Board of Trustees elects new members: Mike Frieze, George Krupp, Lisa Kranc

New members of Brandeis Board of Trustees are, from left, George D. Krupp, Lisa R. Kranc and Michael G. Frieze.

The Brandeis Board of Trustees has elected two Boston-area philanthropists and a Memphis-based marketing executive to the university’s governing body.

The three new trustees, whose terms on the board begin May 20, are Michael G. Frieze, chairman of Gordon Brothers Group, a business and finance firm; George D. Krupp, co-founder and co-chairman of The Berkshire Group, a real estate and financial services company; and Lisa R. Kranc ’75, a senior vice president of AutoZone, Inc.

“Mike Frieze is a leading philanthropist with great knowledge of how complex organizations work,” said Board of Trustees Chairman Malcolm Sherman. “George Krupp is a philanthropist, an educator, and a leading member of the Greater Boston community. Lisa Kranc been an outstanding supporter of the university in the alumni association and is very much interested in the future of the university.”

President Fred Lawrence said that “Mike, George and Lisa combine to bring a wealth of experience to the board. Mike and George are profoundly significant members of the Boston philanthropic community. Lisa brings extremely valuable skills in marketing and human resources, especially when we are in the midst of strategic planning for our future.”

Frieze, a resident of Waban, Mass., established the Frieze Family Foundation, a donor-advised fund at Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, and has run two major fundraising campaigns for CJP. He is a trustee of Children’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Frieze was a Brandeis trustee from 2001 to 2005; his wife, Linda, is a Brandeis Fellow and a member of the Heller School Board of Overseers. The couple supports the university’s Annual Fund, the Transitional Year Program for students who need an extra year to hone their skills for success at the university level, the Posse Scholarship Fund at Brandeis and scholarships for Heller School students. 

Frieze is national chairman of Friends of Yemin Orde, a support organization for a renowned residential and educational village in northern Israel for youth from around the world who have made their home in Israel. He is a past New England regional chair of the American Technion Society, which supports Israel’s premier technological university.

“I love the place,” Frieze said of Brandeis, “not just because it is a Jewish-sponsored university, but because it has a strong emphasis on social justice, which is a strong interest of Linda and myself.

“Not every university can take a Posse program and make it work,” he said. “Brandeis has a Transitional Year Program -- how many places do that? We have great admiration for the university that sets those kinds of standards. Brandeis has a very special place in our hearts.”

Frieze received a B.A. from Bowdoin College in 1960 and an M.B.A. from MIT’s Sloan School of Management in 1962.

Krupp, a resident of Chestnut Hill, Mass., is one of the founders of Gann Academy, a highly successful Jewish day school; a trustee of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and a former campaign chair of Combined Jewish Philanthropies.

He and his wife established the Liz and George Krupp Gallery at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. He and his brother, Douglas, in honor of their parents, established the Philip and Bernice Krupp Natural Sciences Building at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

“For me, education is paramount,” said Krupp, noting that “I was thrown out of college – literally – in my second year” and only returned after becoming a success in the business world. He eventually earned a B.A. in classics at Harvard Extension School and an M.A. in history from Brown University, then taught history for five years at Gann Academy, where he established the George D. Krupp Library.

When Gann Academy was being organized, he said, “Brandeis provided us space for a couple of years” and both the school and then-President Jehuda Reinharz “were very supportive. Brandeis has given to me and I think I can give back.”

Krupp already has given substantially. He and members of his family are longtime supporters of the Nathan Perlmutter Institute for Jewish Advocacy, which the Krupps helped start within the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program.

In April 2009, he and his wife launched the $3 million Krupp Scholarship Challenge, pledging to contribute $1 to support undergraduate scholarships in the arts and humanities for every $2 raised for student scholarships from new donors or those who were making increased gifts. Brandeis raised the $2 million to trigger the Krupp gift in less than two years.

Kranc majored in American studies at Brandeis, graduating cum laude in 1975 and subsequently earning an M.B.A. from Columbia University. She began her marketing career in packaged goods at the Clorox Company. Prior to joining AutoZone in Memphis in 2001 as senior vice president of marketing, she held leadership marketing positions at Giant Eagle, Inc. in Pittsburgh, Bruno’s Supermarkets, Inc. in Birmingham, Ala., and Hannaford Bros. Co. in Scarborough, Maine. She is a director of Memphis’ Brooks Art Museum.

Kranc has served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors since 2006 and became a vice president in July 2008. She also heads the board’s marketing committee. She was very involved in the establishment of B Connect, the alumni online community, and volunteers with the Alumni Admissions Council and is a generous contributor to the Alumni Annual Fund.

“Brandeis was truly a life-changing experience for me,” Kranc said. “I came from a chicken farm in Plainfield, Connecticut, a child of Holocaust survivors. The university opened my mind and it opened a whole world of possibilities.

“I know a lot of alums are concerned about how Brandeis will help them with their careers, and I’m here to help show why liberal arts is really a sound foundation for a career,” she said. “Once you’ve thought seriously about man’s inhumanity to man, making a business decision just isn’t so hard. That is why I am so passionate about the quality of the Brandeis education and making sure it is maintained.”

Kranc said she is eager to participate in the current strategic planning process. “The university is going through changes; the whole business model is being retooled to take us through the 21st century,” she said. “I am honored, humbled and excited by the opportunity to be part of that.”

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