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John Brademas
John Brademas 2.jpg
13th President of New York University
In office
Preceded byIvan Loveridge Bennett (Acting)
Succeeded byL. Jay Oliva
House Majority Whip
In office
January 3, 1977 – January 3, 1981
LeaderTip O'Neill
Preceded byJohn J. McFall
Succeeded byTom Foley
House Democratic Chief Deputy Whip
In office
January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1977
LeaderCarl Albert
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byDan Rostenkowski
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 3rd district
In office
January 3, 1959 – January 3, 1981
Preceded byF. Jay Nimtz
Succeeded byJohn P. Hiler
Personal details
Stephen John Brademas Jr.

(1927-03-02)March 2, 1927
Mishawaka, Indiana, U.S.
DiedJuly 11, 2016(2016-07-11) (aged 89)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationHarvard University (BA)
Brasenose College, Oxford (MA, PhD)

Stephen John Brademas Jr. (March 2, 1927 – July 11, 2016) was an American politician and educator originally from Indiana. He served as Majority Whip of the United States House of Representatives for the Democratic Party from 1977 to 1981 at the conclusion of a twenty-year career as a member of the United States House of Representatives. In addition to his major legislative accomplishments, including much federal legislation pertaining to schools, arts, and the humanities, he served as the 13th president of New York University from 1981 to 1992, and was a member of and subsequently the chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In addition he was a board member of the New York Stock Exchange and the Rockefeller Foundation.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ John D. Welty Tribute
  • ✪ Anne Marie Slaughter
  • ✪ It's Even Worse Than It Looks
  • ✪ Faculty Gallery Talks-John Bross


