Berenson Sees Dividends From his Investments of Service and Philanthropy

February 27, 2015

When a client who'd long been associated with William James College suggested Peter Berenson, CPA consider membership on our Board about a dozen years ago, it was his business acumen, his financial know-how and his easy, modest style that combined to make him an excellent and much-needed fit. An accountant and later an investment advisor and consultant, Berenson helped bring financial order to William James College well before he was elected Board Chair in 2009.

Initially attracted to the people he met at William James College, Berenson appreciated the social justice mission they shared. It felt familiar to him; doing good was part of who he was. Those feelings were strengthened the better he got to know Nick Covino, William James College President. "He was always committed to helping those students who were unable to pay their way," says Berenson, who now chairs the Scholarship Sub-committee of our Campaign.

I'm excited about the direction the school is moving in fulfilling its social justice mission.
-Peter Berenson

Berenson considers his service to William James College, giving considerable time and considerable philanthropic support, as an investment. "I see the dividends my investments pay," he says. "I've been very vocal about student loans," not wanting to see qualified applicants turned away for lack of tuition. He is determined to ease the tremendous burden of loans so many William James College students endure. He is also attracted to William James College's focus on training mental health professionals to care for Veterans, members of the Latino community and children, all populations who can't always access the help they need.

When a client of many years, Eli Dubinsky, a man without family who'd also become Berenson's dear friend, asked him to be the administrator of his estate, Berenson was honored to create a William James College Scholarship Endowment Fund that perpetuated Dubinsky's legacy. "He wanted his philanthropy to last," says Berenson, who has also been very generous in his own philanthropic support of William James College.

"I'm excited about the direction the school is moving in fulfilling its social justice mission. It seems to be built into the very DNA of the school," he says. "It's a good time to be connected here."

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