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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Board inducts three corporate leaders as new members

Published: April 20, 2012
Section: News

The board of trustees elected three new members last week; Michael Frieze, George Krupp and Lisa Kranc ’75 begin their term on the board starting May 20. Frieze is chairman of the Gordon Brothers Group, a business and finance firm; Krupp is the co-founder and co-chairman of The Berkshire Group, another finance firm; and Kranc is the senior vice president of AutoZone Inc.

Krupp and Frieze are both philanthropists in the Boston-area and Kranc is an alumna and supporter of the alumni association to give back to the university. Former president Jehuda Reinharz assisted Krupp when Gann Academy, a local pluralistic Jewish high school, needed space to hold classes until they could have their own building.

Frieze was a Brandeis trustee from 2001 to 2005, and his wife is a Brandeis fellow and a member of the Heller School Board of Overseers. The couple supports the Transitional Year Program and the Posse Scholarship fund as well as the Heller School scholarships. Frieze’s love for Brandeis is due in part to its Jewish heritage and its strong social justice ties, according to a university press release.

Kranc ’75, has been on the Alumni Association Board of directors since 2006. In 2008 Kranc was made vice president of the board. Kranc has been very involved in the creation of B Connect, the online alumni community and heavily involved in helping the alumni establishments on campus thrive.

Kranc told The Hoot that she is “honored, humbled and excited to be named a trustee.” Kranc’s goal as a member of the board of trustees is to “ensure that they are helping the university administration to consider how best to thrive for the short- and long-term.” Kranc has the experience from the other boards that she has served on to help the institution grow.

She hopes to understand how the university continues to ensure the high quality of education for their students and faculty.

“I have always felt that the core values that the university embodies were special and unique—particularly social justice and truth unto its innermost parts,” Kranc said. “It is certainly a rich heritage upon which to build and grow.”

Kranc will focus on strengthening alumni connections to Brandeis, drawing on her experience working with the varying boards that center around alumni.

When asked about her experience as a student at Brandeis, Kranc said, “Brandeis was truly a life-changing experience for me, no exaggeration.”

She arrived at Brandeis the daughter of a holocaust survivor, coming from a chicken farm in a small town in Eastern Connecticut.

“Brandeis opened up my mind and my world to lots of opportunities,” she said.

Some of her opportunities while at Brandeis included a semester abroad at Tel Aviv University.
Her fondest memories of Brandeis were the classes that she took as a student. To this day, decades later, Kranc can still remember specific classes she took, like “Job and the Problem of Evil” or “Marx and Freud.” Kranc also took an American Art History course with Professor Bernstein that she still vividly remembers. She spoke fondly of all her American Studies classes, a field that eventually became her major.

The friends she made at Brandeis continue to affect her life. Kranc told The Hoot, “next week I’ll be in Israel at my nephew’s bar mitzvah and will be visiting with a long-time Brandeis friend, from DeRoy in l971 in Jerusalem.” Brandeis is a big part of her life, with her brother and her three cousins from her family also going on to join the Brandeis student body.