I was the first one in my family to have the opportunity to go to college and that has changed my life. I've done things that I never dreamed would be possible. John came from Illinois. His father worked on a milk farm and didn't want to see John to have to work as hard as he did. So John, you know had that passion for the students in the San Joaquin Valley. With John Welty it really started with a vision. He had experience in other parts of the country and saw the impact that major universities can have on their immediate surrounding area and so, he came here with the understanding that Fresno State could be a major instrument in turning around a region that really desperately needed it . I thought that there was a great opportunity here for the university to connect itself with the region and to demonstrate that a public university can be a major contributor to the region in which is located. When John came here he immediately set to work, the long term vision, making Fresno State a fully engaged university. And it's been very visionary on his part, I think, that he can muster all the resources and the wonderful faculty and staff to try to address some of the problems that we face here in Fresno. I think Dr. Welty completely changed the way the university connected with the city and with the region. Fresno State can never again be thought of as an isolated higher education institution. It is in fact, the center enterprise for the region. He has always wanted Fresno State to be seen as a problem solver and a partner throughout the Central Valley and as a result of his leadership, we are engaged in helping the region solve it's many problems. He's made Fresno State the economic engine of the San Joaquin Valley. If you were to think of one individual that has changed the face of Fresno, that person would have to be president Welty. He's a man of great principal and integrity and he's a quiet man with a backbone of steel. John Welty has been president of Fresno State longer than any president ever serve there. But John's greatest accomplishments was the focus of the Central Valley and the young people from the underserved communities. He has always put students first. That is a reflex for president Welty, his commitment for to Students. Some of the my best memories are about student celebrations, their accomplishments. I think, what really makes a difference for me, is to see those students, who have overcome incredible obstacles and they reach success. And that's what higher education is all about, transforming lives. I've known him for a long time, through many changes and hairstyles on both of our parts, actually not on his part, his hair hasn't changed a bit, mine has changed many times, if you look at the photo today, versus back then. I've been a student at Fresno State, I've worked for him for eight years, which was a real pleasure and now enjoy the relationship as Mayor of the city in which his university resides. I think a lot of people learned as we watched him. We watched him go after big dreams and big visions but in a very systematic solid step-by-step kind of manner. He really listens and lets you run with things and that's part of being a great mentor, a great leader and a great teacher and in many ways he exhibits all those traits every day. If you have difficulty things to say, say it to him, his very open and he listens. But he wants you to get right to it. You always know that you've hit the button if he pulls this little pad of paper and he sort of, he sort of makes a loud thump on the desk and he'll scratch out a note, "Oh okay, that, that has to change," so you know that you've hit paydirt when you got that little pad of paper coming out. It's fun to work with people that are excited about what they're doing, that have that gleam in the eye and want to do additional things and then to give them the freedom to try out things, to learn to be successful and also learn to stub their toe occasionally. But nevertheless to help them really get prepare to assume leadership positions. His legacy is going to live for quite some time. Well, it's a very courageous move to start a capital campaign at this point in our economic history. When everything else looks like it's going to hell and hand basket, he sees things as an opportunity. He believed in the university and he knew he could go out and tell that story. I think they support the university because John has painted a picture for them of what a university can be and I think they see themselves fitting in to that picture in some way, shape or form. So, I think his role in the capital campaign is so much more than just raising money for goals. It's about leaving a legacy, an impression and transformative experience for everyone what was engaged with him in building that campaign. There is plenty of bricks and matter around that would not be here, if it weren't for John Welty. Our beautiful library, our athletic facilities, our new buildings they are phenomenal! The Save Mart Center it was a big idea. A lot of people thought it was crazy, but it sits over there today. We have alumni who come on from the 70's and they go on the east side of the campus and they get lost. They have never seen any of that. He's going to be remembered for a number of great things, but, one of the things I think about president Welty is that he has put Fresno State on the national map in many ways. We have more students, we have more courses and we have more graduate programs. The addition of doctorate programs, 20 years ago, was unheard of and yet he managed all of that. Only one person gets to lead the university through it's Centennial celebration. I think we did it with dignity and with excitement and I think John really loved that whole year of the Centennial celebration. But I know this for sure, when we celebrate the 200 and they write another book of Fresno State, there'll be at least one whole chapter dedicated to the tenure of John Welty as president here. John Welty has been one of the best team players among all of the presidents of the CSU. He didn't just run this campus. He was a statesmen throughout the system. Through his leadership he has developed this identity of Fresno State, to make us a major force and major player both academically and athletically on the national stage. Dr. Welty over the last decade has made special interest in ensuring that athletics is very much part of the university. I thought that it was important for the university to be in the best conference possible. The advantage that we had as we were looking and aspiring to the Mountain West Conference, was the great reputation that Dr. Welty has throughout the west. He was highly instrumental in us being invited into the Mountain West Conference. That is something that John Welty worked on for 14 years and when he accomplished that, he really did something for Fresno State. President Welty currently serves as the Mountain West Conference representative to the NCAA board of directors and as well as the Bowl Championship series group. Let's see my first impression of president Welty was, "Does the man ever sleep?" I would look at his calendar and he would be booked from 7:00 in the morning to 9:00 at