2011-12-27 / Focus

Former UNH president was immigrant

BEDFORD, N. H. ( AP) — University officials are remembering Evelyn Handler, the first female president at the University of New Hampshire and the only woman to hold that post at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, as a strong, successful leader.

Handler, 78, of Bow was killed when she was walking across a Bedford street Friday night and was struck by a car. No charges were filed over the weekend, and police said alcohol does not appear to be a factor. Police had no new details Monday.

Brandeis President Frederick Lawrence said Handler was president when the school was just over 40 years old. “Brandeis is now nationally ranked in neuroscience and biochemistry, and her leadership played a major role in that,” he said in a statement. He said that during Handler’s tenure the university in Waltham, Mass., was admitted to the Association of American Universities.

“Her other notable achievements included strengthening the university’s life sciences programs, initiating the Volen Center for Complex Systems and coordinating the university’s membership in the University Athletic Association,” Lawrence said in the statement with Board Chairman Malcolm Sherman.

Handler was born in Budapest in 1933 and immigrated to the United States in 1940, the Concord Monitor reported. She served as the first female president at UNH from 1980-1983. She was the fifth president to lead Brandeis, from 1983-1991, the only woman to head the university.

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