Each year, students from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and religions learn to respect and appreciate each other’s differences through Lehigh’s cultural and artistic programs. Fostering this rich atmosphere has long been the mission of Nancy Berman and Alan Bloch.
Nancy received an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree from Lehigh in 1997 for her service to the arts, cultural, educational, and Jewish interest organizations. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in art and architecture history from Wellesley College in 1967 and a master’s degree in education from Hebrew Union College in 1977.
Nancy has been an integral part of Lehigh, supporting the arts and Jewish culture. She served as a member of the Board of Trustees in many capacities from 1999 to 2012. Her leadership as chair of the board’s Cultural Affairs Committee helped guide Lehigh artistically and culturally. In this role, she helped realize a more integrated vision for the arts throughout the campus community including Lehigh commissioning site-specific works of art now part of the STEPS building’s permanent design and architecture, re-siting outdoor sculptures, and gifting a large collection of ethnographic art to Lehigh’s permanent collection.
Nancy began her career in 1967 and held several curator positions including the curator of the Hebrew Union College Skirball Museum, Los Angeles, from 1972 to 1995. She was director of the Skirball Cultural Center Museum from 1996 to 2002.
In 2004, Nancy became president and executive director of the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation started by her parents in 1958 to fund art, education, and health projects. Nancy continues their philanthropic legacy through the Foundation with contributions to the university’s art galleries, Jewish and inter-faith programs, and the donation of her parents’ personal papers to Lehigh’s Special Collections.
Nancy’s husband, Alan, is a retired investment manager and currently is the vice president and treasurer of the Berman Foundation. He attended college in Rock Island, Illinois, and received a graduate degree in philosophy from Yale. Through Nancy and Alan’s leadership, Lehigh launched, and recently completed, a $2 million Campaign for Jewish Life, part of which established a permanent endowment for a full-time director of Jewish Life. Nancy and Alan are members of the Asa Packer Society and Tower Society, Lehigh’s leadership giving societies.
Nancy and Alan live in Los Angeles and have two adult children, Rebecca and Isaac. Alan’s grandson, Max, will graduate from Lehigh in 2014. Nancy’s parents, Philip and Muriel, are members of Lehigh’s Leadership Plaza and received honorary degrees from the university in 1969 and 1991.