The Eleanore and Marcus I. Breier Digital Learning Center at the School of Information Studies demonstrates the full integration of current technology into classroom instruction. For William and Joan Brodsky, it’s one more example of how they demonstrate their devotion to Syracuse University by supporting a variety of initiatives.
Among those present for the dedication of the Eleanore and Marcus I. Breier Digital Learning Center were, left to right, William Brodsky '65, G'68, Marcus I. Breier, SU Board of Trustees Chairman Joseph O. Lampe '53, G'55, and Joan Brodsky '67, G'68.
Joan Brodsky, who graduated in 1967 from the School of Education and earned a master’s degree in library science from the School of Library Science in 1968, named the renovated room in honor of her parents. The gift is a perfect balance to the Brodskys’ recent funding of the Helen and Irwin Brodsky Scholarship in the College of Law. The scholarship honors the parents of Bill Brodsky, who graduated from the College of Law in 1968 and the College of Arts and Sciences in 1965.
The idea for the center came to Joan Brodsky at the time of her father’s 85th birthday, several years ago. “My father’s totally digital,” she says. “He’s very interested in technology.” It took a few years for the plan to become reality, but Marcus Breier and other family members attended the room’s June 3 dedication.
“I think Dean von Dran has given tremendous service to the University,” says Joan Brodsky. “When we considered what the gift would support, we picked something that would enhance his work at the school and show our support for his leadership.”
Joan Brodsky has long been committed to putting information services and libraries on the cutting edge. At H.W. Smith Elementary School in Syracuse, she established one of the nation’s first media centers through a Title II grant to address the needs of the nation’s schools. No high-speed Internet connections existed in those days: The center featured a tape recorder, record players with earphones, typewriters, and an area for quiet interaction.
Over the years, Joan Brodsky has worked as a substitute Latin teacher and librarian in public schools. Currently a conservator at Chicago’s Spertus Museum, she also works in book preservation at the Newberry Library and serves on the board of visitors for the School of Information Studies.
Bill Brodsky, chair and CEO of the Chicago Board Options Exchange, is a University trustee, and all three of their children—Michael, Stephen, and Jonathan—received undergraduate degrees at Syracuse in the ’90s.
“We’ve had a lifelong commitment to Syracuse ever since we graduated,” says Bill Brodsky. The family has supported the renovation of the Hall of Languages, the constitutional law chair at Maxwell in honor of emeritus professor and family friend Michael O. Sawyer, and the construction of the Schine Student Center. “We dreamed of a student center when we were students,” Bill Brodsky says. “We’re glad our children could benefit from it.”
For the current campaign, the Brodskys decided to support graduate schools. “In each case, we chose to fund specific projects in which we could play an active role,” Bill Brodsky says. “Because we maintain relationships with these schools, we feel we’re not just writing a check, but participating in the mission of the University.”
“We really love Syracuse,” says Joan Brodsky. “It’s changed both our lives, and we’re grateful. Everything we do is an attempt to repay the University for all it’s meant to us.”
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