Alumni celebrate their reunions by giving back

Representatives of the Class of '68 present a large novelty check to President Ron Liebowitz at their Reunion dinner during Alumni Weekend
The Class of '68 presents President Ron Liebowitz with a check to represent their giving at their Reunion dinner during Alumni Weekend.

By Brian Klotz

Every year, Brandeis alumni give back to the University in ways that are meaningful to them, such as supporting a particular department, club or organization; paying tribute to favorite professors or classmates; or offering scholarship funding to current students. When celebrating a milestone reunion year, however, this giving takes on an even greater meaning.

In June, Brandeis held its inaugural Alumni Weekend, a celebration for all alumni. Special events for classes celebrating milestone reunions were held alongside programming that welcomed alumni of all class years back to campus. Many alumni felt inspired to give back by their connections to Brandeis and each other.

In total, the 13 milestone-year classes raised $4,173,487. The classes of 1993 and 1968, who were commemorating their 25th and 50th reunions, respectively, each surpassed their fundraising goals.

“This year, at our 50th Reunion, we did not disappoint,” says Jacquline Neuhaus Bradley '68. “I was excited to be one of the four co-chairs of the Reunion Committee and proud that our fellow classmates – whether they were attending Reunion or not – helped us to not only meet our contribution goal, but exceed it. It reaffirmed our gratitude for our Brandeis experiences – academic, social and spiritual – in the most tangible way.”

Speaking on the significance of her class’ giving, Jacqueline adds: “The Class of 1968 has always felt the importance of giving back – to the world, to our communities, to our families, and to the university that gave us a first-class education and helped foster our beliefs and sense of commitment. We each feel a connection and debt to Brandeis in one way or another.”

Penny Bernstein ’68 concurs: “My husband and I made up two of the four 50th Reunion chairs and did so joyously, and with gratitude to Brandeis for our lives together and the spiritual and intellectual blueprint with which we were provided. That we pushed comfortably past our goal is proof that the Class of ’68 appreciates all that they learned and enjoyed in our four years, and happily took the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ with their checkbooks and their everlasting gratitude for an extraordinary education and forever friendships.”

For young alumni, giving back to their alma mater means ensuring that others enjoy the same experience that has allowed them to launch their own careers and enter the next phase of their lives.

“The lessons we learned inside and outside the classroom and the memories we made at Brandeis will never leave us,” says Josh Asen ’13, who served as a co-chair of his 5th Reunion Committee with his wife, Elizabeth Fields Asen ’13.

“Brandeis gave us the tools to succeed after graduation,” Elizabeth adds, “and it is important for young alumni to honor the school that shaped us and to give back.”

Date: July 30, 2018