BNC President’s Message / June-July 2022

Dear Friends,
It’s summertime here in the desert and temperatures are soaring. Everyone I know is making travel arrangements to cooler climates here and abroad. For the last two years the Covid pandemic has orchestrated the limits of our lives. It seems that the global community now has a better handle on the virus and suddenly…people are rushing to airports in droves. Americans love to take to the roads and skyways in the summer. We all have pent up plans to visit friends, relatives and wonderful, new places. I’m leaving next week to visit friends and family in my hometown of Chicago.
At our last planning meeting, the committee suggested an early October wine and cheese party to be held in the home of a member. The event will kick off our 2022-2023 season.
Our annual Showcase Luncheon will be held late in October at a hotel yet to be determined. A new format for the event is being developed.
After two years, University on Wheels will again be an in-person event at a local venue which has not yet been determined. We need a date from National.
March programming will include our Book and Author event and a local celebrity will be our guest speaker…arrangements are currently underway.
April will initiate a luminary brunch which will probably be held once again in Sun City.
This year at our Showcase event a new “Women’s Forum” series will be introduced. All the details need to be ironed out. The Forum will deal with any issues pertaining to the health and welfare of women. Guests with credentials will be invited to speak. We’re hoping to use Speakers Hall in Sun City Palm Desert for these events.
We are pleased that our efforts to become a Resident Club at the Del Webb Sun City in Palm Desert have finally come to fruition. For those members who live in Sun City, the publication News and Views will now carry all information pertaining to our organization. After much work on the part of Marcia Plumleigh’s Board, mission accomplished.
I am off to pack for cooler climes, but I will continue to think of ways to excite and entice new memberships for our desert chapter of Brandeis. The last two years have been a trial for everyone. Here in our desert chapter, we have lost treasured friends to illness and age. I know that loss is part of living, but that doesn’t make it easier to bear. To those of us who know a friend who is not well, remember to call, send a note, text a message. We are a family and we must take care of each other.
Charlene Williamson, President
Brandeis Desert Chapter

BNC President’s Message / February – March 2022

Dear Friends,
These are truly the times that try men’s souls; forgive the cliché…but it does seem appropriate right now. I have been living in a cancellation mode for the last few months. I missed the opening night of the symphony at the McCallum, an event I wait all year to attend. I missed what I’m sure was a beautiful party for one of our members; and a dinner party for my grandson’s 29th birthday in Irvine. A younger me would have been devastated to miss such momentous occasions, but I decided to err on the side of caution…more clichés. So sorry.
We usually invite the entire membership to our first annual meeting of the year. We are fortunate to hold this event at the beautiful home of one of our members. The objective of this meeting is to allow the general membership to see how our board conducts Brandeis affairs. For the sake of good health practices, we cancelled the meeting and decided that we will wait until next year. So sorry.
Brandeis National Committee always sends a visiting professor in January for our event, UNIVERSITY ON WHEELS. We look forward to the affair because the teachers are always fascinating and speak on a variety of subjects from theater to organic farming. We serve lunch in a lovely venue and get to hear a wonderful speaker. This year University on Wheels will be on March 9th, and we will be zooming. Bring your own lunch. So sorry.
Now for the good news…on March 22nd we will be meeting IN PERSON at the beautiful Omni Rancho las Palmas Hotel for our BOOK AND AUTHOR event. We are doing a Mystery Writers program worthy of Sherlock Holmes. We have two famous authors coming to speak about their work. To say we are excited about this is to add more clichés, but who’s counting. A wonderful registration flyer is being done as we speak and will be sent out soon. This is a luncheon event you won’t want to miss. I’m really excited about this and look forward to seeing everyone. Do remember vaccination cards and masks are required.
Now, for more good news. On Sunday, April 10th we will be holding our WOMAN OF THE YEAR Brunch at Sun City in Palm Desert. I can’t think of a more deserving person than our own Marcia Plumleigh, past President, to be our recipient. She served as President of the Desert Chapter for Brandeis for four years. She served with dignity, imagination and patience. Wrangling 15 or 20 Alpha females at every board meeting was no easy job…Marcia was always up to the task. She left very big shoes to fill. She also left impeccable files…I’m still trying to get organized! So sorry.
February 14th is Valentines Day…try to spread love everywhere you go…Mother Teresa said it, it’s a good idea.
Charlene Williamson, President
Brandeis Desert Chapter

BNC President’s Message: Philanthropy ~~ Learning ~~ Community


Greetings everyone,

The end of January marks the completion of three special events.  In early January we held the annual University on Wheels.  For our newer members, this is an annual event wherein Brandeis University sends each chapter a faculty member to make a presentation.  This year on January 8 our chapter was very fortunate to host Professor William “Billy” Flesch, Professor of English, who presented “HOW MOVIES WORK’.

