Brandeis Alumni, Family and Friends

The Top 10 Alumni Stories of 2020

December 22, 2020

In a year many may wish to forget, there have been some unforgettable Brandeis stories: stories of people rising to challenges, giving of themselves in service to others and offering thoughtful perspectives on the cascade of events.

Top 10 of 2020

Before leaping eagerly into the new year, here's a look back at the top alumni stories of 2020:

Allan Lichtman ’67 devised a system that had enabled him to predict the winner of every U.S. presidential election going back to 1984 — and that was on the money again this year. RELATED: Brandeis faculty provided expert analysis and insight on the most pressing issues of the 2020 election.

Drew Weissman ’81, MA’81, P’15, is among a handful of scientists whose research may save the world from COVID-19. His work in messenger RNA underpins coronavirus vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna. RELATED: Biological chemist Mohammad Seyedsayamdost ’01, MS’01, won a genius grant.

Brandeis alumni around the world were active on the front line of the response to the COVID-19 crisis, many of them in New York City, the epicenter of the virus outbreak in the United States early in the pandemic. RELATED: More stories of Brandeis’ brightest lights during this dark time, including Heller researchers and alumni and members of the International Business School community.

Reflecting on their personal encounters with injustice, Black Brandeisians expressed outrage, fear and hope for a better future. RELATED: Black alumni leaders reflected on repairing the world.

The Sixties counterculture icon, who occupies a distinctive place in Brandeis lore, was portrayed by Sacha Baron Cohen in the Netflix drama "The Trial of the Chicago 7." RELATED: From podcasts to binge-worthy TV series, stir-crazy quarantiners enjoyed these digital diversions, all with a Brandeis connection.

Archiving Boston’s gay history. Providing healthcare for LGBTQ veterans and housing for homeless LGBTQ youth. Crafting public policy that ensures equity for everyone. These are just a few of the ways Brandeis alumni are making a positive impact in the LGBTQ community. RELATED: Brandeis celebrated the Supreme Court ruling protecting LGBTQ workers.

Sugar, an Academy Award-winning film and television producer, and Zlotoff, a successful businessman and long-time university benefactor, will be presented with the highest form of university recognition bestowed exclusively on alumni. RELATED: This year Linda Heller Kamm ’61 brought her commitment to social justice and her dedication to her alma mater as she joined the Brandeis Board of Trustees.

Observing the High Holidays during a pandemic presented distinct challenges and opportunities, Brandeis Hillel and alumni faith leaders said. RELATED: Homeschooling expert Ali Kaufman ’97 shared tips on supporting your kids as they learn from home during the pandemic.

While current students were experiencing a fall semester unlike any other, members of the Class of 1952 reflected on Brandeis' beginnings. RELATED: Catch a glimpse of what this fall’s move-in looked like by comparison.

The Brandeis community rallied on December 1 to support the university and blow past goals. RELATED: Brandeisians stayed connected: Hundreds of alumni pledged career support for recent grads through the Hire Brandeis 2020 initiative; offered virtual toasts to the Class of 2020 in honor of their unique graduation; and shared heartwarming Louie Love stories to celebrate Valentine's Day.

More 2020 stories

 What was your favorite alumni story this year? Explore all our 2020 stories and let us know your favorite by tweeting us @BrandeisUAlumni