Alan Mendelson ’69

DEGREES: B.A. in economics; J.D., University of Connecticut School of Law

JOB TITLE: Managing general partner, Axiom Venture Partners

ACTIVITIES WHILE AT TRINITY: Hillel, Crown Investment League, The Trinity Tripod business manager

What originally drew you to Trinity?
I went to high school in Hartford (Weaver), so it was right there and it had an excellent reputation.

Which professor(s) had the most impact on you and why?
Dr. Battis and Dr. Curran; they were economics professors, and I thought they were very good teachers. They got me interested in investing.

What was your favorite college course and why?
I’m not sure I could name one, but maybe introductory economics. It helped convince me to major in economics.

What did you do after you graduated?
I was in the National Guard the day after I graduated. When I got out, I had been accepted at Penn for law school, and I needed something to do for the next 10½ months. I started working at Aetna, and I stayed there for 24½ years. I founded Axiom in April 1994. Axiom invests in young and emerging companies in the health care and information technology industries. I went to UConn Law School during the evenings from 1970-1974.

How did Trinity help guide you in your life?
It gave me a fundamental education that certainly helped me get my job. It gave me a good grounding in investments, which I did at Aetna. Plus, I was Phi Beta Kappa, which I’m sure made a difference. Most of the people who were hired at Aetna had M.B.A.s I also had good summer jobs, which I’m sure Trinity helped me get. I was a programmer at Travelers, and I did an internship at Society for Savings.

What has been your involvement in the Jewish community, in the past and currently?
I’m chair of Trinity Hillel’s Advisory Committee, which is effectively like a Board of Directors. I termed out as a director of the Jewish Community Foundation and the Hartford Jewish Federation, and I’m on the Investment Committee and the Budget and Finance Committee of the Foundation and the Allocations Committee of the Jewish Federation. I am an emeritus board member of the board of Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford, and I’m still on the Investment Committee there and was the vice chair of the synagogue’s recent capital campaign. I also serve on the board and am founder of Chai Mitzvah, which provides milestone opportunities for Jewish adults.

What role do you think Hillel plays on college campuses across the country and at Trinity?
It provides a Jewish home for Jewish students and helps them develop leadership skills and a sense of Jewish identity.

What do you hope to see from the upcoming generation of Jewish college students?
We hope Trinity will be able to attract more religious Jewish students now that we have a kosher eatery on campus. I think the Jewish students Trinity has now are pretty impressive; they remain loyal to Hillel and continue to support it.