JOHN BRADEMAS

 

 

John Brademas, President Emeritus of New York University (NYU), served as President of the University from 1981 to 1992.  During that time Dr. Brademas led the transition of NYU from a regional commuter school to a national and international residential research university.  In 1984 he initiated a fundraising campaign that produced a total of $1 billion in ten years.  Said the New York Times, "A Decade and a Billion Dollars Put New York University in [the] First Rank."   Added Crain’s New York Business (August 6, 2001), “John Brademas turned NYU into an Ivy League rival….”  

 

In 2006 Dr. Brademas, received The John Gardner Spirit Award from Common Cause/New York for “his unparalleled dedication to public service and a stronger democracy through his work in Congress, at New York University and as one of the nation’s leading champion of the arts and education.”

 

In his book, An Entrepreneurial University (Tufts University Press), former Tufts Provost Saul Gittleman said, “[T]he trustees at NYU…in 1981 found an individual who proved to be nontraditional and transformational…. [T]he Brademas presidency became another model for trustees and regents to examine, as he took NYU to a new and competitive eminence in New York City and the nation.  By the time his presidency was over, Columbia University was looking over its shoulder, in no small measure due to John Brademas.  He was a potent fundraiser and extraordinary ambassador for the university”.

 

In their book, Shakespeare, Einstein, and the Bottom Line (Harvard University Press, 2003), scholars David L. Kirp and Jonathan Van Antwerpen state, “NYU is the success story in contemporary American higher education”.

 


 

Before coming to New York, Dr. Brademas served as United States Representative in Congress from Indiana's Third District for twenty-two years (1959-81), the last four as House Majority Whip.  While in Congress he was a member of the Committee on Education and Labor where he played a leading role in writing most of the Federal legislation enacted during that time concerning schools, colleges and universities; services for the elderly and the disabled; libraries and museums; the arts and the humanities.

 

In 2005 New York University announced the establishment, in its Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, of the John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress.  The Center undertakes research, teaching and public outreach activities focused on the role of Congress in making national policy.

 

From 1994 through 2001, Dr. Brademas served, by appointment of President Clinton, as Chairman of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, which in 1997 released Creative America, a report to the President on ways of strengthening support, private and public, for these two fields. 

 

Former Chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy, Dr. Brademas was also for 11 years Chairman of the American Ditchley Foundation, which helps organize conferences at Ditchley Park, near Oxford, England.

 

In Congress, a co-sponsor of the 1965 legislation creating the National Endowments for the Arts (NEA) and the Humanities (NEH), Dr. Brademas for ten years chaired the subcommittee of the House of Representatives with jurisdiction over them. 

 

He was chief House sponsor of the Arts, Humanities and Cultural Affairs Act; Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Act; Museum Services Act; Library Services and Construction Act Amendments; National Commission on Libraries and Information Services Act; Education for All Handicapped Children Act; Drug and Alcohol Abuse Education Act; International Education Act; and Environmental Education Act. 

 

He was also a major co-author of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965; the Higher Education Acts of 1972 and 1976, which focused on student aid; and chief author of the measures creating the National Institute of Education and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

 

He was chief House author as well of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974, which assured ownership by the Federal government of the papers and tapes of the Nixon Presidency.

                                                       


 

Dr. Brademas has served on a number of boards and national commissions on subjects ranging from the arts to higher education, foreign policy, jobs and small business, historic documents and records, and science, technology and government.

 

In 2004 he was elected to the New York State Board of Regents by the New York State Legislature and served on the Board until 2007.

 

He is a founding director of the Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe, headquartered in Salonika, Greece.  He is also a trustee of Anatolia College, the American College of Thessaloniki.

 

He currently serves on the boards of the Center for National Policy in Washington, D.C., the Queen Sofía Spanish Institute, InsurBanc, Comfidex Corporation and Society for the Preservation of the Greek Heritage.   

