Shapiros commit $14 million for planned admissions center

Deep-rooted commitment cited

Family’s total giving to university exceeds $80 million

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Once again, Carl and Ruth Shapiro have stepped forth to help Brandeis University, an institution they have generously supported for more than a half-century.

 The Shapiros recently made a $14 million gift to Brandeis to build a new admissions center that will bear their name, 15 years after they funded construction of the original Carl and Ruth Shapiro Admissions Center. The facility has served Brandeis so well that a larger building is necessary to accommodate surging interest from high school students who wish to apply to the University.

The gift was announced to the Brandeis community at the annual Palm Beach Dinner for major donors on January 19 at the Palm Beach Country Club. The dinner was co-chaired by Ellen Shapiro Jaffe, one of the Shapiros’ three daughters, and her husband, Bob.

“It is impossible to overstate the importance of the Shapiro family’s dedication to Brandeis University,” said Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz. “For more than a half-century, Brandeis students and faculty have been the beneficiaries of their enduring commitment to this University.”

The 20,700-square-foot facility will feature a state-of-the-art presentation room that will seat up to 100 people and serve as a welcome center for high school students and their families visiting campus. Construction will begin in the spring and be completed in the summer of 2009.

Beginning with a gift of $10 in 1950, the Shapiros’ unprecedented generosity has supported a variety of initiatives to help the University fulfill the dreams of its founders. The family has made gifts totaling more than $80 million to Brandeis.

In addition to the Admissions Center, the Shapiros have also established the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Center for Library Technology and Journals (1976), the Carl J. Shapiro Chair in International Finance (1986), the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Campus Center (2000), the Rhonda S. and Michael J. Zinner Forum (2004), and the Carl J. Shapiro Science Center (2006).

The Shapiros have been part of the Brandeis family since its founding in 1948. Carl joined the University’s Board of Trustees in 1979 and currently serves as a trustee emeritus. Ruth is a university fellow.

Carl received an honorary degree from Brandeis in 2003, when he was cited for his “unshakable commitment to making the world a better place.” The honorary degree recognized his dedication to the arts, education, health care, and social service.

The Shapiros’ three daughters – Ronny Zinner, Ellen Jaffe, and Linda Waintrup – are active members of the Brandeis community. Ronny serves on the Board of Trustees and is vice chair of the Board of Overseers of The Heller School for Social Policy and Management.

About Brandeis University

Characterized by academic excellence since its founding in 1948, Brandeis ( is one of the country’s youngest private research universities and the only nonsectarian Jewish-sponsored college or university in the nation. Named for late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Brandeis combines the faculty and resources of a world-class research institution with the intimacy and personal attention of a small liberal arts college.

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