Young people paint a colorful mural on an external brick wall.
Volunteers paint a mural at Waltham’s Prospect Hill Community Center in 2013

New Network Unites Waltham Group Alums

Together, they’ve pounded nails, tutored kids, organized blood drives and served meals to those in need.

Since 1966, members of Brandeis’ Waltham Group, a network of student-run volunteer programs, have bonded around “a shared set of values and a shared sense of hope,” one of its advisers says.

Now, alumni of the largest club on campus are reconnecting. A new Waltham Group Alumni Network, launched with the support of Alumni Relations and the Department of Community Service, will keep past members engaged with one another and the university, and promote a commitment to public service and social-justice advocacy.

With 750 students currently volunteering through the Waltham Group each year and past members numbering in the thousands, the new special-interest network is expected to be one of the largest of its kind within the Alumni Association.

Lucas Malo, director of the community service department, which advises all service groups on campus, says the work Waltham Group volunteers perform in the Waltham community and beyond runs a wide gamut.

“We have companionships at nursing homes,” he says. “We run after-school programs in science, in art and even in making prosthetics. We teach adult ESL classes. We volunteer at hospitals. We serve meals at shelters. We travel around the globe on spring-break service trips, and do one-on-one tutoring and mentoring. You name it.”

The pandemic hasn’t slowed services that can be provided remotely. “We’re still tutoring, providing companionship to the elderly and running groups for people with disabilities,” Malo says. “Building a house for Habitat is not happening, but we’re still advocating for housing access in Waltham.”

Malo hopes alumni will join the new network to rekindle their social-justice spark; participate in service projects; mentor current students; or just reconnect socially, virtually for now.

For more information or to sign up, visit

— Mark Sullivan

Head shot of a smiling man with white-gray hair and beard.
Lewis Brooks ’80, P’16

Our Comfort Zone

Well, it’s been a year.

Many of us are still seeking comfort in the same ways we leaned on when the pandemic first began: bingeing TV shows, cooking, connecting online with family, reconnecting with friends from years ago.

Realizing this got me thinking: How many of us are still doing something we started doing at Brandeis? This includes activities related to our careers, of course, but also hobbies and passions.

Those who went to Brandeis during my “slice” remember me with a camera around my neck, endlessly taking photos, from Reitman to Sachar and everywhere in between. Photography is still my passion. Over the past year, I’ve been digitizing a lifetime of memories.

Another of my passions, one I can’t pursue at the moment, is travel. Growing up in New York, I would go with my family to destinations our car could take us to in a day or two. Soon after I graduated from Brandeis, a classmate and I flew to Chicago — only my second time on an airplane — to visit another friend from school. We saw the Sears Tower, the Loop and Grant Park. I still remember everything I ate. The travel bug bit me, and I was hooked.

In the 40 years since that trip, my wife, Denise, and I have been to all 50 states, more than 50 countries and all seven continents. Wherever I go in the world — mountaintops in Maine, food festivals in Brooklyn, temples in Southeast Asia, even glaciers in Antarctica — I encounter Brandeisians. All 60,000 of us share the unique bond that is Brandeis.

Although we cannot travel or gather face to face just yet, we can still take advantage of Brandeis’ many virtual offerings. Get back in the classroom through Alumni College. Attend a class reunion via Zoom. Sign up for the new B Connect and our online Alumni Weekend in June. Satisfy your wanderlust by going to the Alumni, Friends and Families website to enjoy snapshots and stories that celebrate the university’s 60 years of study abroad.

Binge Brandeis, and stay connected.

Be well,

Lewis Brooks ’80, P’16
President, Brandeis Alumni Association

Celebrate Alumni Weekend 2021 at Home

On June 11-13, Brandeis Alumni Weekend will bring you back to the place you once called home — from the comfort of your own home. Join Brandeisians from around the world, and choose from a slate of exciting events, all offered online.

Program highlights include:

•  Virtual reunions for classes and shared-interest groups.

•  A presentation of the 2021 Alumni Achievement Awards to three groundbreaking graduates.

•  A conversation between American studies professor Tom Doherty and Academy Award-winning film producer Michael Sugar ’95, a 2020 Alumni Achievement Award recipient.

•  Timely Alumni College lectures given by faculty favorites and notable alumni throughout the month of May and during Alumni Weekend.

•  A celebration of the Rose Art Museum at 60.

•  Interactive events that teach you new skills or help you perfect old ones.

•  Family-friendly programs.

•  And much, much more.

If your class year ends in a 0, 1, 5 or 6, your class committee will contact you about class-specific virtual reunion events that will take place leading up to and during Alumni Weekend.

Everyone will be able to customize their weekend with ease by using the new Alumni Weekend website. Discover and register for programs of interest to you; most programs will be free of charge. And don’t forget to specify a gift to Brandeis in honor of your class, affinity or special interest — just think of all the registration, travel and accommodations costs you’ll be saving this year!

We look forward to seeing you online for a great weekend in June.

The Brandeis Network, at Your Fingertips

Looking to renew old Brandeis connections or make new ones? In the market for a job or an internship? Interested in serving as a mentor to a recent Brandeis grad?

Connecting with fellow Brandeisians is easier than ever with the newly relaunched B Connect platform, Brandeis’ hub for alumni networking and mentoring.

“Brandeis is committed to providing the community with best-in-class tools to stay engaged with the university and with each other,” says Patsy Fisher, vice president of alumni relations. “Together with our new website for alumni, friends and families, this updated version of B Connect brings even more benefits and resources to our alumni and students.”

The mobile-friendly tool provides access to an enhanced alumni directory that lets you quickly find fellow alumni on the basis of shared interests or professional credentials. You can also identify alumni-owned businesses or share your news with the Brandeis community.

Users are able to log in using existing Apple, Facebook or Google accounts, and the updated B Connect interface integrates seamlessly with LinkedIn.

Alumni who register for B Connect have the opportunity to join the Rise Together program, recently introduced by the Hiatt Career Center, which fosters career-development and mentoring connections between alumni and current Brandeis students.

Learn more at or download the B Connect app, available in Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

Find — and Share — More Alumni News Online

Same URL, brand-new experience.

The newly redesigned Alumni, Friends and Families website is eye-catching, mobile-friendly and filled with pride-boosting Brandeis stories. See what’s new.


A man holding a small back-and-white dog and a woman in a white dress pose on steps leading up to a house.

Matan BenYishay, MPP’13, exchanged vows with Rabbi Jen Gubitz in July in a pandemic-delayed micro-wedding.

A smiling, embracing man and woman on a roof deck that overlooks a Boston skyline.

Anne Weston Emerson ’04 and Eric Alan Knapp were married in July, with guests celebrating with them virtually.

A woman in a mid-calf white dress and veil and a man in a blue vest, white shirt and khakis — both wearing white sneakers — hold hands and walk through a woodland setting.

Jeremy Weinberg ’12 married Sarah Gurvis Weinberg, MAT’15, in October. They celebrated with immediate family in a small pandemic-friendly ceremony, and hope to have a bigger celebration with friends and family later this year.

A woman in a white dress and veil and a man wearing a prayer shawl, both smiling, lean toward each other.

In September, Sam Ackerman ’08 and Dana Adler were married in a small backyard ceremony in Matta, Israel, with Brandeis friends attending remotely.