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Trustee endows new fellowship

Published: January 24, 2013
Section: News


Brandeis trustee Carol Richman Saivetz ’69, P ’97, P ’01 and her family have made a generous gift to establish a new fellowship.

The Fred and Rita Richman Distinguished Fellow in Public Life, named in honor of Saivetz’ parents, will be a speaker who is selected for his or her work in improving American society, strengthening democratic institutions and advancing the cause of social justice.

“The Richman Distinguished Fellow in Public Life makes an important contribution to Brandeis as an institution committed to public service and social justice,” President Fred Lawrence told BrandeisNOW. “We thank the members of the Saivetz family for their gift and their longstanding commitment to Brandeis.”

“The program grew out of the earlier “Richman Visiting Professorship” in the Politics Department. The original idea was to bring a practitioner of politics (as opposed to another Ph.D.) to campus to teach a course. The first incumbent was the late Ann Richards. Over the years, it became clear that it was difficult to get someone of that caliber to commit to a full semester, albeit once-a-week, on campus,” Saivetz said.

Selection as a Richman Fellow includes an honorarium of $25,000 and requires the selected individual to spend two to three days on the Brandeis campus, meeting with students and faculty and participating in other activities.

Adam Jaffe, the Fred C. Hecht Professor in Economics, will chair a faculty-student committee that will review and evaluate nominations before forwarding recommendations to the president. Nominations, which must include a narrative of no more than 1,000 words explaining the rationale for the nominee’s selection, must be received by March 1 for candidates to be considered for appointment during the 2013-2014 academic year.

Jason Kasman ’16, has started a campaign to nominate “The Colbert Report” TV personality Stephen Colbert as the first-ever Richman Fellow in 2014. There is a Facebook page, “Bring Stephen Colbert To Campus!” with 230 fans and a related petition on Change.org. Their goal is to reach 300 signatures before presenting the campaign to the Richman Fellows Committee.

“Stephen Colbert is certainly one of the most, if not the most, influential Americans today. Not only would bringing him to campus be a whole lot of fun, it would be a great boost to Brandeis publicity,” Kasman said.

Saivetz’ two children, Michael ’97 and Aliza ’01, also attended Brandeis. Past gifts from both the Richman and Saivetz families have supported scholarships and the study of architecture at Brandeis.