Academic Ceremonies - Commencement
Honorary Degree Recipient
DANIEL A. BURACK
Doctor of Laws
Dan Burack, UVM class of 1955, describes himself as a “kid out of Brooklyn,” whose orthodox family was expecting him to become a rabbi. A train ride to Vermont – a business trip to quarries for the family’s monument business – ended their hopes and changed his life. When he got to Vermont, he says, “it was died-and-went-to-heaven.” Burack came to UVM, studied economics, learned to ski, and joined Phi Sigma Delta. The fraternity was special, he says. “It gave me a direction, a purpose, a maturity, and a group of lifelong friends.”
Burack never forgets friends, and when the 50th reunion for his class was celebrated in 2005, he not only played a role in fundraising, he and his wife, Carole Burack, contributed the largest, individual 50th reunion gift in UVM history. The gift endowed the Dan and Carole Burack President’s Distinguished Lecture Series and a scholarship fund for students in teacher education. They also funded a lounge, named for them, in the new Davis Center.
Burack combines successful business savvy with an extraordinary volunteer and philanthropic spirit. A commercial real estate management specialist, he is chairman of Burack Investments, which he founded in 1986. He also is partner in Altman/Burack Partners and part owner of Cranwell Resort Spa and Golf Club in Lenox, Massachusetts. He formerly was president of Dan Burack Enterprises, Park Properties, and Damson Oil Corp.
A loyal alumnus of UVM, he has served in numerous volunteer roles, including membership on the National Campaign Steering Committee, the Alumni Council, Ira Allen Society committee, and as chair of the UVM Fund. He is co-secretary of his class, and he remains active with Phi Sigma Delta. In 2001, he represented UVM at the inauguration of Lawrence Summers as president of Harvard, where Burack received his MBA in 1957. Recently, he and Carole agreed to serve on UVM’s National Development Council. In 1986, he received the Distinguished Service Award from UVM.
In addition to his UVM involvement, he has been active in many community organizations in his hometown, Harrison, New York, including the Multiple Sclerosis Fund, the Jewish Community Center, and the White Plains Hospital board. He and Carole established the Harrison Education Foundation, which is run by parent volunteers and funds academic extras for the high school. Their son Adam (UVM ’85) teaches at the school.
“I’m a believer that the best legacy we can leave to the next generation is a good educational system,” Burack says.