Brandeis Magazine

Winter 2023/2024

Character Development

Four gifted storytellers explain how Brandeis shaped their lives and careers.

Illustration of 4 people holding different books standing in front of the Castle at Brandeis

Illustrations by Giselle Potter

As part of the university’s yearlong celebration of its 75th anniversary, many alumni have shared stories of the insights and encounters that led to transformation during their time at Brandeis. Often inspiring, always relatable, these personal histories show, with real immediacy, what makes the Brandeis experience special.

Brandeis Magazine asked novelist Caroline Leavitt ’74; screenwriter/novelist Joey Hartstone ’05; pediatrician/ novelist Nadia Hashimi ’00; and lawyer Ira Shapiro ’69, who writes lively histories of the U.S. Senate, to add to this narrative.

Here are their memories of how Brandeis helped unlock who they are.

A Real Writer

By Caroline Leavitt ’74

Off to a Flying Start

By Joey Hartstone ’05

Mining Pain for Wisdom

By Nadia Hashimi ’00

On the Ramparts

By Ira Shapiro ’69