Theodore N. Lerner, A.A. ’48, LL.B. ’50
Theodore “Ted” N. Lerner is remembered not only as the founder and owner of the Washington Nationals baseball team, a philanthropist and a real estate developer but also for his and his family’s significant impact on GW and D.C. Lerner died on Feb. 12 at 97 years old.
The son of immigrants, Lerner learned the power of an education from a young age. A member of the “Greatest Generation” and a native Washingtonian, Lerner served in the Army during World War II and later enrolled at GW on the G.I. Bill. He earned two degrees from GW: an A.A. degree from the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences and an LL.B. from GW Law.
But more than any degree, Lerner and his family have embodied the GW spirit and are always committed to building community. Lerner served for 15 years on the GW Board of Trustees, from 1986 to 2001. Three buildings on campus are named for the Lerner family: Theodore N. Lerner Hall at GW Law; the Annette and Theodore Lerner Family Health and Wellness Center; and the Lerner Family Hall at GW Hillel.
“As an alumnus, trustee, philanthropic leader and friend of the George Washington University, Mr. Lerner provided unparalleled support, generosity and wisdom to our university—enhancing our campuses and improving the lives of countless individuals in our university and District communities,” said GW President Mark S. Wrighton. “The legacy he leaves will shape our university's trajectory for years to come.”
Lerner and wife, the former Annette Morris, were married in 1951. Together, they had one son, two daughters, nine grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Lerner was the patriarch of a true GW family, with many of his relatives joining him as alumni, including his son, Mark David Lerner, B.B.A. ’75; daughter Marla Lerner Tanenbaum, J.D. ’83; son-in-law Robert “Bob” K. Tanenbaum, J.D. ’82, also a former GW trustee; and several grandchildren. Lerner’s daughter Debra Lerner Cohen, son-in-law Edward “Ed” Cohen, and daughter-in-law, Judy Lenkin Lerner, are also friends of the university.
During GW’s bicentennial year in 2021, Lerner alongside Mark, Marla, and Bob were named GW Monumental Alumni, the highest recognition given by the university to a graduate. An endowment from Lerner’s family foundation created the Lerner Family Associate Dean for Public Interest and Public Service Law, held by Alan B. Morrison at GW Law. “It is impossible to overstate the impact that Ted Lerner and his family have had on GW Law,” Morrison said. “The building with the main classrooms, where I teach every week, is named for Ted Lerner in honor of his financial and moral support for his alma mater.”
Adena Kirstein, executive director of GW Hillel, has also been personally affected by Lerner’s generosity.
“In my heart and for all of us here at GW Hillel, his memory will be a blessing because of the model he set in other arenas,” Kirstein said. “He had a deep and lasting commitment to family, a long-term investment in building vibrant Jewish communal life and a giving spirit that impacted many corners of our city.”
Apart from his family, the other great love of Lerner’s life was baseball. Among his proudest achievements was bringing the sport he loved back to the city he loved and leading the Washington Nationals to a World Series championship in 2019.
As the founder and principal of Lerner Enterprises, he helped transform the city into the metropolis it is today, providing private homes and apartments for thousands of Washington residents and developing more than 20 million square feet of commercial and retail buildings.
Lerner was also active in the planning and creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, serving as a member on its development committee and also, by presidential appointment, as a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.
Lerner, his wife and their children have supported numerous charities through the Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Foundation. Their philanthropy has been recognized with many honors and awards.
“Ted Lerner is synonymous with not just business success but with the utmost integrity and exceedingly generous philanthropy,” said Donna Arbide, GW’s vice president for development and alumni relations. “He and Annette’s indelible impact have made a difference in countless lives, and we are forever grateful for the mark they have made on the GW community.”
Morton Funger, A.A. ’52, B.A. ’53
Morton “Morty” Funger, a steadfast supporter and dedicated champion of the George Washington University, died on Jan. 6. He was 92.
Funger is remembered for his leadership and support of the university that spanned over five decades and included endowed professorships in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, the Elliott School of International Affairs and the School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
“I was fortunate to have the opportunity to speak regularly with Mr. Funger,” said Aristide Collins Jr., university vice president, secretary and chief of staff. “In addition to his and Mrs. Funger’s philanthropy, he constantly recommended outstanding applicants to the university. In my conversations with him, we talked about his pride and love for his family, appreciation for GW and the broader community.”
