Two large donations were recently given to Brandeis, including $2.5 million for a new History Chair donated by Bill Friedman '65 and $6 million for the creation of The Village given by Melvin and Gail Nessel.In the late fall of 2003, Friedman gave the $2.5 million to fund the Ray Ginger History Chair, in honor of his mentor and former U.S. History Professor, the late Ray Ginger., who taught at Brandeis during the 1950s.

History Department Chair Paul Jankowski, who will also hold this endowed Chair, said that Friedman naming this Chair after his mentor was not common since donors usually ask the Chairs to be named after themselves.

"It's truly impressive that a former student will support the University and the History Department in this way, and that by endowing a chair, that allows us to continue promoting the study of history," Jankowski said.

On Dec. 1, 2003, there was a formal ceremony to honor Friedman's gift, attended by his friends, family, and members of the History Department.

At the event, Friedman gave comments about Ginger. Jankowski said that Friedman described Ginger "as a teacher, a man of principle and a man who gave him a life-long interest in history."

Professor Eugene Black (HIST) gave a few comments about Friedman. Adam Jaffee, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, spoke.

Lastly, Jankowski was officially inaugurated in Rapaporte Treasure Hall as the Ray Ginger Chair and gave a lecture about the image of America in modern French History.

President Jehuda Reinharz said the ceremony to honor the Nessel's contribution will take place in the Spring.

Reinharz noted that each one of these donations fills a very important need at the University.

"Without donations to the residence hall, we couldn't build it," Reinharz said. "We needed these funds to build the state-of-the-art building we did."

Reinharz said that such donations have a great impact on the Brandeis community by attracting more students to a new residence complex.