BOLD Program to Appeal to Young Alumni

Brandeis has launched BOLD: Brandeisians of the Last Decade, a new universitywide initiative designed to further engage young alumni.

BOLD will feature new programming, special volunteer opportunities, briefings with President Fred Lawrence, and enhanced use of social media to improve communications with this important segment of the Brandeis family. Details will be announced this fall.

“Young alumni are truly the future of Brandeis,” says Nancy Winship, P’10, P’12, senior vice president of institutional advancement. “We hope to work more closely with our young alumni to ensure that Brandeis’ future is as bright as its past.”

Because many of Brandeis’ earliest graduating classes were much smaller than those of today, alumni who have graduated within the last decade represent almost one-fourth of the university’s overall alumni population.

BOLD will work to keep young alumni informed about the variety of opportunities available to stay connected to Brandeis, including volunteering with the Alumni Admissions Council or the Hiatt Career Center, or serving as a class agent or class correspondent.

One of the important objectives of BOLD is to educate students about the need for them to become active members of the alumni community after graduation.

“We want to ensure that the passion students feel for Brandeis during their undergraduate years continues after graduation,” Winship says.

A Senior Moment

The members of the Brandeis Class of 2011 are clearly proud “senior” citizens.

Thanks to an assist from President Fred Lawrence, an all-time high of 71 percent of the university’s most recent graduating class contributed to the senior class gift. The Class of 2008 had the old record of 68 percent.

“This is exciting news,” says Nancy Winship, P’10, P’12, senior vice president of institutional advancement. “It’s gratifying to see that so many members of the Class of 2011 feel so strongly about their Brandeis education that they would support the university in this way.”

As of June 7, the senior class had raised a total of $11,748. Lawrence and his wife, Kathy, boosted the fundraising efforts when they announced during the spring that they would match all senior class gifts — dollar for dollar.

“Whether they had a lot of money to spare or not, seniors understood that simply participating in the senior class gift meant the most,” wrote Jennifer Shapiro ’11 and Aaron Louison ’11, co-chairs of the 2011 Senior Class Gift Committee. “This has been a special year for Brandeis, and we hope our gift represents a ‘thank you’ to everyone who has made the past four years so amazing.”

Nancy Winship, P’10, P’12
Nancy Winship, P’10, P’12

Smaller Gifts Make a Big Difference

“How will my gift make a difference?” I hear that question frequently from alumni and friends, both young and old, who are unsure whether their gift of $50 or $100 or $500 will have an impact at Brandeis. My answer: “Every gift makes a difference in the lives of our students.”

A successful fundraising enterprise like the one we have built at Brandeis relies not only on large gifts from the wealthiest donors, but on more modest contributions from donors supporting the university as generously as they are able. Many outside observers — from foundations considering Brandeis as a recipient of their philanthropic dollars to ranking organizations such as U.S. News & World Report — consider the number of gifts we receive rather than the size of those gifts in gauging the university’s health.

While we rank among the top 10 percent of national universities in this so-called “participation” metric — the percentage of our alumni who make a gift to Brandeis in a given year — we think we can do even better. That is one of the reasons we have launched our BOLD: Brandeisians of the Last Decade initiative, a universitywide effort to further engage young alumni and educate them about the importance of supporting their alma mater.

One of the components of BOLD is the Senior Class Gift program, which this year secured gifts from an all-time high of 71 percent of the graduating seniors. Clearly, the members of the Class of 2011 feel very good about their Brandeis experiences — a great sign for the future. Thank you for making a difference for Brandeis.

Brad Akers ’95, Michael Gerstein ’96
Brad Akers ’95, Michael Gerstein ’96

Former Soccer Teammates Giving Back

Just as they did on the soccer field in the 1990s, former Brandeis athletes Michael Gerstein ’96 and Brad Akers ’95 have teamed up again — this time to lead a successful alumni fundraising drive to erect bleachers at Gordon Field.

Beginning this fall, the Brandeis soccer teams will have a true home-field advantage as the new bleachers will continue a makeover that began in 2005 with the installation of an artificial turf field and lights for night action. The bleachers will allow Brandeis to continue to host NCAA competitions, as the women’s team did in 2010.

“Adding new bleachers will enhance the experience for both the fans and the athletes,” said Gerstein, who served as team co-captain with Akers during their senior season and credits Coach Mike Coven for providing them a fulfilling athletic experience. “We feel fortunate to be able to give back to a program that gave us so much,” added Akers.

Gerstein, a forward, and Akers, a midfielder, were key members of the 1994 Brandeis team that captured the ECAC New England Division 3 Tournament title. They met during preseason soccer camp in 1992.

“After the first practice, I offered him a ride up to his dorm — and we have been best friends ever since,” said Akers, the founder and president of Tip-Top Branding in Chicago. “With different styles and personalities, it’s not obvious that we are best friends. However, the values and standards that we live by would make you think we were twin brothers.”

Gerstein, the product of a difficult childhood, credits Akers with providing him the necessary support to remain at Brandeis for four years.

“Brad is the best friend a guy could ask for,” said Gerstein, the president of Flagship Merchant Services in Charlestown, Mass.

Thomas Buergenthal
Thomas Buergenthal

Commencement Weekend

The annual Commencement Dinner brought together Brandeis alumni and friends from around the country to recognize the honorary degree recipients and honor the 50th Reunion class.

