Dr. John Brademas

Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. John Brademas, President Emeritus of New York University (NYU) and former Majority Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives, has been one of the nation's leading champions of the arts and education. His many crowning achievements include his tenure from 1981-1992, as president of NYU, where he led the transformation of the University from a regional commuter school to an international residential research university and initiated a fundraising campaign that produced a remarkable $1 billion. Dr. Brademas earned his credentials as a leader in education and the arts while representing Indiana's Third District in Congress for 22 years (1959-1981). As a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, he played a principal role in writing most of the Federal legislation enacted during those years to assist elementary, secondary and higher education as well as to support libraries, museums and the arts. Dr. Brademas co-sponsored the 1965 legislation establishing the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1990, he co-chaired the congressionally-mandated, bipartisan Independent Commission to review the NEA. The Commission wrote, in large measure due to Dr. Brademas' leadership, a unanimous report supporting continuation of the Arts Endowment.

In 1994, President Clinton appointed Dr. Brademas chairman of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. In 1997 the Committee produced Creative America, a benchmark report to the president providing a comprehensive analysis of cultural life in the United States and making more than 50 specific recommendations for strengthening public and private sector support for the arts and the humanities. He has chaired public meeting in several cities to engage cultural and educational leaders in discussing the recommendations, one of which resulted in President Clinton's establishing the White House Millennium Council. Over the years, Dr. Brademas has written articles and delivered many speeches on arts, arts education and philanthropy, including the 1991 Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy. He is a graduate of Harvard University, magna cum laude, and Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar and earned a doctorate. Dr. Brademas has been awarded honorary degrees by 51 colleges and universities. He serves, or has served, on the boards of many organizations including the Rockefeller and Texaco Foundations, Americans for the Arts, Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, Loews Corporation, Oxford University Press-USA and the National Endowment for Democracy, which he chairs. During his tenure as chairman of the Texaco Foundation, the Foundation changed its grantmaking policies to focus on music and science education in the early grades. Dr. Brademas is currently president of the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center of New York University Foundation. He is married to Mary Ellen Brademas, a physician in private practice in New York City.