From left, Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, Barbara B. Balser, past ADL National Chair, Ronald D. Balser, ADL National Commissioner, David Strassler, who was presented with the Barbara B. Balser ADL Lifetime Achievement Award, and Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL National Chair. (Photo courtesy ADL)
David H. Strassler, M.B.A. '11, honorary member and former chair of the Board of Trustees and longtime supporter of Clark University, recently was honored by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in recognition of his dedicated commitment to the fight against ant-Semitism and for his decades of leadership in the service of ADL's mission to combat hate.
Strassler, of Great Barrington, was presented with the Barbara B. Balser ADL Lifetime Achievement Award on February 6, during ADL's National Executive Committee meeting in Palm Beach, Florida.
"David Strassler is living proof that one person can make a difference. Thanks to his generosity, Clark University launched what has grown into a hugely successful doctoral degree program in Holocaust History and Genocide Studies."
For more than four decades, Strassler has been a dedicated and committed leader of ADL, culminating with his election as ADL's National Chairman in 1994, a post in which he served with distinction through 1997.
Click here to read the ADL news release online.
A video of the presentation is available online here.
Strassler is vice president of Riverside Capital Management, and a general partner of Weston Associates, both in Great Barrington. He has maintained a longstanding association with Clark University. His commitment to the University developed, he says, because Clark is a place where one person can make a difference. He was a trustee (1985-2003), former chair of the Board of Trustees (1992-1995) and, served as co-chair of the University's capital "Campaign for a New Century."
A past national chairman of the Anti-Defamation League and a board member of Steven Spielberg's Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, Strassler has long been concerned about how the Holocaust will be remembered when the last generation of survivors is gone. His sense of philanthropy and strong belief in the power of education created The Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark. This Center has become an exciting forum for education and scholarship about the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, and other genocides around the world. Dedicated to teaching, research, and public service, the Center trains the Holocaust historians and genocide studies scholars of the future — the next cadre of professors, teachers, Holocaust museum directors and curators, and non-governmental organization and government agency experts — about genocide and genocidal situations. In addition, Strassler has funded the Strassler Distinguished Visiting Professorship, which brings leading scholars to Clark University.
"David Strassler is living proof that one person can make a difference," Debórah Dwork, Rose Professor of Holocaust History and founding director of the Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. "Thanks to his generosity, Clark University launched what has grown into a hugely successful doctoral degree program in Holocaust History and Genocide Studies. His vision created a brain trust in this field, a generation of trained young people who will be deployed into government and NGO positions, Holocaust and genocide memorials and museum, and universities and think tanks."
Strassler supports Clark students in many other ways, including Strassler Scholarships awarded to candidates interested in the Visual and Performing Arts (music, screen studies, art history, studio art and theater). Recipients receive a $60,000, four-year award ($15,000 per year), provided continuation requirements are met.
In his role on the Clark University Board of Trustees, Strassler worked very closely with the partnership between the Alumni Association Executive Board and the President of Clark University. In 1998, the Alumni Association made Strassler an honorary alumnus in appreciation of his commitment to and enthusiasm about Clark.
Strassler received a B.A. in 1955 from Harvard College and attended the M.I.T. School of Industrial Management from 1956 to 1957. In 2011, he received an MBA at Clark University's Graduate School of Management. He has served on the boards of Dynamy, Inc., and the Israel Policy Forum. He has been a member of the ADL's New England Regional Board, National Middle Eastern Affairs Committee, National Latin American Affairs Committee, and National Budget Committee.
Strassler lives in Great Barrington with his wife, Lorna.
Founded in 1887 in Worcester, Massachusetts, Clark University is a liberal arts-based research university addressing social and human imperatives on a global scale. Nationally renowned as a college that changes lives, Clark is emerging as a transformative force in higher education today. LEEP (Liberal Education and Effective Practice) is Clark's pioneering model of education that combines a robust liberal arts curriculum with life-changing world and workplace experiences. Clark's faculty and students work across boundaries to develop solutions to complex challenges in the natural sciences, psychology, geography, management, urban education, Holocaust and genocide studies, environmental studies, and international development and social change. The Clark educational experience embodies the University's motto: Challenge convention. Change our world.