Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Oakland University donor receives volunteerism award
By Rebecca Wyatt Thomas, OU Web Writer
Lois Shaevsky was awarded the George W. Romney Award for Lifetime Achievement in Volunteerism during the 16th Annual National Philanthropy Day gala, hosted by the Greater Detroit Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in November. Shaevsky has volunteered with many high-profile organizations in Metro Detroit, including Oakland University. Coincidentally, the Romneys were neighbors with Shaevsky’s family as she was growing up and George Romney often gave Shaevsky a ride to school.
Nominated by Vice President of University Relations Susan Davies Goepp, Shaevsky was surprised to receive the award.
“My family was very involved in community events so volunteering is just part of my background. I feel volunteering is a very good fit for me. I can bring people together with the compatible organizations,” Shaevsky said. “I was thrilled and honored to receive the award for the work that I do.”
At Oakland University, Shaevsky serves on the advisory board of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Judaic Studies steering committee and previously served on the board for the Oakland University Art Gallery. Her affiliation with OU is something she describes as “a fluke,” but the relationship has grown over the years.
Shaevsky became acquainted with Oakland University through a chance encounter at a local restaurant. The College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board was at the restaurant having a meeting. On the board was a friend of Shaevsky’s, who introduced her to representative from OU who got her involved.
Shaevsky first got involved with the art gallery, later the CAS advisory board and most recently, Shaevsky and her husband, Mark, made a donation to help start Oakland University’s Judaic Studies program. She continues to be involved with the launch of the new program.
“Oakland University is blossoming into a real gem in the area, and it’s a wonderful resource for the community,” Shaevsky said. “The Judaic Studies program is a good fit for the university and I want to see it succeed as a viable academic establishment to educate people on the background of the religion.”
Shaevsky is involved with the Judaic Studies program’s upcoming event featuring Deborah Lipstadt, professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. Lipstadt’s lecture will be held Monday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. For more information on the lecture or to purchase tickets, call (248) 370-2140.
“The organizations I’m involved with have to be those that I feel really strongly about and that really touches my heart. In each of them, there is a need I feel I can fulfill,” Shaevsky said.
Shaevsky is involved with a number of organizations, including the Detroit Zoological Society, Detroit Public Television, The Children’s Center, Ministrelli Women’s Heart Center, and the Child Abuse and Neglect Council of Oakland County. She also has served and serves on the board of the Detroit Historical Museum, Michigan Humanities Council, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit and Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit.