.”
In 1993, Pollock was the first recipient of the LA chapter’s Eris Field Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognized her dedication to Brandeis. She received a BNC National Presidential Citation in 2013 and was elected to the university’s Board of Fellows this year. She is a member of the Sachar Legacy Society for including Brandeis in her estate plans.
“Shirley’s dedication to Brandeis and the BNC is remarkable,” says Beth Bernstein, MA’90, BNC executive director. “She is an inspiration to our members around the country.”
Pollock fondly recalls helping with the LA chapter’s Author and Celebrity event, which went on to include such luminaries as Frank Gehry and Sidney Poitier; traveling with fellow BNC members to Europe and Mexico through Brandeis Abroad; and introducing the University on Wheels study program.
“Brandeis is still the most important university for us to support,” she says. “It’s the only Jewish-founded and Jewish-supported university in the world outside Israel.”
On Nov. 3, 2016, I had the honor of representing the Brandeis National Committee at the Inauguration of the ninth president of Brandeis, Ron Liebowitz. This was one of the most exciting and exhilarating days I can recall.
After spending time on the Brandeis campus for the Inauguration and to attend Board of Trustees meetings, I came away feeling more optimistic about the university’s direction than ever before.
In his inspiring Inaugural address, Ron emphasized Brandeis’ Jewish roots and openness to all, as well as the university’s commitment to academic excellence in the liberal arts and world-class knowledge creation by our outstanding faculty.
Ron also understands the special role that the Brandeis National Committee has played in building and sustaining the university. His Aunt Estelle has been a proud member of our Concordia chapter in New Jersey for many years.
As national president of the BNC, I am also your representative on the Brandeis Board of Trustees. I am very enthusiastic about the new leadership at the university and Ron’s vision for the future.
I hope you enjoy reading Imprint and learning more about the important work we do on behalf of the university.
With warm regards and many thanks for all you do for BNC.
Thanks to gifts both large and small from donors around the country, the BNC Scholarship Campaign is more than two-thirds of the way to reaching its $1 million fundraising goal.
As of Nov. 15, 2016, Brandeis National Committee donors had made gifts totaling nearly $694,000 to the two-year scholarship campaign, which concludes on June 30, 2017.
“Whether it’s supporting students, the Brandeis libraries or research into neurodegenerative diseases, the BNC is a true philanthropic partner with the university,” says Madalyn Friedberg, BNC national president. “I am proud that we are continuing to champion the university’s highest priorities.”
The availability of scholarships helps ensure that Brandeis can continue to uphold its commitment to equal access to higher education for the most promising students, regardless of their ability to pay.
About two-thirds of the Brandeis student body receive financial aid, and Brandeis awards more than $90 million in scholarship aid to undergraduate and graduate students each year.
Although older, wealthier schools pay for financial aid through proceeds from their endowment, three-quarters of Brandeis’ annual scholarship support is funded through the university’s operating budget.
Jacob Abrams is the student representative to the BNC National Executive Committee and director of the Student Ambassador program. He is the recipient of the Joyce Krasnow Endowed Scholarship, which the former BNC national president and current Brandeis trustee established.
Before Brandeis: I was born and raised in Boca Raton, Florida. When I was in high school, I had the opportunity to travel with school groups to many different parts of the world, including Egypt, Greece and Italy. Although I already knew I wanted to become a physician, these trips inspired my love of history and archaeology.
At Brandeis: I am majoring in biology and classical studies, with a minor in Italian studies. I serve as the undergraduate representative for the classical studies department and the undergraduate adviser to the Classical Artifacts Research Collection internship. I am also senior student representative to the Brandeis Alumni Association board of directors.
Why Brandeis was right for me: Coming to Brandeis has allowed me to pursue my academic passions outside of science. While I am totally committed to becoming a physician and I have a deep love for medicine and biology, I also have a passion for history and archaeology. Brandeis is a place where I can be both a classicist and a pre-med student.
After Brandeis: I plan to take a gap year and return home to help my family care for my grandfather, who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. While home, I hope to gain clinical experience as a phlebotomist before going to medical school in fall 2018.