They met on day one of orientation for Trinity College’s first coed class, lived in the same residence halls for three years, and even shared a major. For the past 49 years, Karen and Lenn Kupferberg have valued their strong ties to Trinity.
The two dated intermittently in college. “We connected quite a bit intellectually,” says Karen. Two years after graduation—Karen as Trinity’s first female math major, Lenn as a double major in math and physics—the pair reunited.
After attending The Wharton School and earning an M.B.A., Karen worked in a succession of positions at a variety of well-known companies: E.F. Hutton, Xerox, Digital Equipment, EMC, and others, spanning a 43-year career. She also has served on a number of boards and has been particularly interested in organizations that benefit women in their careers and family life, as well as groups that deal with issues of domestic violence. She spent many years as an officer and director of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center and The Commonwealth Institute.
Lenn followed Trinity with graduate programs in physics and earned a Ph.D. He spent seven years in academia, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and 27 years in research and development at defense contractor Raytheon before retiring in 2011.
The couple, who live in Framingham, Massachusetts, have been married for 42 years and saw daughter Beth Barnes ’07 follow in their footsteps and graduate from Trinity.
Karen remembers her time at the college as “a transformational experience,” and Lenn recalls that Trinity gave the couple a strong foundation. “At Trinity, we learned how to learn,” he notes. They return to campus frequently for Reunions, volunteer work, Commencement ceremonies, and more. Both served on Trinity’s Board of Fellows (Karen for 12 years and Lenn for three) and a STEM Advisory Committee that was active a few years ago. In 2008, Karen was awarded the Alumni Medal for Excellence, given to those who have made “significant contributions to their professions, to their communities, and to Trinity College.” Five years later, she was honored with the Kathleen O’Connor Boelhouwer ’85 Award, celebrating her efforts to advance the engagement of Trinity alumnae.
“Karen and Lenn are consistently committed to the values and standards of our alma mater,” says classmate Joyce Krinitsky ’73, M’76, a history major and retired middle-school teacher. “Over the years, they have always displayed an interest and a willingness to work toward maintaining Trinity as a competitive institution.”
The couple also have a long history of philanthropy to Trinity. They were instrumental in establishing a scholarship fund in memory of Lenn’s twin brother, Josh P. Kupferberg ’73. The fund, endowed by Lenn’s parents, Jack and Dorothy Kupferberg, provides need-based tuition scholarships for students studying in the natural sciences and/or mathematics. Karen and Lenn also established the Lenn Kupferberg ’73, P’07, Karen Kupferberg ’73, P’07, and Beth Kupferberg Barnes ’07 Scholarship Fund, which provides tuition scholarships to students in need, without restrictions. Karen notes that supporting scholarships is especially important to her, as Trinity gave her a generous financial aid package; Lenn also points to their gratitude for Trinity and all it has afforded them.
“The level of personal attention that we were given at Trinity fostered a great feeling of confidence that we could achieve what we set out to do,” Lenn says. “We had an extraordinary set of professors. We’ve been fortunate over the years, and we just felt it was important to share that good fortune with other people.”