The Frank Jacoby lectures were established at the University of Bridgeport in 1952 by Frank Jacoby, president of the Frank Jacoby Foundation, Inc. “to further the brotherhood of man and the equality of man regardless of race, color, or creed.”
Born in Hungary, Mr. Jacoby moved to Bridgeport in 1894 and became one of the city’s leading merchants as well as one of its outstanding philanthropists.
Cognizant of his responsibilities to his chosen community as well as his obligations to others, Mr. Jacoby took an active interest in civic and community affairs. Among other things he was one of the founders and the first Treasurer of Congregation Bikur Cholim; he was a gold card member of B’nai B’rith; he was a life member of the Elks, St. John’s Lodge #3 of the Masons, the Obeh Grotto, and the Shriner’s Home for Crippled Children. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce and held a Gold Key Award for his efforts and contributions to the United Jewish Appeal.
Success and the respect of his fellow citizens deservedly came to Mr. Jacoby as the result of his outstanding efforts. During his lifetime, and under the terms of his Will, he supported institutions which were dedicated to humanity. Mr. Jacoby believed that if all people would practice the principles of ethics of the leading religious faiths and the philosophy of American democracy, the world would soon solve most of its problems.
It was toward this end that the Frank Jacoby Foundation endowed this lecture series at the University of Bridgeport. Each year an outstanding national figure is brought to the University campus to deliver a public lecture on the “Brotherhood of Man”. Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, holder of the Nobel Peace Prize Award, initiated the series in 1952.
Mr. Jacoby’s memory was perpetuated by many civic, fraternal and charitable organizations in which he was an active participant, as well as by this University of Bridgeport lecture series, and by annual essay contests in Bridgeport High Schools and in Laurelton Hall in Milford. Scholarships were also endowed in his memory at Brandeis University, University of Bridgeport, and Yeshiva University.
List of Lecturers
- 1952: Hon. Ralph J. Bunche
- 1953: Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt
- 1954: Gen. Carlos P. Romulo
- 1955: Gov. Harold E. Stassen
- 1956: Hon. Paul G. Hoffman
- 1957: Gov. Abraham Ribicoff
- 1958: Henry Cabot Lodge
- 1959: Pres. Harry Truman (cancelled)
- 1960: Norman Vincent Peale
- 1961: Martin Luther King, Jr.
- 1962: Barry Goldwater
- 1963: Sen. Wayne Morse, Oregon
- 1964: Jacob K. Javits
- 1965: William O. Douglas?
- 1966: Dr. Pitirim A. Sorokin
- 1967: Dr. Whitney Young, National Urban League
- 1968: Marietta Tree?