Kasman Family Lectures in Eastern European Jewish Life and Culture

Apr 19, 2010 | Excellence Funds & Program Support

The Kasman Family Lectures in Eastern European Jewish Life and Culture endowment was established by the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System on April 19, 2010, to benefit The University of Texas at Austin College of Liberal Arts. Gift funds were provided by Franklin G. Kasman, D.D.S. The endowment benefits The Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies.

“All my family are descendants of Eastern European Jewry. Those who survived have responsibility to educate the world about the glorious world of Eastern European Jewry.”
– Dr. Frank Kasman

The Center’s multi-disciplinary curriculum explores Jewish life, culture, history, languages, and thought. Course faculty are drawn from departments across the College of Liberal Arts, including history, Middle Eastern studies, government, theatre, and classics. Courses are open to any qualifying student. Scholars around the globe conduct unique research based on the Schusterman holdings. Dr. Kasman is a member of the Founders Circle.

Although not an alum, Dr. Kasman has been a fan of UT football, basketball, baseball, and track since 1970 and is the father of an alumna of the College of Fine Arts. In addition to his commitment to the Schusterman Center he has made generous gifts to the Law School, the College of Liberal Arts, Student Affairs, Texas Exes, and the UT System.

Despite his familiarity with the Forty Acres’ athletic programs and staff, Dr. Kasman was nonetheless surprised when, “out of the blue, after his retirement, Coach [Darrell K] Royal called me and asked me to meet and show him my photos of the Eastern European village of Radin. I was amazed he had interest in Jews in Europe, the Holocaust, etc. I spent hours with him – just like going to “heaven.” He was great! Knowledgeable. Who’d a known!?!”

These photographs of ordinary life before the Holocaust became the “Radin Collection”, which Dr. Radin proudly donated to the Dolph Briscoe Center. While preparing the collection Dr. Kasman relied on Yiddish language experts and other resources of the Jewish Studies program. In establishing this endowment in the name of his family, he honors his forebears and assures that their world will not be forgotten.

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