Educator, media creator, and producer Leonard (Len) Majzlin ’57 will receive the George School Alumni Award during Alumni Weekend, May 6–8, 2022.
The George School Alumni Award recognizes alumni who have used their talents, expertise, and personal commitment to make a positive impact on those around them. The nominating committee found many reasons to honor Len, but it is his outstanding contributions as an educator through creative vision and design that distinguish him.
After graduating from George School in 1957, Len attended Fairleigh Dickinson University. He worked alongside Joseph Papp as a charter member of the New York Shakespeare Festival, and subsequently with producers Henry Guettel and Arthur Cantor on their national companies of Broadway plays. As an agent, he represented writers, performers, and directors at the William Morris Agency, then left agenting to write, direct and/or produce industrial and documentary films, videos, and multimedia sales meetings in the business and corporate sector. In the 1980s, he shifted his focus to media and interpretive plans for museum exhibits. For thirty years, Len has taught in NYU Steinhardt’s Educational Communication and Technology/Digital Media Design for Learning graduate program, where he developed the course, Media for Learning in Museum Exhibits & Public Space.
As Len prepares to celebrate his 65th reunion from George School, he is honored to be receiving the award and says he owes much of his love for learning from his time at George School. “The more traditional, linear, passive process of one-way transfer of information is not what teachers at George School do,” Len said. “They generally follow a pedagogy grounded in discovery learning, which really has its base as respect for the student’s capability to learn—the student’s ability to explore the information along with the teacher and draw their own conclusions, connect their own dots. We were never permitted to just sit there and absorb information without participating, and it was that participation that created an education for me.”
In 2020, Len established The Majzlin Faculty Summer Enhancement Fund. Len believes that the strengths of George School over many decades emanate in good measure from the school’s ability to nurture a strong and dedicated faculty and staff. He believes faculty are the backbone of the school and wanted to further support and recognize their contributions to the school. The Fund provides faculty with stimulating, creative, and flexible summer opportunities for their personal replenishment and/or professional development.
Len has a long, impressive resume but he said the most meaningful project was helping to develop the Master Plan for the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, Alabama, one of the first Civil Rights museums in the South.
“Meaningful, in that the basis for the content didn’t just come from top-down academic historians or curators analyzing the past but from dozens of interviews of people living in Birmingham who had experienced the era first-hand and wanted to tell their story,” Len explained. “To this day, the Institute continues as an acknowledgment of their bravery, their courage, and their commitment. Since the television and print medium played such an impactful part in the Civil Rights era, they also became an integral element of the museum experience.”
In addition, Len is the Media Advisor to the Dramatists Guild Foundation’s Legacy Project, a series of video documentaries featuring thirty prominent playwrights, lyricists, and composers on the craft of writing. He also produced the highly praised Off-Broadway musical, To Whom It May Concern, written by his late wife, Carol Hall, and directed by Geraldine Fitzgerald.
Len will speak to the students at the All-School Assembly on Friday, May 6, 2022, and will accept his award on Saturday, May 7 during the All-Alumni Gathering.