 

He is a member of The Century Association, Committee on Economic Development (CED), Council on Foreign Relations, Council on the United States and Spain, U.S.-Japan Foundation, and the National and International Advisory Councils of Transparency International, the organization that combats corruption in international business transactions.

 

In 2006 the Committee for Economic Development released a report, Education for Global Leadership: The Importance of International Studies and Foreign Language Education for U.S. Economic and National Security.  Dr. Brademas was a co-chair of the CED Subcommittee that produced the report.

 

He is also Vice Chairman of the Advisory Council of Americans for UNESCO and a member of the American Associates of the Saint Catherine Foundation.  He is a trustee of the World Conference of Religions for Peace and member of the Mental Illness Prevention Center Advisory Board of the NYU Medical Center.

 

He is also a member of the Executive Council of the Cyprus International Initiative for the Environment and Public Health—Harvard School of Public Health.

 

Former Chairman of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Dr. Brademas also served on the boards of Americans for the Arts, The Aspen Institute, Board of Overseers of Harvard, New York Stock Exchange, Rockefeller Foundation and The Trilateral Commission

 

He has served as well on the boards of RCA and NBC, Columbia Pictures, Berlitz, Kos Pharmaceuticals, Loews Corporation, NYNEX, Oxford University Press-USA, Scholastic, Texaco and the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation.

 

Dr. Brademas is a Lifetime Trustee of New York University and the University of Notre Dame.

 

Dr. Brademas is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and served on the Council of the Academy.  He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Education (USA) and a Corresponding Member of The Academy of Athens.

 

In 1983, as president of New York University, Dr. Brademas awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree to His Majesty, King Juan Carlos I of Spain. 

 

In 1997, in the presence of His Majesty and Queen Sofía of Spain and the First Lady of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Dr. Brademas announced the establishment of the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center at New York University.  He is President of the Foundation established in Spain to support the Center; His Majesty is Honorary President.

 

In 1985 Dr. Brademas received the Annual Gold Medal of The Spanish Institute; in 1993 was named a “Friend of Barcelona” by then Mayor Pasqual Maragall; and in 1997 was decorated by the Minister of Education and Culture of Spain with the Gran Cruz de la Orden de Alfonso X el Sabio

 

Among the other centers established at NYU during Dr. Brademas’ presidency are the Casa Italiana Zerilli-Màrimo, Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, The Center for Japan-U.S. Business & Economic Studies and, for the study of Europe, the Remarque Institute.

 


                                                                 

Born in Mishawaka, Indiana, on March 2, 1927, Dr. Brademas graduated from South Bend Central High School in 1945.  After service in the U.S. Navy in 1945-46, in the Naval Officers’ Training Program at the University of Mississippi, he was a Veterans National Scholar at Harvard University, from which he graduated with a B.A., magna cum laude, in 1949, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

 

In 1949 he was an intern, appointed by the U.S. Department of State to the United Nations, serving at Lake Success.

 

He was from 1950 to 1953 a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, from which he received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Social Studies in 1953.

 

Dr. Brademas has been awarded honorary degrees by 52 colleges and universities, most recently (2003) the degree of Doctor of Civil Law by the University of Oxford. The degree citation described him as “a man of varied talents and extraordinary energy, the most practical of academics, the most scholarly of men of action”.  He is an Honorary Fellow of Brasenose College, his college at Oxford.

 

In 1955-56 he was Executive Assistant to Adlai E. Stevenson in charge of research on issues during the 1956 presidential campaign.  Prior to his election to Congress, he was (1957-58) Assistant Professor of Political Science at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana.

                                                       


               

Dr. Brademas, a former member of the Senate of Phi Beta Kappa, its governing body, is a director of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

 

He is a former member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches and was a delegate from the United Methodist Church to the 4th Assembly of the WCC, in 1968, in Uppsala, Sweden, and to the 5th, in Nairobi, in 1975.

