Since its founding in 1893, American University has benefited greatly from the devotion, service, intellectual contributions, ethical behavior, and philanthropy of many thousands of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends.
In a very real sense, they also are "trustees" of the institutions by virtue of their dedication, affection, and generosity that help to ensure that the University will faithfully serve this and future generations. Those of us who have been chosen to serve as fiduciary trustees for a period of time—to safeguard the University's assets and to foster its capacity to serve others—enthusiastically and without reservation accept the following additional responsibilities as evidence of the commitment of each trustee. Read the Trustees' Statement of Commitment.
NEW BOARD LEADERS FOCUS ON AFFORDABILITY & INCLUSION
Marc Duber, Kogod/BSBA '81, and Gina Adams, SPA/BS '80, are AU's new Board leaders. They began terms as Board chair and vice chair, respectively, in May 2019. Duber is executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Bernstein Companies; Adams's background is in government affairs—but both share a love for AU and a sense of pride in the institution.
FALL 2019 RETREAT SUMMARY
The Board of Trustees met for its annual retreat on September 12 at the Decatur House. This annual gathering is unique in our calendar, where we both address university governance issues and also take time to consider larger questions that are affecting not only our community, but the entire higher education ecosystem. Among board actions, the trustees elected Michael W. Kempner (SPA/BS '81; founder and CEO, MWWPR, one of the world's leading PR firms) as a new trustee and named Benjamin M. Holtzman (SIS/BA '22; former student member of the board, Los Angeles Unified School District) as student trustee-elect. The trustees also approved revisions to board policies on closed sessions and Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Nondiscrimination—as part of an annual review to ensure that the board's bylaws and policies are consistent with DC law and are following best practices.
LEADERSHIP GIFTS BY AU TRUSTEES
President Sylvia Burwell announced two recent leadership gifts by members of the AU Board. Jack and Denise Cassell's $3 million gift will launch a new era in Athletics, and Alan and Amy Meltzer's $7 million gift supports the Center for Athletic Performance and creates a fellowship in the College of Arts and Sciences' Center for Israel Studies.
Several trustees were recently honored for their accomplishments. Betsy Mangone was inducted into the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners Hall of Fame--CGP's highest honor; Peter Scher was named to Business Insider's list of "10 people transforming how we think about capitalism;" Margery Kraus was featured in Enterprising Women's cover story and named "Woman of the Year" at EW's conference; and Mehdi Heravi will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters from Utah State University.