Local philanthropists receive UMSL honorary degrees
Nancy and Kenneth Kranzberg each received a Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The degrees were presented to them during a commencement ceremony on Dec. 19 (Saturday) at the Mark Twain Athletic & Fitness Center.
The Kranzbergs, of Ladue, Mo., are passionate supporters of the arts, education, social justice and environmental causes throughout the St. Louis region. Ken Kranzberg started out his career in 1960 when he joined his family’s business, Northwestern Bottle Co. In 1977, he and his father founded Kranson Industries, a bottle and bottle accessories supplier with 31 branches throughout the U.S., Canada and Asia.
He served as vice-chairman of the Missouri Environmental Improvement and Energy Resources Authority from 1987-1996. He also served as chairman and president of the National Association of Container Distributors and is currently a member of the St. Louis Regional Business Council.
Ken Kranzberg serves on numerous nonprofit boards, such as the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, National Conference for Community and Justice of Metropolitan St. Louis, Anti-Defamation League, Dance St. Louis, Grand Center and the Missouri Historical Society.
A member of the Chancellor’s Council at UMSL for almost a decade, he also serves as council chair of the Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center at UMSL for which he and Nancy Kranzberg have established two endowed scholarships. The Kranzbergs have supported the center through annual giving and sponsorship of the World Ecology Award gala as well.
In addition, Ken Kranzberg has served on the Center for International Studies at UMSL advisory committee, as chairman of the Anti-Defamation League’s Regional Advisory Board and Laumeier Sculpture Park’s board. He is currently chairman of the Grand Center project in St. Louis.
Nancy Kranzberg has been on the boards of numerous organizations, including the St. Louis Art Museum, Missouri Arts Council, Laumeier Sculpture Park, The Friends of Art and The New Music Circle. She was the first president of the board of The Sheldon Art Gallery.
She hosts a weekly radio show highlighting the arts in St. Louis on KDHX (88.1 FM) and is a commentator on St. Louis Public Radio 90.7 | KWMU. She also has held leadership roles with the United Way Health and Aging Allocation Panel, The Jewish Federation, The National Council for University Libraries, The Board of Missouri Mansion Preservation, The Washington University Women’s Society Board and the Center for Humanities at UMSL.
Nancy Kranzberg supports human services organizations, such as The Scholarship Foundation, St. Louis Alzheimer’s Association, The American Cancer Society, The Arthritis Foundation, The Jewish Federation and the AIDS Foundation.
She has received many awards, including the Washington University Distinguished Alumni award and the 2008 Variety Woman of the Year award.
Both Ken and Nancy Kranzberg have been recognized by the St. Louis Arts and Education Council, Grand Center and the American Jewish Committee. In 2008, the Kranzbergs received UMSL’s Distinguished Service Award in recognition of their support of the university.
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