Academic Ceremonies - Commencement
Honorary Degree Recipient
Bruce M. Lisman
Doctor of Laws
Bruce M. Lisman, UVM Class of 1969, worked on Wall Street, but as he said in a recent interview, “I never left Vermont.” Though, he never really left our university either.
His ties to our state and its university are extensive and multi-generational. His father, Irving Lisman, was in the class of 1934 but returned for a graduate degree three decades later; his uncles Bernard, Class of 1939 and Louis, Class of 1931, formed a law firm in Burlington and were active alumni, as were uncles Arnold, Class of 1946, MD ’50 and Irwin, Class of 1948, MD ’52. His brother Todd graduated in 1962; his cousin, former chair of UVM’s Board of Trustees, Carl Lisman, graduated in 1967; and his legacies include daughters Kate, a gifted concert violinist, and Maggie, whose graduation in 2010 extended the long line of Lisman alumni at UVM.
Bruce Lisman went to Wall Street after graduation, starting his career as a file clerk, a position with little apparent potential. Nonetheless, he became a highly regarded research analyst, a research director, and head of Global Equities. He grew that business from a relatively small entity into a large global entity with more than $2.5 billion in revenues, later becoming chairman of JP Morgan Chase’s Global Equities Division before retiring in 2009.
He and his family have been active members of their community. Lisman has been a long-time supporter of American Forests, one of the nation’s oldest conservation organizations; he serves on the boards of the Shelburne Museum and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. He was an early and remains an active supporter of the Boys and Girls Club’s “Early Promise Program,” an initiative with transformational potential for Burlington’s Old North End children and has a joint effort with the Preservation Trust of Vermont to restore the tree canopy of Vermont’s smaller communities.
Lisman was a UVM trustee and chair of the Board of Trustees and guided the university through an important transition—he chaired the search committee that recruited the current president, initiated a successful capital campaign, and began an enduring approach to strategic planning and budgeting. If asked, Lisman would tell you that his most important accomplishment at UVM was the establishment of a scholarship in honor of his father, Irving, that has provided nearly a million dollars in aid to hundreds of students since its formation in 1993.
Last modified May 20 2011 04:40 PM