night. Sometimes he'd have three events he would attend in one evening, and I'd say, "You want me to block of any time?" and he says "No, just keep 'em coming, just keep 'em coming." He is a tireless worker. He outworks everybody, that's kind of legendary on campus. But, he also never forgets anything. Sometimes people say the four most feared words from him are, "Where are we with—?"fill in the blank. I think, is known for being a hard worker, but, he has balance in his life too. John and Sharon are the perfect presidential couple. She's got this national reputation for being the perfect complement to him and he to her. They're both really witty, they both love golf, they both are just absolute professionals. I came to Fresno State as a job, at a job interview, and I have to laugh because I came here I never thought I would be in California. I came here as a practice interview as somebody from Pennsylvania and thought nobody could ever afford to live in California, but I'll risk it and go for the interview. I felt in love with California while I was here and then John and I just found each other, it was kind of a nice thing that happened to both of us. Sharon certainly has made a huge difference in my life. That's been one of the great joys of being at Fresno State. She's probably the one that should be honored completely this evening because she's really played about three different roles and which can be very, very demanding. Took a faculty position, loved being in the classroom and was asked to be the director of the Join Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership and agreed to do that, and the rest is all history. I've been very happy here at Fresno State and very happy with my career. I think she is a tireless worker also, they both serve this university so well. She's with him at all the events, they're greeting everyone. We are very fortunate to have the university house, because it provides a place where we can showcase the university and entertain guest. It's certainly is a public home. A lot of people have keys and combinations and you never know who you are going to run into in the morning when you come down, when you are in your jammies and you run to the kitchen and there's the plumber, the painter, but it's been a lot of fun. I think --in this job, if you don't step back and laugh at yourself frequently you are going to have problems. Things that people may not know about him, is that he has a wonderful sense of humor. Particularly when we tell jokes about his driving. There are two things about him that are legendary one is his driving. We'll he's kind of speedy and I'm not, so you know, every time I get in that golf cart with him, I buckle up. I have looked to avoid getting in the car with him after being in there a couple of times. He has one hand on the steering wheel and he opens this briefcase full of papers, and I'm terrified. Lynette Zelezny the associate provost and I were coming back from a rotary meeting that John had also attended. So, I was sort of watching the traffic around me, there was a very shiny Lexus in a hurry... It was zooming down the highway and you know changing lanes very skillfully etcetera. And I said, "Boy, that person drives just like president Welty," and I looked up and I eent, "Oh, it is president Welty! And we both really laugh. So yeah he beat us by about 10 minutes back to the office, but he has things to do, so I get that. We'll actually I got a pretty good driving record in compared to those who criticize my driving record. But, I've always try to do as much as I can while I'm driving and make good use of the time. The second thing that is legendary about him is his handwriting. It's gotten worse... to now I have a magnifying glass Even he can't read it sometimes. We think it's klingon. The first time he wrote provost on a note to me, it looked like lots of different words to me and none of them at first glance were provost and then I tried to problem solve, and I realized well I'm the provost, maybe this is provost, and finally realized that yes, the word is provost. And from then on of course, %#54*^&, whatever that word was for anyone else, for me it meant provost. So it's a learning curve, it's a learning curve. One of the funniest moments in my entire career, was the day we celebrated John's 20th anniversary and the Cabinet did this fabulous rendition of Big Bad John. We were as ready as we could be. He's dressed up like a fairy, he's milked cows, he's dressed up as a mariachi player. We dressed him up as King-Kong and he wore the gorilla suit the entire ceremony. It was a faculty and staff picnic several years ago and the Cabinet did a karaoke of Gladys Knight and the Pips, we'd trolled to the left and John would troll to the right, and we give a step forward, and he'd step back, it was just hysterical. I've done things over the years I didn't think I was ever going to do, but It's always been fun. He's not a good pip, he's not a good pip. I always tried to beat Dr. Smits in that crazy little—whatever it was—tricycle competition that we used to have on campus. He must of spend so much practicing, I never could successfully beat him, so, I may still work on that. There was one year we dressed him up as Disco John and we were The Village Chicks, so we were all in custom, and I think It was Cindy Matson's first day on campus. I was just wearing regular clothes cause it was my first day, and got pulled up there to do the YMCA dance with president Welty and many others, so I remember thinking, Oh my goodness this is going to be a fun place to work. We have a Presidential Cheeto box, Dr. Welty's one of his guilty pleasures. So we like to keep it full for him, it's in his closet, so he always has Cheetos available. But we never have them at home. So, when I went to his office and found out that he has a box full of Cheetos everywhere I was pretty surprised. He might get some in his stocking one year. Now that we are transitioning out, it is bitter-sweet, it's bitter-sweet. Primarily, I'm going to miss the people. I've very much enjoyed working with the people at Fresno State. We got some incredibly talented people who care deeply about what they're doing, from the staff, faculty and administrators and certainly students and so it will be lonely not having the opportunity to interact with those folks, but, hopefully some folks will stop down and see us and if they don't want to play golf, we'll find out something else to do. He says he going to do a lot of golfing and he's going to do just fine, I'm not real sure we'll just have to wait and see. I'm not so sure he's going to be retired, he's just going to be, maybe retreaded. There been lots of surprises and it is been a full almost 22 years now. I always believed you have a responsibility to give as much as you can to the university in the community in which you are living and I shall never forget these experiences. There's been some great highs, there's been some lows but, all-in-all, Fresno State is a great university. It needs to believe in itself because I think it's making a major difference. It certainly as a distinction at National university at this point. Everyone should be proud of what they've done.