 

In a 1975 Change magazine poll of 4,000 college and university presidents, foundation executives, government officials and journalists, John Brademas was named one of “the Top Four” (with Clark Kerr, Theodore M. Hesburgh and Roger W. Heyns) “most important people in American higher education”.

 

In 1977 Dr. Brademas chaired the first Congressional delegation during the Carter Administration to visit the People's Republic of China, and in 1985 took part in the First Chinese-U.S. University Presidents' Seminar, held in Beijing.

 

In 1979, he led a delegation of Members of the House of Representatives who met in Moscow with Members of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.

 

Dr. Brademas led other Congressional delegations on official visits to Europe and Latin America.

                                                     


             

 During 1981-83 Dr. Brademas served, by appointment of House Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr., on the National Commission on Student Financial Assistance and chaired its Subcommittee on Graduate Education.  In 1983 the Commission approved the Subcommittee's study, Signs of Trouble and Erosion:  A Report on Graduate Education in America.

 

Dr. Brademas is a former member both of the National Commission on Financing Postsecondary Education and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.  In 1982-83 he served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Relations between Universities and Government in Support of Science.

 

In 1984 he served as chairman, by appointment of Governor Mario Cuomo, of the New York State Council on Fiscal and Economic Priorities.

 

In 1986-87 he served on the American Council on Education's Commission on National Challenges to Higher Education.

 

In 1986 he served on the National Commission on Jobs and Small Business.

 

During 1987-89 Dr. Brademas served on the National (Volcker) Commission on the Public Service, which produced Leadership for America, recommendations for attracting able persons to the career Federal civil service.  He subsequently served, by appointment of President George H.W. Bush, on the National Advisory Council on the Public Service.

 

In 1992 he served on the Carnegie International Endowment National Commission on America and the New World. He also served on the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology and Government and chaired its Committee on Congress.

                                                      


          

In 1998, in Buenos Aires, he was inducted as a Corresponding Member of the National Academy of Education of Argentina and in 1999, in Vienna, a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.

 

He is an Honorary Patron of the Fundación Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid.

 

He a director of the American Friends of Girona (Spain) Museum and Institute, and member of the Board of Advisors of VSA/arts and the International Advisory Council of the Pharos Trust (Cyprus).

 

He serves on the National Advisory Board, Institutions of Democracy, Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania.

 

He is a member of The Pilgrims Society of Great Britain and The Pilgrims Society of the United States.

 

He is former chairman of the National Advisory Committee of "Fighting Back," a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program to help communities reduce demand for illegal drugs and alcohol.

 

He was also chairman of the Advisory Council of the David Rockefeller Fellowships of the New York City Partnership.

 


 

In 1990 he served as co-chairman of the Independent Commission created by Congress to review the grant-making procedures of the National Endowment for the Arts.

 

In 1996 he served on the Twentieth Century Fund Task Force on the Presidential Appointments Process.


 

In 1975 Dr. Brademas was awarded the Gold Medal of St. Barnabas by President Makarios of Cyprus.

 

In 1978 Dr. Brademas received the annual Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

 

In 1980 he was, with Leonard Bernstein and Eubie Blake, one of the first three recipients from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, Baltimore, of the George Foster Peabody Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music in America.

 

In 1981 he received the Town Hall (New York City) Friend of the Arts Award.

 

Dr. Brademas was named High Knight Commander of Honor (Order of the Phoenix) by President Constantine Karamanlis of Greece in 1981.

 

In 1982 Patriarch Diodoros of Jerusalem made Dr. Brademas a Grand Commander of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre.

 

Dr. Brademas has received other awards, including the Annual Cultural Award, Recording Industry of America; the Distinguished Service Award, American Association of University Presses; the Medal for Distinguished Service, Teachers College, Columbia University; and the award for Distinguished Service in International Education of the Institute of International Education.

