Bernick is one of many who supports a Chicago educationBy Julia Morse
David Bernick (A.B.,’74, J.D.,’78) has funded a new professorship in the College, the Herman C. Bernick Family Professorship, named for his father Herman (A.M. ’38).
“The members of my family who received a University of Chicago liberal education went on to lead lives and pursue careers that were interesting and productive. This can be attributed, in part, to the invaluable skills that we developed at Chicago,” said Bernick. His grandmother Rose Maremont Schutz (A.M.,’39), mother Joan Schutz Bernick (A.B.,’40), great uncle Arnold Maremont (J.D.,’26), older brother Reuben (A.B.,’72) and son Evan Bernick (A.B.,’08) all attended the University.
The first holder of the Herman C. Bernick Family Professorship is Peter White, Professor in Classics and the College (see story on Peter White on Page 5).
John Boyer, Dean of the College, called White “an incredibly distinguished scholar, and a strong supporter and advocate for liberal education in the College. He is a wonderful selection for the first recipient of the Herman C. Bernick Family Professorship.”
Boyer added, “The College is extremely grateful to David Bernick and his family for their strong support of liberal education and the Core curriculum. David is an eloquent spokesperson for liberal education, and the Bernick family is a testament to the passion and success inspired by it.”
For Bernick, it was a natural decision to create a professorship in the College, as his family’s passion for liberal education has spanned generations.
Bernick said his father first majored in chemistry at the University of Colorado during the Depression. He came to the College to complete his undergraduate work in pre-law, but influenced by Mortimer Adler, he switched to philosophy. He pursued graduate studies in philosophy and worked on the original publication of the Great Books of the Western World. When David was born, Herman went into business and became an executive. He later returned to work for Encyclopedia Britannica.
The path of Bernick’s father was a lesson, he said. “Even though I never thought I’d be a lawyer, that’s the beauty of a Chicago education. You never know precisely how your learning will guide your future, but you have confidence that it will. This can be said of everyone in my family who received a Chicago education. And it’s not just about our work—it’s also about the quality of our lives.
“A true education in liberal arts is very hard to find today, but not at the University of Chicago, which has consistently nurtured liberal education as a top priority, even as most colleges have become more oriented toward education based upon subject matters.”