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In Memoriam—Dr. Howard A. Sulkin

In Memoriam—Dr. Howard A. Sulkin

Dr. Howard A. Sulkin, 1941-2018

Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership mourns the loss of Dr. Howard A. Sulkin, the Institute’s President and CEO from 1984 to 2009.

Dr. Sulkin was a specialist in organization theory and adult education, who received his MBA and Doctorate from the University of Chicago. During the 25 years of his presidency, Spertus Institute greatly expanded its offerings to foster learning through both traditional means and through arts and culture.

In 2007, he realized the dream of opening a magnificent new building for Spertus Institute, designed to serve the growing needs of students, participants, and visitors. This building has been recognized with local, national, and international critical acclaim including an array of architectural awards. Architect Mark Sexton called Sulkin a great client. “He started with the big idea that the building was a gift to everyone who would live in or visit Chicago. That’s a profound way of thinking for an institution — usually it’s more about the institution and less about the impact.”

Sulkin was passionate about forging partnerships and collaborative relationships with organizations in the Jewish world, the arts and academic communities, and with those pursuing interfaith understanding. He served as Board Chair of Chicago Parliament of the World’s Religions, was on the planning committee for the 1993 Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, and traveled throughout the world on behalf of the work of the Parliament.

Prior to his tenure at Spertus Institute, Sulkin was a Vice President and founding Dean of the School for New Learning (SNL) at DePaul University. A competency-based educational program for adults, SNL was and remains an important initiative, having become an internationally acclaimed leader in self-directed learning.

To his dear wife Connie, his children, grandson, and many friends and colleagues, our deepest condolences from all of us at Spertus Institute.

Y’hi zikhrono livraha. May his memory be for a blessing.

Photo by Dan Rest from the grand opening of the Spertus Institute building. 


Friday, October 26, 2018

Tributes to Spertus Institute in memory of Dr. Howard Sulkin can be made online at or call 312.322.1779. 

Chicago-Area Memorial

A Chicago-area memorial service for Howard Sulkin took place Sunday, November 18, 2018 at Chicago Sinai Congregation.  

From Howard’s son Seth: Howard’s lifelong passion was education and more specifically adult education. For this reason, Howard and Connie formed the Howard and Connie Sulkin Endowed Scholarship at the School for New Learning at DePaul University. If making an online donation, enter “Sulkin” into the Fund Name box in the Other Funds section.

Howard and Connie’s recently adopted home of Pittsburgh was struck last weekend by a disgusting act of terror and hatred. For over 25 years, Howard had been deeply involved with the Parliament of the World’s Religions, which was created to cultivate harmony among the world's spiritual communities to achieve a just, peaceful, and sustainable world. It is hard to find a more apt mission in these times. If making a donation, please let them know it is in memory of Howard Sulkin.

For notices and condolences, Connie can be contacted at Connie Sulkin, 611 William Penn Place, Apt 2813, Pittsburgh PA 15219.