Fellowship, Lecture Series to Honor Heller Overseer Eli Segal '64

August 06, 2007

Classmates, friends, and family of Eli J. Segal ’64 are working to establish a fellowship program and lecture series at Brandeis that will honor the passionate citizen leader while also inspiring others to follow his lead and make service central to their lives.

Segal, who died in February 2006, was an accomplished businessman, skilled political strategist, and dedicated citizen servant. During the Clinton administration, he was the founding CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and, as President Clinton calls him, “the Father of AmeriCorps.” Segal also created the Welfare to Work Partnership, a project for which he received the Presidential Citizens Medal. He was a trustee of many nonprofit organizations, including CityYear, the National Alliance to End Homelessness (both of which he chaired), and the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.

A generous contributor to Brandeis, Segal served his alma mater in a variety of roles, including a stint as chair of the Brandeis Transitional Year Program/Posse Council and as a member of the Board of Overseers at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management.

The Eli J. Segal ’64 Citizen Leadership Program would provide fellowships for 15 Brandeis students (nine undergraduates and six graduate students at Heller), who would serve in summer internships at mission-driven organizations and be matched with mentors from Segal’s network of family, friends, and colleagues. These fellows would in turn become engaged in activities with a network of Segal Fellows, including others selected by the Corporation for National and Community Service, AmeriCorps alums, and CityYear. The Segal Memorial Lecture would serve as a national platform for the discussion of innovative ideas about citizen service and civic engagement.

“Eli was a master at translating the ‘poetry’ of big ideas into the ‘prose’ of an effective program,” said his wife, Phyllis (Nichamoff) ’66, one of the driving forces behind the initiative. “He took great joy in mentoring young people who aspired to make a difference, and this program is designed to extend his impact by developing future generations of citizen leaders.”

Our vision is that being a Segal Fellow will open doors and be a prized credential, signaling the Fellow’s qualities of leadership, passion for service, and entrepreneurship; significant experiences, including being mentored by talented leaders; and a broad network that will help him or her succeed,” Phyllis said. “The effort to create and endow this program in Eli’s honor is bringing together a wide circle of committed men and women, just as he did throughout his life.”

For more information about the program and becoming part of this circle, contact Claudia Jacobs ’70 (781-736-3806 or cjacobs@brandeis.edu).

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