Tag Archive for 'Brandeis University'

‘A deep connection’

While I was in Jerusalem, I had the pleasure of speaking with Seth Franzen of the Jerusalem Post about Brandeis University’s connection to Israel.

You can read the whole interview here: http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Features/A-deep-connection-358108.

Gathering with alumni at the Supreme Court of the United States

President Fred Lawrence with Brandeis alumni in front of the portrait of our university's namesake.

President Fred Lawrence with Brandeis alumni.

We celebrated the admission of our Brandeis alumni to the bar of the high court at a great gathering yesterday at the Supreme Court of the United States.

Joining us were Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who I was pleased to present with Melvin I. Urofsky’s biography of Louis D. Brandeis.

We gathered in front of the portrait of our university’s namesake for a group photo. It was a memorable occasion, which we are now celebrating annually.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and President Fred Lawrence.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Brandeis President Fred Lawrence

Chief Justice John Roberts and President Fred Lawrence.

A conversation with Yossi Klein Halevi

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to have a remarkable conversation with 2014 National Jewish Book of the Year winning author Yossi Klein Halevi at Brookline’s Congregation Kehillath Israel.

Kehallith Israel gave 500 copies of “Like Dreamers” to its membership this year. Members report the gift deepened the community’s rapport with Zionism’s dreams and designs.

Watch the video of the conversation:

’DEIS Impact gets better and better

Fred Lawrence and panelists at the SoJust Forum, part of 'Deis Impact.

Fred Lawrence and panelists at the SoJust Leadership Forum, part of ’DEIS Impact.

’DEIS Impact — our festival of social justice — gets better and better. For the capstone event, we welcomed more than 200 students, dozens of alumni and more than 50 employers to campus for the third annual SoJust Leadership Forum.

The forum, organized by the Hiatt Career Center, provided our students an opportunity to learn from our alumni and others about their careers in social justice.

I was honored to introduce Julia Simon-Mishel ’09, who moderated the alumni panel discussion. As a Brandeis student, Julia co-founded the Student Peace Alliance. She recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and is now serving as a clerk for the Honorable Norma L. Shapiro in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In the fall, she will join Philadelphia Legal Assistance, where she will help low-income workers with wage theft and unemployment compensation cases.

A special thanks to our alumni panelists:

  • Yos Bugallo ’03, assistant director of inclusiveness recruiting, Ernst & Young
  • Tara Cook-Littman ’97, founder, GMO Free CT
  • Will Tickle ’03, director of impact investing, Ballentine Partners
  • Blanca Vega ’98, director of the Higher Education Opportunity Program, Marymount Manhattan College
President Fred Lawrence speaks at 'Deis Impact.

President Fred Lawrence speaks at ’DEIS Impact.

 

 

Sister Helen Prejean visits Brandeis

Sister Helen Prejean and Fred Lawrence

Sister Helen Prejean and Fred Lawrence

Anti-death penalty activist, bestselling author and Roman Catholic nun, Sister Helen Prejean visited Brandeis on Feb. 6 to share her firsthand accounts of the people she’s ministered to on death row.

Sister Helen was invited to campus by the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism as part of ’DEIS Impact, Brandeis’ annual festival of social justice.

She began the day talking with the students in David Cunningham’s Protest, Politics, and Change: Social Movements class, which was packed not only with Brandeis students, but also 20 visiting Waltham High School juniors and seniors. Cunningham’s class was featured as part of ’DEIS Impact College, which spotlights academic engagement with social justice. These sessions of courses taught by Brandeis faculty represented a range of disciplines and shared a common goal: grounding college students’ passion for changing the world in solid theory. They are open to the public during ’DEIS Impact.

The Schuster Institute hosted a lunch at the Faculty Club honoring Sister Helen, where I was privileged to welcome her to Brandeis.

Later in the afternoon, Sister Helen attended a pre-event supper with Brandeis student research assistants who work at the Schuster Institute. Students, some of whom do in-depth research for the Institute’s Justice Brandeis Law Project (JBLP) and its two cases of suspected wrongful conviction, had the opportunity to have an informal discussion with Sister Helen, as well as with the mother of one of the inmates whose case the JBLP is investigating.

Sister Helen concluded the day at Levin Ballroom, where, in the words of Jess Linde writing for the Brandeis Hoot, she “stunned the crowd” with her message.

Sister Helen Prejean, Fred Lawrence, and Schuster Institute advisory board member Cynthia Berenson

Sister Helen Prejean, Fred Lawrence, and Schuster Institute advisory board member Cynthia Berenson

Visiting Korea for the first time

Jeff Jang, International Summer Campus manager; Walter Foreman, communication and protocol manager; Brandeis President Fred Lawrence; Professor Sung Jin Kang, and Albert Wonsuk Choi, student mobility manager.

Jeff Jang, International Summer Campus manager; Walter Foreman, communication and protocol manager; Brandeis President Fred Lawrence; Professor Sung Jin Kang, vice president for international affairs; and Albert Wonsuk Choi, student mobility manager.

I have just concluded a very successful visit with Korea University’s Sung Jin Kang, vice president for international affairs, to discuss how to expand student exchanges between our two universities. I received a wonderful campus tour and met with Jeff Jang, manager, International Summer Campus; Albert Wonsuk Choi, manager, student mobility; and Walter Foreman, manager, communication and protocol.

As we work to expand and diversify Brandeis’ global footprint, I have been delighted to meet with top-flight universities in various parts of Asia. Korea University, like Brandeis, is a relatively young (but old in Korean terms), highly selective private university. It has a Graduate School of International Studies and a business school that is the first in Korea to have AACSB accreditation. I am looking forward to returning to Brandeis to share some interesting potential areas of collaboration with my faculty colleagues.

