'Unshakable commitment' cited as Brandeis presents honorary degree to Carl ShapiroReleased on January 23, 2003
Contact: Dennis Nealon email@example.com
When Carl Shapiro received an honorary degree from Brandeis Jan. 18, the University formally recognized the life's work of one of its greatest supporters and one of the more prolific philanthropists of the past half-century.
Carl Shapiro became a Brandeis benefactor in 1950 when he made his first of many donations to the University, which then was just two years old. His wife Ruth, who joined the University's National Women's Committee in 1948, has supported Brandeis with her husband ever since. Together they gave $25 million, the largest gift in Brandeis history, to build the newly opened Carl and Ruth Shapiro Campus Center. At Brandeis, the Shapiros also funded the admissions center and endowed a chair in international finance held by Peter Petri, dean of the Graduate School of International Economics and Finance.
The Shapiros also funded the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Center for Library Technology and Journals in the Farber Library on campus.
The honorary degree for Carl Shapiro, presented by Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Stephen Kay at a Palm Beach gathering, cites an "unshakable commitment to making the world a better place." The University's highest honor, it recognizes the Shapiros' dedication and giving to the arts, education, health care, and social service.
Carl Shapiro was surrounded by family members at the surprise presentation, during which his daughters performed the ceremonial hooding. Some 100 people attended, including Brandeis trustees and University supporters.
The Shapiros also have made major contributions to the Museum of Fine Arts, the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, the Norton Museum of Art, and the Palm Beach Opera, among other institutions.
"The innovative initiatives, programs, and buildings you have supported will enrich the lives of many for generations to come," reads the honorary degree citation.
Carl Shapiro formed Kay Windsor in 1939 and built it into one of the largest women's apparel companies in the country. He is the former president and chairman of the board of Kay Windsor Inc., and was director of V.F. Corp., which acquired Kay Windsor in 1971.
Carl Shapiro served as a Brandeis Fellow from 1977-79, and as a Trustee from 1979 to 1988, when he became a Trustee emeritus. One of the couple's daughters, Rhonda Zinner, is currently on the Brandeis Board of Trustees, and has been a key organizer and planner in the family's philanthropic causes and projects, including the University's new campus center.