Early life and career

The oldest of four children, Brademas was born in 1927 to Stephen John Brademas, a Greek immigrant father, and the former Beatrice Goble, an American mother, in Mishawaka, Indiana. His father ran a restaurant and his mother was an elementary school teacher. He spent summers with his maternal grandfather, who was the state superintendent of schools in Canada, and possessed a large library.

Brademas graduated as valedictorian from Central High School in South Bend, Indiana. He served two years in the U.S. Navy, stationed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He attended Harvard University, from which he graduated with an A.B. magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa and where he was affiliated with Adams House. He won a Rhodes Scholarship and attended Brasenose College, Oxford, from which he received his D.Phil. in Social Studies.

Congressional service

Brademas served as United States Representative in Congress from Indiana's 3rd congressional district for 22 years (1959–81), the last four as House majority whip. While in Congress he was a member of the Committee on Education and Labor, where he played a leading role[citation needed] in writing most of the federal legislation enacted during that time concerning schools, colleges and universities; services for the elderly and the handicapped; libraries and museums; and the arts and humanities.

Brademas holds the distinction of being the first Greek-American member of Congress, preceding, among others, Olympia Snowe, Paul Tsongas and Paul Sarbanes.

Cosponsor of the 1965 legislation creating the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Brademas for ten years chaired the congressional subcommittee with jurisdiction over them. He was chief House sponsor of the Arts, Humanities and Cultural Affairs Act; Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Act; Museum Services Act; Library Services and Construction Act; National Commission on Libraries and Information Services Act; Education for All Handicapped Children Act; Alcohol and Drug Abuse Education Act; and International Education Act. He was also a major co-author of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965; the Higher Education Acts of 1972 and 1976, which focused on student aid; and the measure creating the National Institute of Education.

In December 1963, the Studebaker Corporation closed its South Bend, Indiana automobile manufacturing plants, putting more than 5,000 people out of work. Brademas was instrumental[citation needed] in helping the South Bend area recover from the Studebaker closing through his contacts in Washington. In 1964, after receiving an $81 million contract from the government, Kaiser Jeep Corporation purchased the Chippewa Avenue truck plant from Studebaker, and put a sizable number of people back to work building military and postal vehicles. Today, although the Chippewa plant is no longer in use, AM General, successor to Kaiser Jeep and American Motors Corporation, produces the military Humvee and the Hummer H1 and H2 in Mishawaka, Indiana, just east of South Bend. This would have been nearly impossible without the work of John Brademas in the mid-1960s.[citation needed] Brademas was defeated for reelection on November 4, 1980, by Republican John Hiler.

Career in education

After leaving Congress, Brademas moved to New York and served as president of New York University from 1981 to 1992. In 1990, he co-chaired the bipartisan independent commission mandated by Congress to review the grant-making procedures of the NEA. He was appointed by President Bill Clinton as chairman of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, and was also chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy, as well as a member of the Consultants' Panel to the Comptroller General of the United States.

Film actress Paulette Goddard left her multimillion-dollar estate to New York University in large part due to her friendship with Brademas.[citation needed]

Foundations and boards

Brademas served on a number of boards and national commissions on subjects ranging from the arts to higher education, foreign policy, jobs and small business, historic documents and records, and science, technology and government.

He was the chairman of the American Ditchley Foundation and co-chaired the Center for Science, Technology and Congress at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C.

Brademas served as chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as well as on the boards of Overseers of Harvard, New York Stock Exchange, Rockefeller Foundation and the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Athens. He served on several corporate board as well as boards of the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, American Council for the Arts, Center for National Policy and the Spanish Institute.

Brademas was awarded honorary degrees by 47 colleges and universities. He also received the annual Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. The Middle Common Room of Brasenose College, Oxford, is located in the Brademas Room, which is named in honor of Brademas.

Later life

On October 3, 2011, the King of Spain bestowed on John Brademas the Order of Isabella the Catholic, a Spanish civil order granted in recognition of services that benefit the country.

Brademas died on July 11, 2016 at the age of 89,[1]


  1. ^ "Former Indiana congressman John Brademas dies | Government & Politics". Retrieved December 12, 2017.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
F. Jay Nimtz
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
John P. Hiler
Preceded by
John J. McFall
House Majority Whip
Succeeded by
Tom Foley
Party political offices
New office House Democratic Chief Deputy Whip
Succeeded by
Dan Rostenkowski
Preceded by
John J. McFall
House Democratic Whip
Succeeded by
Tom Foley
Academic offices
Preceded by
Ivan Loveridge Bennett
President of New York University
Succeeded by
L. Jay Oliva
This page was last edited on 28 March 2019, at 20:22
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