Brandeis Mourns Death of Supporter Jack Mandel

Brandeis is mourning the death of Jack Mandel, a major industrialist, philanthropist and supporter of Brandeis, who died May 12 at his home in Cleveland, Ohio. He was 99.

Along with his brothers, Joseph and Morton, P’73, and Morton's wife, Trustee Barbara, P'73, he established the Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education and the Mandel Center for the Humanities at Brandeis.

“Jack Mandel was a generous, selfless individual who has meant so much to Brandeis over the years,” Brandeis President Fred Lawrence says. “He invested in people with the values, ability and passion to change the world.”

A native of Poland who grew up in the Cleveland area, Jack pooled $900 with his brothers to purchase their uncle’s small automotive store in 1940. They turned it into a leading industrial company.

In 1953, the Mandel brothers created a charitable foundation that today focuses on the management of nonprofit organizations; Jewish education and continuity; and leadership, higher education and urban neighborhood renewal.

Wien Scholar Makes Gift to Honor Program Founder

To recognize the important role the Wien International Scholarship Program played in his life, former Wien Scholar Seung-il Shin ’64, Ph.D.’68, of South Korea, made a gift of $1.5 million to support student scholarships.

“I always thought I owed a big debt to (founder) Lawrence Wien, and this is my way of paying it back,” says Shin, a retired scientist whose many accomplishments included establishing the United Nations’ International Vaccine Institute. “As a tribute to Mr. Wien, I wanted to focus on global and international outreach. I believe these Brandeis students can make the world a more reasonable place to live in the future.”

The Susan Sandler Shin ’64 and Seung-il Shin ’64 Scholarship Endowment will support undergraduates pursuing international and global studies at Brandeis. Shin is the 38th Brandeis graduate — and first alumnus of the scholarship program Wien established in 1958 — to make a gift of at least $1 million to the university.

While he majored in chemistry and went on to earn a Ph.D. in biochemistry under the mentorship of cell biology pioneer Gordon Sato, some of Shin’s most memorable classes were in disciplines outside of science. In a European intellectual history class with Frank Manuel, he met Susan, his wife of 44 years, who died in 2009. The scholarship will serve as a lasting tribute to the couple’s union.

Eight Alumni Elected to Board of Fellows

Trustee Paul Zlotoff '72, chair of the Brandeis Board of Fellows, announced that the board of trustees elected eight new Fellows. The Board of Fellows is an honorary society that recognizes members of the Brandeis family who have made significant contributions of their time and/or resources to the university.

Jane Greenebaum Eskind ’56, past chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party, has served as a Brandeis trustee, president’s councilor and member of the Brandeis National Committee board. She funds scholarships and fellowships, continuing a family tradition of supporting the university.

Phoebe Rothman Giddon ’56, a businesswoman, is a member of the national board for the women’s and gender studies program and has served on her Reunion committees. Along with her husband, Donald, Ph.D.’61, and sister, Linda Rothman Levine ’62, she supports scholarships.

Gary Jacobs ’66, an attorney at Glaser, Weil, Fink, Jacobs & Shapiro, has served on the Board of Overseers at the International Business School (IBS) since 1998 and been active on his Reunion committees. He and his wife, Robin Benoff Jacobs ’66, fund scholarships.

Jon Landau ’68, a music producer and manager whose client list includes rock star Bruce Springsteen, has served as chair of the Creative Arts Advisory Council and been involved with his Reunion committees. He established the Jonathan Landau ’68 Endowed Scholarship.

Barbara Cohen Rosenberg ’54, an education consultant, served as a Brandeis trustee from 1992–2008 and is a member of the IBS Board of Overseers. Along with her husband, Richard, she funded the Rosenberg Institute of Global Finance and the Rosenberg Chair in Global Finance at IBS.

Bill Schneider ’66, senior political analyst at CNN since 1990 and a professor at George Mason University, was the Brandeis Commencement speaker in 2008 and served as the Fred and Rita Richman Distinguished Visiting Professor in 2002. He has often spoken at Brandeis events.

Michael Schulhof, Ph.D.’70, founding partner at GTI Group and former Sony executive, served as a trustee from 1989–1999 and also chaired the IBS Board of Overseers. He received an Alumni Achievement Award in 2005 and helped establish the Barbra Streisand Endowed Scholarship.

Sheldon Stein ’74, president and CEO of Glazer’s Distributors and former managing director at Bear Stearns, was a Brandeis trustee from 1988–2002 and served on the IBS Board of Overseers. He and his wife, Barbara Brickman Stein ’73, support scholarships.

Marvin Gilmore
Marvin Gilmore

Civic Leader Supports TYP

Had Brandeis’ pioneering Transitional Year Program existed 70 years ago, Marvin Gilmore would have been an ideal candidate. He was motivated, ambitious, eager to learn and up to just about any challenge.

Now, through the establishment of the Marvin and Lorna Gilmore Endowed TYP Scholarship, the Boston civic leader is helping to ensure that promising students will have the opportunity to pursue a Brandeis degree by completing TYP’s unique one-year academic preparation program.

“I thought this was a way to give back and help kids,” the 87-year-old Gilmore says of his generous gift to Brandeis. “These kids want to do something with their lives. To me, it’s an investment in the future.”