Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1995-1996 index

Distributed May 28, 1996
Contact: Mark Nickel

Brown Corporation elects six new trustees

At its Commencement Weekend meeting May 26, the Brown Corporation elected six new trustees: Stanley J. Bernstein, Thomas W. Berry, J. Scott Burns, Ramon Cortines, Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, and Barbara Reisman.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The Brown Corporation, governing body of Brown University, elected six new trustees at its Commencement Weekend meeting Saturday, May 26.

The four new term trustees are Stanley J. Bernstein '65, chairman and CEO of the Biltrite Corp., Waltham, Mass.; Thomas W. Berry '70, limited partner with Goldman Sachs & Co., New York; Ramon Cortines, of the Education Department at Stanford University; and Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, an author who earned a master's degree in English at Brown in 1974. The two new alumni/ae trustees are J. Scott Burns '69, managing partner of Brown, Rudnick, Freed & Gesmer Ltd.; and Barbara Reisman '71, executive director of the Child Care Action Campaign. The six new trustees will serve six-year terms, from 1996 through 2002.

The Corporation is composed of a 12-member Board of Fellows and a 42-member Board of Trustees, all elected by the Corporation itself. Fourteen members of the Board of Trustees are alumni/ae trustees, nominated by the Brown Alumni Association and elected to office by the Corporation. The newly elected trustees will be sworn in at the next regular meeting of the Corporation in October.

The Corporation is responsible for establishing broad policies for the operation of the University, for selecting a president to carry out those policies, for appointing administrative officers and faculty members, for managing the funds and holding the real estate of the University. In addition to attending the three regular meetings of the Brown Corporation (October, February and May), trustees are normally asked to serve on one or more standing committees of the Corporation and may be asked to serve on ad hoc boards or committees established from time to time.

Stanley J. Bernstein received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown in 1965, concentrating in French and English literature. Three years later, he received his LL.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and was admitted to the Massachusetts bar. In 1968 he also joined the Biltrite Corporation, a rubber products manufacturing concern founded by his family in 1908. He rose to vice president in 1971, executive vice president in 1978, and chief executive officer in 1986. Bernstein has been active in the University's affairs, serving as the Brown Annual Fund's reunion co-chair for his 30th reunion and in various capacities during Brown's successful comprehensive campaign. He has also been involved in the National Alumni Schools Program through Brown's Office of Alumni Relations. His son, Michael, will enter Brown next fall as a member of the Class of 2000.

Thomas W. Berry received the combined Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree from Brown in 1970, in a concentration that combined engineering and economics. As an undergraduate, he was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi and Tau Beta Pi honorary societies and was a Francis Wayland Scholar for two years and a James Manning Scholar for one year. Following his graduation, he earned an M.B.A. at Harvard in 1972. In that year, he joined Goldman Sachs as an associate, served as vice president from 1979 to 1986, and became a partner in 1986. He has been a limited partner since 1992. Berry has been a committed volunteer and fund raiser for Brown, serving on various committees, including the executive committee of the Brown Annual Fund, and has been active in his 20th and 25th class reunions. Berry is the father of two Brown graduates, Shelly '92 and Seth '96.

J. Scott Burns received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown in 1969, concentrating in English. He earned his J.D. from Boston University Law School in 1972 and became assistant general counsel for Fleet Financial Corporation in that year. He served as general counsel for the Old Stone Corporation from 1978 to 1982 and as president of the Old Stone Development Corporation from 1982 until 1989. He has been managing partner at Brown, Rudnick, Freed & Gesmer Ltd. since 1989. Burns has been active in alumni affairs, serving as class marshal at three reunions. He also served the University as principal real estate advisor from 1986 to 1990. He is a director of Trinity Repertory Theater Company, the Rhode Island Zoological Society, and the Providence Athenaeum and has been involved with the Rhode Island School of Design as chair of the 1995 annual campaign and as a member of the fine arts committee.

Ramon Cortines, former chancellor of New York City public schools, is a graduate of Pasadena College (B.A. 1956; M.A. in school administration, 1964; M.A. in adult education in 1966). He began his career in Pasadena, where he was a teacher, principal and administrator for more than 20 years. He was superintendent of schools in San Jose in the mid-1980s and superintendent of schools in San Francisco from 1986 to 1992. Cortines was a member of President Bill Clinton's transition team and served as acting assistant secretary of Education for urban school from 1992 to 1993. In September 1993, he became chancellor of New York City's public school system, stepping down in 1995. He was credited with establishing system-wide standards, especially in math and science, and with raising system-wide reading scores. At Brown, he has been associated with the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, where he is serving a three-year term (1995-98) as a member of the Institute's first Board of Overseers.

Joanne Leedom-Ackerman earned her master's degree in English at Brown in 1974. She is a graduate of Principia College (1968), with a master's also from Johns Hopkins (1969). Leedom-Ackerman is the author of two books: No Marble Angels (1985), a collection of short stories, and The Dark Path to the River (1988), a novel. she has been involved with several P.E.N. organizations, serving as chair of International P.E.N., director of P.E.N.'s WiPC (Writers in Prison Committee) and as president of P.E.N. USA West (1988-89). She has taught creative writing at UCLA and has been a news and education reporter at the Christian Science Monitor.

Barbara Reisman received her Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude from Brown in 1971. She was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honorary society. After earning her M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School in 1976, she became research director for the United Electrical Workers (1976-84). After serving for two years (1984-86) as director of finance and administration at the Environmental Defense Fund, Reisman joined the Child Care Action Campaign, a national non-profit family and children's advocacy organization, where she continues as executive director. Reisman sponsored Brown students as interns at Child Care Action and has been active in alumni affairs. In 1993, she received the William Rogers Award, the highest honor that can be given by the Brown Alumni Association.