Thankful for what Brandeis gave her, Mimi Hyman ’63 makes 50th Reunion gift
She graduated from Brandeis summa cum laude, but for a time Miriam “Mimi” (Osler) Hyman ’63 wasn’t sure she would graduate at all.
Despite being the valedictorian of her class at a Long Island public high school, at Brandeis she found herself drowning in a sea of reading, writing assignments and high-level lectures by the likes of Abraham Maslow that had her wondering whether she really deserved her academic scholarship.
“At first, Brandeis was overwhelming and frightening,” she recalls. “I came from a school where I had never achieved anything but academic success, and I got to Brandeis and was surrounded by very smart people.”
She persevered, committed herself to her studies and discovered that she could do the work – and do it quite well.
“In hindsight, the experience was so mind-expanding that it has served as the foundation for everything I have done,” Hyman says gratefully. “When people look at your resume and see Brandeis, in the words of Woody Allen, they assume you are smart. It has been very helpful.”
To pay back the institution that has given her so much, Hyman has been a generous contributor to the Alumni Annual Fund through the years. She and her husband, Steven, established a $50,000 charitable gift annuity in honor of her 50th Reunion in June 2013. By virtue of her planned gift, she became a member of the Sachar Legacy Society, an honorary organization comprised of individuals who have made Brandeis part of their estate plans.
Although Brandeis was a hotbed of activism during Hyman’s days as a student, her involvement in the causes of the day didn’t come until after graduation. She worked as a probation office in Family Court and then joined the Nassau County chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) as executive director. At the NYCLU, she was an advocate for the protection of constitutional rights of women, students, prisoners and other disadvantaged groups.
Hyman attended Hofstra University Law School with the intention of becoming a civil liberties lawyer, but instead moved into corporate law. Her commitment to the less fortunate has continued through her involvement in a number of organizations, including Court Appointed Special Advocates, Brooklyn Child and Family Services and the Mayor’s Task Force on the Status of Women. She also served on the Board of Directors of the NYCLU for many years.
“I am so proud that Brandeis continues to reach out to underserved populations and is committed to social justice,” she says. “I want to see Brandeis survive and thrive for many years.”
She has been a partner at Duane Morris since 2007 following nearly 20 years as a partner with Robinson Silverman/Bryan Cave. In her international corporate law practice, she represents clients predominantly based in Brazil, including manufacturers, banks, financial institutions, hedge funds, private equity funds, and high-net-worth individuals.
Date: January 21, 2013