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Inauguration of Spertus Institute 9th President

Inauguration of Spertus Institute 9th President

Ceremony Marks Inauguration of Dr. Dean P. Bell as Ninth President of Spertus Institute

Dr. Dean P. Bell was inaugurated as President and CEO Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in a heartwarming ceremony on October 21, 2018. Dr. Bell becomes the ninth President in the Institute’s 94-year history.

A leading voice for the advancement of Jewish higher education, Bell is a 24-year Spertus veteran who previously served as Provost and Vice President. An accomplished educator, author, and scholar, he holds a faculty appointment as Professor of History in addition to his administrative role. Bell received his BA from the University of Chicago and MA and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. He served as President of the Midwest Jewish Studies Association and on the Board of the Association for Jewish Studies.

The ceremony was led by Spertus Dean and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Keren E. Fraiman. It began with an invocation by Bell’s predecessor, Spertus Chancellor Dr. Hal M. Lewis, and an introduction by Peter Bensinger, Jr., Chairman of the Spertus Board of Trustees.

In his address, Bell spoke about his passion for Spertus Institute’s exceptional mission, values, and programming. He conveyed his commitment to the excellence of the Institute’s graduate and professional offerings, its emphasis on advancing Jewish communal leadership, the welcoming nature of its public and cultural programs, its nondenominational orientation, and the ways in which Spertus makes a real difference in people’s lives.

Culminating the program, Honorary Doctorates were presented to Dr. Betsy Gidwitz, a specialist in Post-Soviet Jewish Affairs, and Margot Pritzker, Chairman of the Zohar Education Project.

Hundreds of Spertus students, alumni, donors, and friends attended, along with faculty members, trustees, and representatives of institutions including the University of Chicago, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, Archdiocese of Chicago, and Meadville Lombard Theological School. They were joined by viewers around the world who watched the event on Facebook Live.

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Spertus Institute is a partner with the Jewish United Fund in serving our community.


Sunday, October 21, 2018

Photo at left

From left to right, Dr. Betsy Gidwitz, Dr. Dean P. Bell, and Margot Pritzker. Photo by Robert Kusel.