Mentor, trustee dies at age 83
Published: Monday, August 27, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
Trustee Ken Kaiserman ’60 died of cancer on Aug. 19 at the age of 73. Kaiserman was known for having a strong relationship with the University and a commitment to its values, which manifested itself in his mentorship of young alumni.
University President Frederick Lawrence called Kaiserman a “gentle, gracious man with a profound interest in ensuring that Brandeis continues to provide a life-changing educational experience for students.”
Kaiserman joined the Board of Trustees in 1995 and until his death was an influential figure for the University. Nancy Winship, senior vice president of institutional advancement, told BrandeisNOW that he “played an instrumental role in the fundraising success we have enjoyed through the years.” Winship also said that Kaiserman was a “mentor and trusted friend,” and that she would miss his “wise counsel, warmth, loyalty and generosity.”
In his role as a mentor to young alumni, Kaiserman developed a special relationship with Diony Elias ’04 who, according to BrandeisNOW, called Kaiserman a “friend, a mentor, and a teacher … His interest in me was heartfelt and genuine.”
The Philadelphia native was the president of Kaiserman Company, a real estate firm founded by his father in the 1920s, according to an obituary in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the newspaper where he also once worked.
As an undergraduate student at Brandeis, Kaiserman studied theater, a pursuit which he remained interested in long after graduating. He spent 34 years on the board of the Philadelphia Theatre Company, was a member of VOX, a New York City opera laboratory, and “would have attended theater every night if he could,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Kaiserman was also involved with the Alumni Association, the Alumni Annual Fund, the organization of his class reunions, and the renovation of Brandeis House.
He loved to travel, and became involved with philanthropic projects directed towards Ethiopian Jews after a trip to Ethiopia.
Kaiserman is survived by his wife Susan, brother Ron ’63, sister Constance, daughters Amanda and Laura and grandson Quentin.