The Death of John Brademas, NYU’s President from 1981 to 1992
TO: THE NYU COMMUNITY
FROM: William Berkley, Chairman of the NYU Board of Trustees and Andrew Hamilton, NYU President
DATE: Monday, July 11, 2016
It is our sad duty to report that John Brademas – a life-long, national champion of education and the arts; a Rhodes scholar; an 11-term Congressman from Indiana; and the 13th President of NYU and later Life Trustee of the University – died earlier today.
Seldom has an institution owed quite as much to a single individual as NYU owes John Brademas. At a time when both NYU and the city for which it is named were still struggling to overcome the challenges of the 1970s, John Brademas confidently moved from Washington D.C. to Washington Square and – with a group of far-sighted trustees – started the upward trajectory that created the NYU the world knows today: an indisputably great, prestigious, and influential university.
John Brademas was a person of remarkable character and integrity. He exemplified a life of service to causes and institutions greater than himself. Both in Congress and at NYU,he brought progress in difficult times. He believed NYU should be at the center of the great civic discourses of our times and used his influence to draw world leaders to Washington Square. And through his vision, optimism, self-assurance, and wisdom, he proved himself again and again as a great builder of institutions and a champion of education and the arts.
Prized and respected for his intelligence and dignity, he was called on, time and again, to serve in prominent public roles: as chair of the New York Federal Reserve, as a member of the New York State Board of Regents, and as Chair of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, to name just a few.
The NYU community grieves today not only for a person who made singular contributions to our University’s history and direction, and whose legacy includes landmark legislation in support of education and the arts, but also for a truly great man.
We extend our deepest sympathies to his wife, Mary Ellen - who, along with John, has been a constant part of this community for 35 years - and to all his loved ones, family, and friends. They are in our hearts on this sad day.
Services are being arranged at Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home, 1076 Madison Ave, in Manhattan; its website will carry the details as soon as they are finalized. A memorial service to honor John for all he did for NYU will be held on campus in the fall.
William R. Berkley
Chairman, Board of Trustees