Funger earned an associate’s degree from CCAS and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the School of Business.
After graduating from GW, Funger had a successful career in real estate development. He was president and owner of Ralmor Corporation and a partner in Condor Corporation, a family-owned real estate company. He was also a co-founder and chair of Community Realty Company.
In 1986, Funger, along with his wife, Norma Lee Funger, established the Funger Hall Endowment Fund, which helps with maintenance, renovation and operations costs for the GW School of Business building that bears their name. They later established the W. Scott Funger Memorial Scholarship Fund in memory of their son, W. Scott Funger, J.D. ’83, who died in 2012.
"A university is blessed if they have sons and daughters like Funger."
Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, GW President Emeritus
In 2013, the Fungers were presented with GW’s President’s Medal, an award that recognizes individuals who have exhibited courage, character and leadership in their chosen fields and who exemplify the ability of all human beings to improve the lives of others.
“Funger was a special guy,” said GW President Emeritus Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, “a proud GW alumnus and a longtime servant of the institution as trustee and generous benefactor. A university is blessed if they have sons and daughters like Funger.”
Funger was a native Washingtonian who often gave back to many local charitable and philanthropic organizations. He held numerous leadership positions, including emeritus member of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Board, trustee of the National Gallery of Art Board of Trustees, and president of the Greater Washington Jewish Community Foundation.
His greatest treasures in life were his wife, four children and 10 grandchildren. Three of the Funger’s grandchildren are also GW alumni.
Calvin Cafritz, a businessman, philanthropist and longtime supporter of GW and the broader Washington, D.C., community, died on Jan. 12, at age 91.
Since 1989, Cafritz led the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, a charitable organization named for his parents. The foundation distributed hundreds of millions of dollars in grants to a range of nonprofit organizations.
In 2001, the Cafritz Foundation named the Cafritz Conference Center in the University Student Center. The foundation also gave generously to support the recent GW Hillel building renovation as well as to provide ongoing support to other civic-minded programs at GW.
Cafritz was a leading force in the establishment of GW’s Center for Excellence in Public Leadership in 1997, which supports leadership and management training for public sector employees.
Dean Liesl Riddle of the GW College of Professional Studies, where the center has been housed since 2005, said, “Thanks to the support of the Cafritz Foundation for more than 25 years, the center has supported organizational transformation across the public sector in the city. Mr. Cafritz recognized and championed this work, and its success is a part of his inspiring legacy.”
With support from the Cafritz Foundation, the Center for Excellence in Public Leadership hosts a yearly Cafritz Awards gala to honor D.C. government employees who demonstrate outstanding public service.
The Cafritz Foundation is also a longtime supporter of GW’s Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service.
"The D.C. community is better for his engagement, and we will miss him terribly."
Amy Cohen, Executive Director, Nashman Center
“Calvin Cafritz and the Cafritz Foundation have been part of the GW Honey Nashman Center from its earliest roots,” said Amy Cohen, executive director of the center. “Mr. Cafritz has been an exemplary advocate for excellence in government and nonprofits in D.C., and the foundation has been a force for community self-efficacy. The D.C. community is better for his engagement, and we will miss him terribly.”
Another longtime beneficiary of Cafritz Foundation support has been The Textile Museum.
"For over 30 years the Cafritz Foundation has supported The Textile Museum, especially as a prominent proponent of the museum’s move to the George Washington University," said John Wetenhall, director of the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum.
Cafritz is survived by his wife, Jane Lipton Cafritz, three children, three, and numerous grandchildren and step-grandchildren, as well as brother, Conrad Cafritz.
Lawyer and philanthropist Joseph “Joe” Lyon Brand, J.D. ’63, a former GW trustee and instructor who co-endowed GW Law’s Brand-Manatt Lecture Series, died Dec. 17, 2021. He was 86. After graduating from GW Law with honors, Brand joined the firm that would become Squire Patton Boggs LLP, where he would spend a five-decade career as a foreign affairs lawyer and international human rights activist.
