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Brandeis University
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Brandeis University

("Hebrew for "Truth")
Established: 1948
Type: Private
Endowment: US $770 million
President: Jehuda Reinharz
Faculty: 326 full-time, 139 part-time
Staff: 961 full-time, 216 part-time
Undergraduates: 3,216
Postgraduates: 1,872
Location: Waltham, Massachusetts, USA
Campus: Suburban, 235 acres (1.00 km²)
Colors: Blue and White
Mascot: Ollie, the Owl (named for Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.)
Athletics: NCAA Division III UAA

Brandeis University (pronounced: brand-ice) is a private research university with a liberal arts focus,[1] located in Waltham, Massachusetts, United States. It is located in the southwestern corner of Waltham, nine miles (14 km) west of Boston. The University has an enrollment of approximately 3,200 undergraduate and 2,100 graduate students.[2] It was ranked by the U.S. News and World Report as the number 31 national university in the United States.[3]

Brandeis was founded in 1948 as a coeducational institution on the site of the former Middlesex University. The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, founded in 1959, is noteworthy for its graduate programs in social policy, social work, and international development[citation needed].

The university is named for the first Jewish Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Louis Dembitz Brandeis (1856–1941).

Brandeis is also sponsor of the Wien International Scholarship for non-American students.


The Brandeis University athletic teams The Judges compete in the University Athletic Association (UAA) conference of the NCAA Division III.

Brandeis has 10 varsity teams for both men and women, and 1 coed varsity team. The varsity teams are in:

Cross Country
Indoor and Outdoor Track
Swimming and Diving

Brandeis also has more than 18 club sports, including rugby union, ultimate, crew, lacrosse and martial arts.

Brandeis has had an impressive list of coaches for its athletic teams. Bud Collins coached the men's tennis team in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Chris Ford (2001-03) was the third former Boston Celtics player to become head coach at Brandeis, following K.C. Jones (1967-70) and Bob Brannum (1970-86). Benny Friedman, who was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005, served as athletic director from 1949 to 1961 and head football coach from 1951 to 1959, when the football team was disbanded due to high costs. Pete Varney, a former Major League Baseball player for the Chicago White Sox and Atlanta Braves is the current head coach of the baseball team.

Nelson Figueroa, currently a starting pitcher for the New York Mets , is the only Brandeis alum to play in Major League Baseball.

Brandeis graduate Tim Morehouse ('00) is the school's first and only Olympian so far. He will compete in the 2008 Olympics in Men's Saber in Beijing China. He was also an alternate on the US Olympic Men's Saber team sent to Athens in 2004. Tim is a five-time US national team member and has been ranked as high as 11th in the world and 1st in the US. The Brandeis Judges consistently send many fencers to the New England Regional NCAA championships, often with several continuing on to the NCAA National Championships.

The Brandeis Men's Soccer team won the ECAC Championship in the 2006/2007 season. The Women's Soccer team followed up in the 2007/2008 season with their first ECAC Championship since the program started.

History of Brandeis


Names associated with the conception of Brandeis include Israel Goldstein, George Alpert, C. Ruggles Smith, Albert Einstein, and Abram L. Sachar.

Usen Castle, the most recognized building on campusC. Ruggles Smith was the son of Dr. John Hall Smith, founder of Middlesex University, who had died in 1944. In 1946, the university was on the brink of financial collapse. At the time, it was one of the few medical schools in the U. S. that did not impose a Jewish quota; but it had never been able to secure AMA accreditation—in part, its founder believed, due to institutional antisemitism in the AMA[5]—and, as a result, Massachusetts had all but shut it down.

Israel Goldstein was a prominent rabbi in New York from 1918 until 1960 (when he immigrated to Israel), and an influential Zionist. Before 1946, he had headed the New York Board of Rabbis, the Jewish National Fund, and the Zionist Organization of America, and helped found the National Conference of Christians and Jews. On his eightieth birthday, in Israel, Yitzhak Rabin and other leaders of the government, the parliament, and the Zionist movement assembled at his house to pay him tribute.[6] But among all his accomplishments, the one chosen by the New York Times to headline his obituary was: "Rabbi Israel Goldstein, A Founder of Brandeis."[7]

C. Ruggles Smith, desperate for a way to save something of Middlesex University, learned of a New York committee headed by Goldstein that was seeking a campus to establish a Jewish-sponsored secular university, and approached Goldstein with a proposal to give the Middlesex campus and charter to Goldstein's committee, in the hope that his committee might "possess the apparent ability to reestablish the School of Medicine on an approved basis." Goldstein was concerned about being saddled with a failing medical school, but excited about the opportunity to secure a 100-acre (0.40 km²) "campus not far from New York, the premier Jewish community in the world, and only 10 miles (16 km) from Boston, one of the important Jewish population centers."[5] Goldstein agreed to accept Smith's offer.

