On September 18, the Pension Action Center (PAC) of the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston celebrated its 20th anniversary and its founder, Ellen Bruce, who recently retired from her position as director of the Gerontology Institute. More than 100 people attended the event at the law offices of McDermott, Will & Emery in Boston, which raised more than $67,000 for the PAC. The evening celebration was filled with words of inspiration from Philip W. Johnston, McCormack Graduate School Dean Ira A. Jackson, Provost Winston Langley, Karen Friedman of the Pension Rights Center, and a special video greeting from Senator Elizabeth Warren.
The outpouring of support from the many sponsors was a tribute to the great work of the Pension Action Center and to Ellen Bruce’s outstanding career as a lawyer and gerontology professor. For more than 40 years, she has demonstrated a deep concern for older people, especially women and minorities living at or near poverty. Under her direction, the Pension Action Center has recovered more than $45 million in benefits that rightfully belonged to retirees and their families.
Prior to joining the Gerontology Institute in the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, Bruce was the senior managing attorney of Greater Boston Elderly Legal Services, served on many nonprofit boards, and is a past president of the national board of the Older Women’s League and Health Law Advocates. She is also the most recent recipient of the Frank J. Manning Award for Leadership. Named for the founder of the Massachusetts Association of Older Americans, this award is given to honor commitment to service, mentoring, and creative leadership to provide economic security and access to care for older citizens.
The funds that were raised will enable the Pension Action Center to continue its work under the direction of Len Fishman, a nationally recognized leader in the field of aging policy who was recently appointed as the new director of the Gerontology Institute. Also, Jeanne Medeiros, JD, will lead the Pension Action Center team as director. Jeanne has been the managing attorney for the PAC for over 15 years and is a recognized expert in the field of pension law.