Generous gift from SU Trustee and alumnus Robert B. Menschel establishes The University Lectures series
Generous gift from SU Trustee and alumnus Robert B. Menschel establishes The University Lectures seriesApril 13, 2001Judy Holmesjlholmes@syr.edu
A gift from Syracuse University Trustee Robert B. Menschel ’51 has led to the establishment of The University Lectures. The cross-disciplinary lecture series will bring to the University individuals of exceptional accomplishment in the areas of architecture and design; the humanities and the sciences; and public policy, management and communications. “Robert Menschel’s generous gift anticipated one of the initiatives of our new Academic Plan, namely expanding the opportunities for intellectual discourse and community by increasing the number of University-wide lectures and symposia,” says Vice Chancellor and Provost Deborah A. Freund. “We shall be forever grateful for his foresight.” The University Lectures will be presented and coordinated by the new Office of University Lectures, under the direction of Associate Vice Chancellor Michael Flusche. Flusche will work collaboratively with the deans to identify those individuals who will enhance the academic experience of SU students. The lectures will be open to the entire University community and to the greater Syracuse community. The lectures will be designed to supplement those that are currently presented by the University’s schools and colleges, and will be appropriately integrated with curricula. The University Lectures program helped support the presentation of Robert Pinsky, the 39th Poet Laureate of the United States, during the 2001 Syracuse Symposium, “Poetry: Moving Language, Language Moving,” in March. The University Lectures is also supporting the upcoming presentations of author, activist, explorer and Zen priest Peter Matthiessen April 18 and 19. Matthiessen will speak and read from his work during a series of events at SU, the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), the Onondaga Nation School and the Zen Center of Syracuse. Chief Oren Lyons, faithkeeper for the Onondaga Nation and professor of indigenous studies at the University at Buffalo, will join him for two of the events. In addition, The University Lectures is presenting internationally recognized architect Leon Krier of Claviers, France, who will speak on “The Making of Places” at 7 p.m. April 23 in Huntington Beard Crouse Hall’s Gifford Auditorium. Krier is a leading voice in the development of new urbanism, a set of values and principles he formulated through writings, lectures and drawings during the past 20 years. He is personal advisor to the Prince of Wales for whom he drew up the master plan for the development of Poundbury in Dorset.
“A great university is known in part by the caliber of the guests on campus,” Flusche says. “The University Lectures will bring some of the world’s leading minds to Syracuse University.” “The University Lectures Series is now in the early stages, and we look towards the future with great anticipation,” Flusche says. “We look forward to bringing individuals with the highest level of achievement and distinction–Pulitzer and Pritzker winners, Nobelists and visionaries from business and communications–to enrich the academic experiences of our students.” Menschel is a limited partner in Goldman, Sachs & Co., which he joined in 1954, becoming partner in 1966. Before joining Goldman, he was a specialist on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The founder of Goldman’s institutional department, Menschel was partner in charge of institutional sales from 1967 to 1978. He became a limited partner in 1979. In 1999, he was honored with the School of Management’s Jonathan J. Holtz Alumnus of the Year award. He was awarded an honorary degree from SU in 1991 and received the University’s George Arents Pioneer Medal in 1980 for “excellence in business, excellence in life.” Menschel serves on the executive and investment committees of the SU Board of Trustees. He has also supported many ventures at the University, including the Safire Chair; Light Work, the artist-run photography organization; and Light Work’s Robert B. Menschel Photography Gallery, located in the Schine Student Center. Menschel is active in cultural, civic and religious institutions in New York City and elsewhere. He is vice chairman of the board of trustees of the Museum of Modern Art, chair of the museum’s photography committee, and a member of its finance, investment and marketing committees. He serves or has served as a trustee of the Dalton School, Guild Hall (East Hampton), Congregation of Emanu-El and the American Jewish Committee. He also was a member of President Clinton’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, and the board of trustees of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J.