Brand’s association with GW was long and multidimensional. He was a member of GW Law’s adjunct faculty, served on the Board of Trustees and was a member of the GW Law Dean’s Advisory Council. In 1993, he received GW Law’s Jacob Burns Award for Extraordinary Service. In 2016 Brand co-endowed a lecture series with Charles T. Manatt, J.D. ’62, hosted by GW’s International and Comparative Law Program. Brand-Manatt lecturers have included leaders from the United Nations, international human rights judges and White House alumni.
Barton H. “Bart” Kogan, an alumnus who established Kogan Plaza died on Oct. 3, 2022. He was 75 years old. Kogan earned a B.B.A. from the School of Business in 1969 and an M.A.E. in counseling in 1970. His commitment to GW students, GW’s Jewish community on campus, GW’s School of Business, and to higher education in general shapes his legacy. Kogan’s philanthropic support of GW was complemented by his time investment: He and served on the School of Business Board of Advisors from 1990 to 2012. "Bart will be deeply missed by our GWSB family," said Anuj Mehrotra, dean of GWSB. "His service on our GWSB Board of Advisors spanned more than a decade, and we are thankful for the many ways in which his thoughtful engagement and generosity continues to benefit our entire university."
After a career in telecommunications, Kogan founded BHK Management Company Inc., moving into property acquisition and management. He served as co-chair of the board of governors for Sinai Temple of Los Angeles and past president of the Western Region of the Federation of Temple Men’s Clubs.
Kogan Plaza was named in 1999 following a gift from the Brand Foundation of New York, a family foundation of which Bart Kogan was a founding board member. Kogan Plaza quickly became an iconic campus space that buzzes with activity as students gather, study, attend outdoor performances and host activities. The plaza’s tempietto and gates are among the recognizable features of GW's campus. His generosity encourages and inspires generations of leaders as they walk through and enjoy the plaza together in community. Kogan is survived by his brother, Michael S. Kogan.
F. David Fowler, a former dean of the George Washington University School of Business whose leadership and management skills were widely lauded, died on Jan. 18. He was 89. Fowler, whom the F. David Fowler Career Center in Duquès Hall is named after, was dean from 1992 to 1997 and worked tirelessly to help the school rise to international prominence. During Fowler's tenure, the quality of new graduate students steadily rose, with GMAT scores for entering M.B.A. candidates increasing by 40 points between 1996 to 1999. He also traveled extensively internationally to recruit students and raise awareness of GW Business.
Under Fowler’s watch, the school established the joint M.B.A. in International Business/M.A. in International Affairs program and a certificate in tourism destination management. It also launched four new research centers—the Center for Public Financial Management, the Financial Markets Research Institute, the Institute for Global Management and Research and the Center for Law Practice Strategy and Management Faculty.
Fowler came to GW from KPMG Peat Marwick, where he was managing partner of the Washington office and member of the board of directors. He had also served as chairman of the International Personnel Development Committee and of the KPMG Peat Marwick Foundation.
Roger Owen Moore, B.A. ’60, M.A. ’64 (Oct. 6, 2022, 89), was a longtime civil servant, whose 39-year federal government career included 10 years at the Pentagon and a posting as an intelligence officer for the U.S.-Taiwan Defense Command in Taipei. Originally from Cincinnati, Moore moved to D.C. to attend GW in 1956 after serving in the U.S. Air Force. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in international relations from GW and was awarded a Wolcott Foundation Fellowship. He also earned an M.B.A. degree from Central Michigan University. Moore was a lifelong Ohio State Buckeyes and Cincinnati Reds fan as well as a 32nd degree Mason and Shriner. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Gretchen Taggart Moore, three daughters and seven grandchildren as well as a brother and nieces, nephews and cousins.
Alfred “Alf” Hiltebeitel, (March 12, 2023, 80), professor emeritus of religion, history and human sciences, was an expert on Indian religious tradition and folklore. During his 49 years at GW, Hiltebeitel served as the director of the human sciences program, chair of the religion department and chair of the South India Term Abroad Program. He is survived by his wife, two sons, four stepchildren and three grandchildren.
Lt. Col. William “Bill” Collins Reagan, B.S. '61, (Feb. 18, 2023, 83), served his country for over two decades as an Air Force fighter pilot and flight commander. He was awarded several commendations during his military career, including the Air Force Bronze Star and Vietnam Service Medal. He is survived by three children, 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.