 

Dr. Brademas received the first James Bryant Conant Award for distinguished service to education from the Education Commission of the States, the Gold Key Award of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, the Distinguished Service Award of the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Caritas Society Award for outstanding contributions in the field of mental retardation, and the Humanist of the Year Award of the National Association for Humanities Education.

 


 

In 1984 Dr. Brademas received the annual Hubert H. Humphrey Award of the American Political Science Association for outstanding public service by a political scientist.

 

In 1984 Dr. Brademas was named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor of France.

 

In 1985 Dr. Brademas received the annual Charles Evans Hughes Gold Medal Award of the National Conference of Christians and Jews "for courageous leadership in governmental, civic and humanitarian affairs."

 

In 1986 Dr. Brademas, first native-born American of Greek origin elected to Congress, was one of eighty persons to receive the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

 

In 1988 he received the National Governors' Association Award for Distinguished Service to State Government.

 

In 1990 Dr. Brademas received the Athenagoras Award for Human Rights, named for the late Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople, Ecumenical Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

 

In 1991 he was awarded the Gold Medal of Honor of the City of Athens.

 

In 1992 he received the Annual American Assembly Service to Democracy Award and Dwight D. Eisenhower Medal.

 

In 1993 he received the Human Dignity Award of the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation.

 

In 1996 he received the American Council for the Arts Award for Distinguished Service.

 

In 1997 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Indiana Council for the Humanities.


 

In 1998 he was named a “Distinguished Friend of Oxford University” and received the Lifetime Achievement Award of The Cyprus Federation of America.

 

In l999 he received the Benjamin Rush Award for “humanistic values in corporate and government life”, Dickinson College, Pa; and the Anderson Ranch Arts Center (Aspen, Colorado), National Service Award.

 

In 2000 he received the Annual Fulbright Award from Metro International (New York City) for “significant contribution to international understanding”.

 

In 2000 he received the Lifetime Achievement for Leadership in the Arts Award from Americans for the Arts and the United States Conference of Mayors.  He also was awarded the Honorific Title of Commendatore in the Order of Merit, conferred by the President of the Republic of Italy.

In 2001 he received the Service to Democracy Award of the National Endowment for Democracy.

In 2001 he was awarded the Albert Gallatin Medal of New York University, presented annually to a member of the NYU family for outstanding contributions to society.

 


 In 2002 the Post Office in South Bend, Indiana, was named the “John Brademas Post Office”.

 

In 2002 he received the Distinguished Service Award of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

 

In 2004 he received the first Global Education Achievement Award from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

 

In 2006 he was selected by the American Association of Museums for inclusion on the AAM Centennial Honor Roll as “a pioneer in the museum field” because of his co-sponsorship of the legislation establishing the National Endowment for the Humanities and his having been “chief House sponsor of the Museum Services Act….”

 


 

In 2007 he was decorated, with former United States Senator Paul Sarbanes, by the President of Cyprus, Tassos Papadopoulos, with the Grand Cross of the Order of Makarios III.

                                                          


    

Dr. Brademas' study of the anarchist movement in Spain, Anarcosindicalismo y revolución en España, 1930-37, was published in Barcelona by Ariel in 1974.

 

Dr. Brademas is, with Lynne P. Brown, author of The Politics of Education: Conflict and Consensus on Capitol Hill, published in 1987 by the University of Oklahoma Press.

 

He is also author of Washington, D.C. to Washington Square (New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1986), a collection of essays, speeches and book reviews on Federal policy toward higher education, the arts, humanities, libraries and museums, and the education of handicapped children; as well as on foreign and economic policy; Greek studies in the United States; the place of religion in public life; and other subjects.

 

He is married to Mary Ellen Brademas, of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.  A physician in private practice in New York City, Dr. Brademas is a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Medicine.  A member of the Department of Dermatology of the NYU Medical Center, she is former director of the venereal disease clinic at Bellevue Hospital and former chief of dermatology at St. Vincent's Hospital.

 

About the Award | Past Honorees | Current Recipient