Dear Kogod Community:
All week, we have been gearing up for tomorrow’s graduation, where 217 undergraduates and 133 graduate students will receive diplomas thanks to their hard work, your instruction, mentorship, and support, and the encouragement of their families and friends. On Kogod’s social media channels this week, we have highlighted our graduation speakers, Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman, undergraduate speaker Camille Bakker, and graduate speaker Olukoye Sogunro. And this morning, we highlighted our faculty Marshals!
Today, in my last regular Friday post for the academic year, I want to highlight another Kogod grad who will be on stage: Marc Duber.
Why Marc Duber?
Tomorrow will be the last time Marc will be on stage for graduation in his role as a Chair of the American University Board of Trustees. His term ends at the end of the month when he will be succeeded by another exceptional AU alum, Gina Adams, one of the top executives at FedEx.
Marc grew up in Cleveland where he was buddies with another soon-to-be-famous AU grad, Gary Cohn. Gary once told me that he came to AU because of Marc. Marc graduated from Kogod in 1981.
Here is what happened to Marc at AU: he met a smart young woman named Nancy Serensky, another AU student. They were married in 1982. He was active in the undergraduate student government, where he served as comptroller and business manager of The Eagle. He had an internship for another AU grad, Stuart Bernstein (Kogod 1960), who was building a small real estate firm and was a young trustee on the AU Board. That internship turned into a job, post-graduation.
Today, The Bernstein Companies (TBC) is one of the largest and most successful real estate firms in the region, if not the country. TBC owns hotels, commercial office buildings, the headquarters for Marriott International, and other real estate assets throughout the region. Marc went from intern to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
While Marc has had extraordinary success in his career, here is what distinguishes him the most: he is an extraordinary person, equally kind and humble, generous with time and treasure, and someone who my mom would call a mensch. He has an infectious personality and boundless energy. AU gave Marc a wonderful education, the opportunity to meet his wife of 42 years, an internship, and a job. And Marc has paid it forward, in spades.
Marc has served on the AU Board of Trustees for more than 15 years. In partnership with Nancy, as well as Stuart and Wilma Bernstein (another AU alum), Marc supported the development of East Campus, including what is now called Duber Hall.