Goldstein then proceeded to recruit George Alpert, a Boston lawyer with fund-raising experience as national vice president of the United Jewish Appeal.

George Alpert (1898-September 11, 1988) was a Boston lawyer who had worked his way through Boston University School of Law and cofounded the firm of Alpert and Alpert. His firm had a long association with the New York, New Haven and Hartford railroad, of which he was to become president from 1956 to 1961[8][9] (He is best known today as the father of Richard Alpert (Baba Ram Dass)[4]). He was influential in Boston's Jewish community. His Judaism "tended to be social rather than spiritual."[10] He was involved in assisting children displaced from Germany.[11]. Alpert was to be chairman of Brandeis from 1946 to 1954, and a director from 1946 until his death.[8]

Goldstein also recruited Albert Einstein, whose involvement, while stormy and short-lived, was extremely important, as it drew national attention to the nascent university. The founding organization was named "The Albert Einstein Foundation for Higher Learning, Inc." and early press accounts emphasized his involvement.

The Einstein incident
The origin of what was to become Brandeis was closely associated with the name of Albert Einstein from February 5, 1946,[12] when he agreed to the establishment of the Albert Einstein Foundation for Higher Learning, Inc., until June 22, 1947, when he withdrew his support.[13]

The trustees offered to name the university after Einstein in the summer of 1946, but Einstein declined, and on July 16, 1946 the board decided the university would be named after Louis Brandeis.[14]

On August 19, the plans for the new university were announced by prominent rabbi and Zionist Israel Goldstein, president of the Albert Einstein Foundation. Goldstein said that the planned university was to be supported by contributions from Jewish organizations and individuals, and stressed the point that the institution was to be without quotas and open to all "regardless of race, color, or creed." The institution was to be "deeply conscious both of the Hebraic tradition of Torah looking upon culture as a birthright, and of the American ideal of an educated democracy."[15] In later stories the New York Times' capsule characterization of Brandeis was "a Jewish-supported non-quota university."[13]

Einstein and Goldstein clashed almost immediately. Einstein objected to what he thought was excessively expansive promotion, and to Goldstein's sounding out Abram L. Sachar as a possible president without consulting Einstein. Einstein took great offense at Goldstein's having invited Cardinal Spellman to participate in a fundraising event. Einstein resigned on September 2, 1946. Believing the venture could not succeed without Einstein, Goldstein quickly agreed to resign himself, and Einstein returned; his brief departure was publicly denied.[16][13]

The Foundation acquired the campus of the Middlesex University in Waltham, which was almost defunct except for the Middlesex Veterinary and Medical College. The charter of this small and marginal operation was transferred to the Foundation along with the campus. The Foundation had pledged to continue operating it, but began to feel that it would never be more than third-rate, while its operating costs were burdensome at a time when the Foundation was trying to raise funds. Disputes arose whether to try to improve it—as Einstein wished[17]—or to terminate it.[16] Einstein also became alarmed by press announcements that exaggerated the school's success at fundraising, and on June 22, 1947 he made a final break with the enterprise. The veterinary school was closed, despite "indignant and well-publicized protests and demonstrations by the disappointed students and their parents".[16] George Alpert, a lawyer responsible for much of the organizational effort, gave another reason for the break: Einstein's desire to offer the presidency of the school to left-wing scholar Harold J. Laski. Alpert characterized Laski as "a man utterly alien to American principles of democracy, tarred with the Communist brush."[12] He said, "I can compromise on any subject but one: that one is Americanism."

Six years later, Einstein would decline the offer of an honorary degree from Brandeis, writing to Brandeis president Abram L. Sachar that "what happened in the stage of preparation of Brandeis University was not at all caused by a misunderstanding and cannot be made good any more."[12]

Historians Slater and Slater commented that "plagued by infighting, Brandeis in early 1948 seemed a project in serious trouble. Nonetheless, the school opened in the fall with 107 students." They list the opening of Brandeis as one of their "Great Moments in Jewish History."[18]

In 1954 Brandeis inaugurated a graduate program and became fully accredited.[18]

Other incidents

The student takeover of Ford Hall
From January 8-18, 1969 about 70 students captured and held then-student-center, Ford Hall.[19] The student protesters renamed the school "Malcolm X University" for the duration of the siege (distributing buttons with the new name and logo) and issued a list of ten demands for better minority representation on campus.[20] Most of these demands were subsequently met. Ford Hall was demolished in August 2000 to make way for a new student center, the Shapiro Center which had its groundbreaking October 25, 2000, and was opened and dedicated October 3, 2002.


Brandeis University History & Brandeis Information

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