Waltham City Officials and Stroum Scholars Reception

President Fred Lawrence with Waltham Mayor Jeanette McCarthy, Kathy Lawrence and Brandeis Stroum Scholars.

It was a pleasure to meet with Waltham Mayor Jeanette McCarthy (second from left) and other elected officials, along with our Stroum Family Waltham scholars, at a reception at our home. As our students and faculty return to Waltham, we are grateful to be at a great university in a great city.

Independence Week in Philadelphia

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Deborah Lauter, director of civil rights for the Anti-Defamation League; Erwin Chemerinsky, founding dean and distinguished professor of law and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law; Frederick M. Lawrence, president of Brandeis University; and Lyle Denniston, adviser on Constitutional Literacy for the National Constitution Center.

This year was one of the most dramatic conclusions of a United States Supreme Court term. In one week, the Court decided crucial questions of same-sex marriage, voting rights and affirmative action, decisions that enter into the lives of millions of Americans in direct and intimate ways.

Yesterday, at the National Constitution Center (NCC) in Philadelphia under the auspices of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), I once again had the honor and privilege of presenting an analysis of these landmark decisions with my friend Erwin Chemerinsky, the founding dean of the UC-Irvine Law School. Erwin and I have led this program together for well over a decade, previously as a national conference call.

This year, celebrating the ADL’s 100th anniversary, we were joined by distinguished Supreme Court commentator Lyle Denniston and the NCC’s new president and CEO, Jeffrey Rosen, my friend and former GW Law colleague, in presenting live at the Constitution Center, with an audience of thousands following the live-stream. There could be no better way to celebrate Independence week than to engage in a careful study of American Constitutional Law in the making, at the very place where in all began.

Watch the video of the panel on the ADL’s website.

Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center; Erwin Chemerinsky, founding dean and distinguished professor of law and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law; Frederick M. Lawrence, president of Brandeis University; Lyle Denniston, National Constitution Center's adviser on Constitutional literacy.

Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center; Erwin Chemerinsky, founding dean and distinguished professor of law and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law; Frederick M. Lawrence, president of Brandeis University; Lyle Denniston, adviser on Constitutional literacy for the National Constitution Center.

 

Do you recognize the man in the portrait?

Brandeis alumni who were admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States

Justice Brandeis seems to be casting a proud eye on a group of 19 Brandeis alumni who were admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States on Monday, June 3, 2013. President Frederick Lawrence stands in the middle of the group.

I had the pleasure of moving the admission of our alumni to the Supreme Court bar, a program we began last year that I hope will now become a Brandeis tradition. We are the only university in the country without a law school that organizes the admission of alumni before the Supreme Court. We arrived at the Court Monday morning, after a short walk over in a bit of a rain shower. We were escorted to the Lawyer’s Lounge where we met with William Suter, who has served as clerk of the Supreme Court since 1991. He described the admissions process to the applicants and their gathered families. Bill is a great public servant who will be stepping down from his position as clerk this summer. I am grateful that he was present both last year and this year for our inaugural Brandeis Supreme Court admission events.

While we waited for the Court to begin, alumni heard a bit about the International Center for Ethics Justice and Public Life from Professor Dan Terris. We were escorted to the courtroom where — by custom — the spectators sit in silence to wait for the beginning of the session at 10 a.m. As many times as I have seen this, I still get a thrill when the clock strikes 10 and the nine Justices of the Supreme Court take their seats on the bench.

We were fortunate to hear the court read a rather historic opinion regarding the admissibility of DNA evidence taken involuntarily from a cheek swab of a person who has been arrested. Under the process, the DNA sample is used to determine if the defendant in that crime may have been involved in another unrelated crime for which DNA evidence is available. We heard Justice Anthony Kennedy read a summary of the majority opinion, upholding the process. Justice Antonin Scalia read a dissenting option (joined by Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan), decrying this as a suspicionless search, previously deemed impermissible under the Fourth Amendment. I am sure that the case, Maryland v. King, will receive much attention for years to come. We will all remember being in the Courtroom when it was announced.

After the decisions were read, Bill Suter, as clerk of the Court, calls upon those making admission motions. I have to admit that it is quite an experience to be addressed as “President Lawrence” by Chief Justice John Roberts when called to present the motion for admission to the bar of our Brandeis University alumni. The real pleasure, however, is in seeing our distinguished graduates admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States.

After the session was adjourned, we were joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Ginsburg, who graciously answered questions and provided their perspective on the decision we just heard. After discussion, we headed outside to get a picture with the façade of the Supreme Court — impressive even when under renovation — in the background and were joined by our alumni for an informal luncheon and more lively discussion. Louis Brandeis would have been proud.

19 Brandeis alumni who were admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States on Monday, June 3.

(Photo / Rod Lamkey Jr.)

2013 Stroum Family Waltham Scholars

The 2013 Stroum Family Waltham Scholars with President Fred Lawrence: Michael Humbert, Benjamin Humbert, President Lawrence, Hannah Bernstein and Sejal Kotecha

The 2013 Stroum Family Waltham Scholars with President Fred Lawrence: Michael Humbert, Benjamin Humbert, President Lawrence, Hannah Bernstein and Sejal Kotecha

This morning I had the great privilege to meet the students from Waltham High School who have been selected for Stroum Family Waltham Scholars awards. Leaders in the Waltham community, including Mayor Jeanette McCarthy, attended a breakfast to honor these accomplished young men and women.

With me in the photo above are Michael Humbert, Benjamin Humbert (in case you are wondering, they ARE twins), Hannah Bernstein and Sejal Kotecha.

My sincere congratulations to all of them!




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