Friends Honor Colleague and AUWCL Alumnus Frank Menaker Jr.
By Krislyn Melson
Frank Menaker was “someone you could follow as a leader,” says Menaker’s former coworker Marian Block. As a result, his passing in February of this year touched many who had worked with him. Menaker’s dedication to integrity and ethics defined his career, inspiring three of his former colleagues and friends to honor his mission of corporate ethics by establishing the Frank H. Menaker, Jr. Memorial Initiative at American University Washington College of Law.
Marian Block, Jay Brozost, and Maryanne Lavan ’84, all of Lockheed Martin, were hired by Menaker at different points in their careers. “If there was corruption in the companies, then Frank wanted it to surface and to be on top of it,” Brozost explained. “He had a real vision of how a corporation should work. I bought into it.”
“Frank definitely had a focus on compliance and ethics,” said Lavin. “Once he engrained the ethics into his people, they could become better lawyers. When we brought people on, we implanted that in them.”
As a result, the values that Menaker held directly influenced the creation of the initiative in his honor.
“We thought about a scholarship program, [but] the more we talked about it, the program morphed into a multi-faceted lecture series where we could focus on recent development and changes in the law, where we could reach students and practitioners,” Brozost explained.
The donations will be used in three ways:
- Establishment of an annual lecture series – The Frank H. Menaker Corporate Integrity and Ethics Lecture – during the regular school year. This this lecture will serve as a public forum for a noted participant in the business or legal community to engage in a public discussion of ethical business practices. The lecture will be open to students and faculty at American University, as well as to the broader Washington, D.C., private sector, policy community, and media. The funds will defray the costs of the speaker or speakers and a reception following the lecture.
- Sponsorship of a keynote speaker at a luncheon to be held at the law school’s annual Anti-Corruption Law Summer Program. This speaker series will highlight topical ethical issues. The program will benefit current law students, as well as graduate students and practitioners in the U.S. and abroad.
- Financial assistance for accepted students to the annual Anti-Corruption Law Summer Program who demonstrate a commitment to corporate integrity and ethics and would benefit from financial support.
According to Brozost, the success and robustness of the program will be directly linked to the amount of donations received. Solicitations have been sent to Menaker’s friends and coworkers.
Those interested in donating can do so by visiting alumniassociation.american.edu/menaker.
For information on how your vision and charitable estate planning can create a legacy at American University, contact Seth Speyer, director of planned giving, at 202-885-5914 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit american.edu/plannedgiving.