Michael Gamson, one of YU’s newest members of the Board of Trustees, is proud to continue the philanthropic legacy of his father, Dr. Bernard W. Gamson, a”h, one of YU’s biggest friends for many years and a longtime member of Yeshiva College’s Board of Directors. Dr. Gamson passed away in 2000.
“My father, who grew up in Chicago, attended yeshiva and then earned a Master’s and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin, respectively,” says Gamson. “When he was introduced to YU by family friend Ludwig Jesselson, who served as chairman of the YU Board of Trustees, he saw immediately that it was a rare place of great distinction: where one could attain a wonderful Torah education along with a secular education to rival some of the best colleges in the country.”
Gamson, who was raised to value the significance of both Jewish and secular education and who attended both yeshiva and the University of Southern California, is a devoted supporter of YU as well. Along with his wife Barbara, he has endowed state-of-the-art physics laboratories at Yeshiva College, the Dr. Bernard W. Gamson Computational Physics Lab and the Dr. Bernard W. Gamson Physics Teaching Lab, and has given generously to the Yeshiva University Trustee Scholarship Fund.
“I look at my charitable giving in terms of what’s going to really matter 100 years from now,” said Gamson. “What will YU’s relevance to American and Orthodox Judaism be in three or four generations? I’m convinced that the Jewish community cannot exist without a strong YU, and if I can help it continue to grow and strengthen for the next several decades, I will do so wholeheartedly.”
Gamson and his wife, Barbara, were honored at YC’s annual dinner in 2007. They frequently attend the YU Hanukkah Dinner, Commencement, and events such as the annual Undergraduate Scholarship Reception.
“Seeing the campus, feeling a kinship with the YU community, and meeting and receiving thanks from scholarship students is very important to me,” Gamson said. “It makes me proud to see my investment ‘at work’.”
Gamson was formally inducted to the YU Board of Trustees in June 2011.
Speaking of his new role at the university, Gamson says, “I think the most important thing I can do is help spread the word to people about just how great our secular education is here at YU. This is not your grandfather’s or even your father’s YU – the food’s great, the dorms are better than ever, Rabbi Kenneth Brander is doing amazing things for the university with the Center for the Jewish Future, and we’re graduating great people with great resumes who get into top graduate schools around the country. I want to help tell people who may not know of these things that attending YU offers a great experience and a top-notch education, and to bring more people onto campus to see for themselves.”