Grateful couple establishes charitable gift annuity

Bob Warshawer spent so much time at Brandeis while his wife, Natalie (Kantor) Warshawer ’55, was a student and has attended so many Reunions over the last 50 years that some of her classmates thought he graduated from Brandeis.

At their 10th Reunion, Elliott Bradley ’55 asked Bob which dormitory he lived in during his days as a Brandeis student.

Bob remembers responding. “I lived on Ames Street in Cambridge, I went to MIT.”

Bradley can be forgiven for the confusion; Bob was on the Brandeis campus so frequently that a chair in the lounge of the Hamilton dorm, where Natalie lived, had his name on it.

Bob refers to himself as an “adopted son of Brandeis” and shares Natalie’s deep affection for the University. They showed their gratitude to the institution that has been such a central part of their lives when they established a charitable gift annuity.

“We are so proud of what Brandeis has become,” Natalie says. “I received a great education and made friends for life.”

Natalie grew up in Brooklyn and only learned about Brandeis from two friends who became interested in the school because it had a kosher kitchen. She arrived on campus in the fall of 1952 and immediately felt at home. She enjoyed the cozy feel of campus and the small class sizes.

“It was the perfect place for someone like me, who was shy and not very garrulous,” she remembers.

Although Natalie majored in anthropology and sociology, she nurtured her interest in the visual arts by taking a number of arts classes. She took an accelerated course load, including summer classes at schools in New York City, in order to graduate in three years to be with Bob. He had graduated from MIT in 1954 and was already flying planes in the U.S. Air Force in Texas by the spring of 1955. They were married in Brooklyn, during Natalie’s spring break, about a month before Commencement, and ended up in Houston at the end of that year, returning to Massachusetts in late 1958.

In the first few years after her graduation, as new buildings were going up around campus, Natalie wasn’t sure that the expanding school would retain the intimacy that had been so fundamental to her experience.

“I had to stay away; it didn’t feel like my school anymore,” she recalls. “But I came to understand that while it was growing and changing, it was still the Brandeis I loved.”

Categories: Giving, Alumni Profile
Date: December 21, 2016