Benchmarking an education

Two Brandeis students enjoy one of the new benches on campus.

By David E. Nathan

It made perfect sense to Harvey Kulawitz,  P’12: The campus of a university named for Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis should rightly be adorned with benches.

The idea was hatched last May, when Kulawitz’s daughter Abby ’12 graduated from Brandeis with a degree in American studies and sociology.

“It was a beautiful day, and we were walking around campus after Commencement,” Harvey says. “We noticed that most of the places to sit were indoors, and we felt there was a need for more places to sit outdoors so students and faculty could relax, socialize and enjoy the campus. It just hit us that Justice Brandeis was on the bench for 24 years, and we should have some benches on campus.”

And so was born the Brandeis Bench Program, a Parents Fund initiative that aims to install 50 benches around campus over the next few years. Kulawitz and his wife, Carrie, P ’12, made the first $10,000 gift to install a bench, located just off the Great Lawn outside the Shapiro Campus Center.

The Kulawitzes’ gift reflects their gratitude that Brandeis gave their daughter a singular educational experience. Abby says that she found the academics, extracurricular activities and social life a perfect fit for her. She also developed a close relationship with Jonathan Sarna ’75, MA’75, the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History, who became her mentor.

“Brandeis is a great university with exceptional students and unparalleled faculty,” Harvey says. “Abby and Brandeis went together like hand in glove. She loved the school, the faculty and her friends. It changed her life in a positive way.”

For more information about the Brandeis Bench Program, contact Gayle Gordon, assistant director of leadership gifts, at or 781-736-4060.

Categories: , Giving
Date: March 8, 2013