By COLlive reporter
Dr. Kathy Humphrey, Senior Vice-Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh, proudly accepted the University Partner Award from Rabbi Shmuel and Sara Weinstein, Directors of Chabad House on Campus, celebrating their 27th Anniversary on campus in Pittsburgh.
As her husband, Lyle Humphrey said, “When Kathy does something, it’s almost always for someone else!”
Perhaps the most loved and respected administrator of the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Humphrey has been voted “Best Administrator” by Pitt students for four years in a row.
Her popularity was evident from the presence of the overflowing crowd from both the university and the Pittsburgh Jewish community. The Who’s Who list for the Chabad House event was quite impressive.
In addition to five out of eleven siblings who came in from out of town to join Kathy, the highest-ranking university officials showed up for the party.
Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh, Patrick Gallagher, was the first to address the audience, expressing his gratitude both to Chabad House, for the important role it plays on campus, and to the honoree, for her partnership in that role.
Others included members of the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees, including the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Eva Tansky Blum; the President of Carnegie Mellon University, Dr. Subra Suresh; and over 100 Deans, Vice-Chancellors, Provosts, and other administrators from the University of Pittsburgh.
The Jewish community was well-represented by the CEO of the Greater Federation of Pittsburgh, Jeff Finkelstein; the president of ZOA, Pittsburgh Chapter, Jeffrey Pollock; the Head Emissary of Chabad Lubavitch in Western Pennsylvania and Dean of Yeshiva Schools, Rabbi Yisroel Rosenfeld; the Chairman of the Board of Yeshiva, Mr. William Rudolph; the Co-President of Yeshiva Schools, Mr. Shlomo Jacobs; the Chairman of the Board of Chabad House, Rabbi Yosef Silverman; as well as other Chabad House supporters. Close to 300 people participated.
“We view the students as the future leaders of society, the ones who will make the great accomplishments and innovations and shape the direction of history towards a world of goodness and kindness for all people,” said Rabbi Weinstein in his remarks.
“The education that they receive, both inside the classroom and beyond the classroom walls, can make all the difference,” he said. “We, at Chabad House, are here for them. That is our job. And that’s why we value our partnership with you, Kathy. You have gone above and beyond the call of duty, caring for every student, taking whatever action is necessary, no matter what. And as we see evidenced by those seated around the room this evening, that passion doesn’t go unnoticed.”
The 27th Anniversary was described by guests as “magical, beautiful, remarkable, a stunning success!” The program of the evening included a PowerPoint presentation of three student awardees describing their experiences with Chabad House, presented by Rabbi Shua and Shoshana Hoexter, directors of Grad Programs, and Rabbi Shmuli and Chasi Rothstein, directors of Undergrad Programs.
A highlight of the evening was a humorous video produced by Shmideo, using the university Mascot, the Pitt Panther, to represent a student who finds his way to Chabad House. Featured in the video are several university administrators, as well as Dr. Humphrey, who all attest to the vital role Chabad House plays in affecting lives of students on campus.
Following the video, Mr. Kenyon Bonner, Dean of Student Affairs, delivered a powerful introduction of Dr. Humphrey: “…a woman who needs no introduction.” Bonner eloquently described Humphrey’s many talents and roles, stressing her concern for each individual, and her untiring efforts in making a difference to so many.
After noting that Dr. Humphrey, a person who never stops, and is “always on the go,” has hosted Chabad House Shabbos meals in her home more than once, he concluded that only people like Shmuel and Sara Weinstein could get Kathy Humphrey to actually rest.
The climax of the night was the honoree’s gracious acceptance of the award. Quoting a verse from Ecclesiastes 4:9, “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.”
Humphrey went on to share the award with all of those who helped her get to this point, and to meet the challenges on campus. Following a standing ovation for the honoree, there was a tangible feeling in the room of a common cause, a coming together of great minds and powerful resources, striving to build bridges between the university and community, to benefit Jewish life on campus, and the campus community as a whole.