This was an outstanding lecture that focused on the essentials for script writing, cinematography, editing and acting that became standards in the industry from the beginnings of filmmaking. There was a lively Q and A session and those attending had an informative and entertaining experience. University on Wheels is always an outstanding program and I urge everyone to put this event on your January calendar for next year.

Game Day, held in conjunction with Sabra Hadassah, was a big success with 97 attendees. There were door prizes galore and a good time was had by all.

One other program, Bridging Cultures, is scheduled for January 31. Cecilia Cohen will present her usual excellent and intelligent program on foreign cultures, this time on North Korea.  Attendees will lunch on food from the region at a Korean restaurant, and learn about the cultures, traditions and challenges.  If you haven’t signed up, please do.  You are in for an educational and entertaining afternoon.

Our next very big event is the Gala at CODA Gallery. This is our major fund raiser for the year and I urge you to attend.  The money we raise goes to important neuroscience research at Brandeis and we need every member in our chapter to support this effort.

And there is an additional factor for members to consider.  Your special events team, the entire planning committee and individual members, work all year to plan events and study groups for our members enjoyment. I ask you to actively support those efforts by your attendance.

I hope to see you at the upcoming events.

Marcia Plumleigh, President



Annual General Board Meeting 2019

Annual General Board Meeting
January 21, 2019

Board Meeting, 9:30am
General Meeting with Keynote Speaker Ron Celona, 10:30am

12169 Turnberry Drive, Rancho Mirage
Home of Gail Baum and Larry Fox

All Brandeis Members are invited and encouraged to attend and bring prospective members. Guests can attend the Board Meeting and General Meeting to learn more about who we are and what we do!

Keynote Speaker
Ron Celona

Ron Celona, Artistic Director of Coachella Valley Repertory will give us an inside look at CV Rep, what it takes to put a new play together and also an inside look at what it took to establish CV Rep’s new home. Click here for Ron Celona’s bio.

BNC Encore Series: New Student Book DiscussionForum


June 2017

Dear Brandeis National Committee Members,

Help connect our chapter members with Brandeis University as we join all of the incoming Brandeis first year students in the annual New Student Forum.

Students read the same book and hear directly from the author in a special presentation this fall.

As part of BNC’s Encore Series, you too can be part of the New Student Forum. Discussion questions and a DVD of the author’s presentation will be available at the end of September.

This year’s book is called “Citizen: An American Lyric” by Claudia Rankine. Winner of the National Book Critics award in poetry, Claudia Rankine’s book recounts mounting racial aggressions in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. In essay, image and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary society.

In these troubled times, where we are facing questions regarding racism, antisemitism and the like, Brandeis University chose this book as a discussion point for where to go from here, ways to improve society and care for the future.
We look forward to hearing what you think and hope that you enjoy this Brandeis experience!


For more information, please contact Tamar Vogel at 781-736-4168 or


Student Stories

Update:  Click on name (if highlighted) to hear what the student has to say about the Brandeis experience….


Meet Brandeis Scholar Remi Miller ’19 
A BNC Scholar from Kings Park, New York, on Long Island, Remi just completed her sophomore year. At Brandeis,  Remi’s primary areas of academic focus are psychology and legal studies. She is an active member of the campus community, serving as a Brandeis National Committee Student Ambassador, an Orientation leader and a Reunion liaison.

Meet Brandeis Scholar Jacob Abrams ’17  Jacob Abrams
A BNC Scholar from Boca Raton, Florida, Jacob is pre-med, with a double major in biology and classical studies and a minor in Italian studies. While at Brandeis, he has been involved with the BNC as director of the Student Ambassador program and a member of BNC’s National Executive Committee. Jacob chose Brandeis because it encourages undergraduates to take advantage of many opportunities to gain leadership experience that will help them throughout their lives.

Meet Brandeis Scholar Rebecca Wiser ’19  Rebecca Weiser
A BNC Scholar from Boca Raton, Florida, Rebecca plans to major in either Journalism or Health: Science, Society and Policy. Her ultimate goal is to become a life coach and health and wellness consultant. Rebecca chose Brandeis because of its commitment to social justice and its close-knit campus community, which values kindness, integrity and service to others.

Meet Brandeis Scholar Cassidy Swartz ’16 Cassidy Swartz
A BNC Scholar from Arizona, Cassidy is a Health: Science, Society and Policy major and soccer player at Brandeis. She volunteers at Newton-Wellesley hospital and tutors an elementary school student on top of a full load of courses. Cassidy plans to become a physician’s assistant upon graduating from Brandeis, a profession she believes will help her use what she has learned at Brandeis to help others. Hear her explain in this brief video why she is proud to attend the nation’s only non-sectarian university founded by the American Jewish community and how this experience has transformed her life.