It is with great sadness that we mourn the death of our colleague and friend Alison R. Bernstein, director of the Institute for Women's Leadership (IWL). After a courageous battle with cancer, Alison passed away on Thursday, June 30, 2016.
Before joining Rutgers in 2011 as Institute Director and Professor of History and Women's & Gender Studies, Alison had a remarkable career in higher education and philanthropy. A highly regarded scholar in the field of Humanities and Women's Studies, Alison served as Associate Dean of Faculty at Princeton University before joining the Ford Foundation in 1982. She served first as a Ford program officer, later as director of the Education and Culture program (1992-96), and then as vice president for Knowledge, Creativity and Freedom and its successor program--Education Creativity and Free Expression.
As the dynamic director of the IWL, Alison introduced two new areas of focus: Women and Health; and Women, Media and Tech. She was also the creator and series editor for Junctures in Women's Leadership, a collection of eight books to be published by Rutgers University Press. For the past year she was leading a campaign to create and endow the Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University.
Alison expressly asked that anyone wishing to make a charitable gift in her honor should give to the Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair at Rutgers University. Alison created this chair to recognize Gloria’s unparalleled contributions to women’s opportunities, gender issues and global leadership. The link to make online gifts is here. Checks may also be made out to Rutgers University Foundation, noting the gift is for the Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair, c/o Lisa Hetfield, Institute for Women’s Leadership, 162 Ryders Lane, New Brunswick NJ, 08901.
Those of us who worked with Alison will cherish our time together and recall with a smile her larger than life presence, her keen intelligence, her love of the arts, and her laughter. We are so grateful for her leadership and her contributions to women's education here and throughout the world.
The Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University will be an enduring educational resource to prepare students to take leadership, challenge the status quo, and use media to address today’s complex social issues. Read more.
So far, 250 people and 10 foundations have given over $2.3 million. We need people like you, who care about women’s leadership and know the challenges, to take us to the $3 million dollar goal!