Wall Street Journal: Brandeis irks another benefactor


Brandeis University, which has been mired in a kerfuffle with donors over the decision to potentially close its art museum and perhaps sell off some of its collection, appears to have irked the family of another benefactor over its decision to demolish a science building.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The descendant of a donor to Brandeis University sued the school, trying to block the demolition of a science building named for his great uncle.

The lawsuit is the latest in a growing number of disputes between donors and universities over honoring the intent of gifts — and the second such recent controversy involving Brandeis.

The university has said it expects to tear down the center named after Julius Kalman, a Lithuanian immigrant who amassed a fortune in Boston real estate and left the bulk of it to Brandeis when he died in 1956. Saying its science facilities are outdated, Brandeis is building a major new center named after donor Carl Shapiro, founder of apparel company Kay Windsor.

In a lawsuit filed in Suffolk County Probate Court in Boston, Mr. Kalman’s great nephew, Sumner Kalman, says Brandeis’s plan violates the terms of his will, which specified a gift for a building. The deceased Mr. Kalman bequeathed Boston real estate to Brandeis worth $1.8 million, more than $14 million in today’s dollars. Mr. Kalman is seeking a court injunction to stop the demolition, which Brandeis has said would occur this year.

Hat tip to the Chronicle of Philanthropy for pointing this one out.

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