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Susan Weidman Schneider

How to Give away Money with Meaning

When Mindy Shapiro was an undergrad at the University of Maryland, there was no women’s studies major, so “I graduated in this field in 1982 by doing independent study.” She went on to graduate school in women’s studies—a discipline which is “about identity,”she says, and in the 1980s was one of the founders of the Jewish caucus at the National Women’s Studies Association. Now, she has endowed an undergraduate scholarship for research in women’s studies, with preference given to students in Jewish or religious studies.

Shapiro told Lilith that when she and her husband made their wills she had “put money aside for women’s studies. Then I thought—I want to be alive to see this happen!” This fall UMD’s Department of Women’s Studies will select its first Charlotte Brozer Shapiro Scholarship recipient; the award is named in memory of Shapiro’s late mother, who never had the opportunity to finish college.