On Sunday, April 1th, 2012 at the Ukrainian Institute of America was held a Memorial Dinner and Concert in honor of Walter Nazarewicz – esteemed past president of the Ukrainian Institute. At the Concert performed violinist Solomiya Ivakhiv, cellist Natalia Khoma, soprano Oksana Krovytska, pianists Mykola Suk and Volodymyr Vynnytsky.
An active member of the Ukrainian-American community and multi-term President of the Ukrainian Institute of America, Walter Nazarewicz was born on July 18, 1927 in New York City. He attended college at the Cooper Union, where he received his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering. Mr. Nazarewicz then went on to obtain his Master’s, also in Chemical Engineering, at New York University. With his formal education completed, Mr. Nazarewicz began to work at the Pfizer Corporation, a leading manufacturer of pharmaceuticals and chemicals. His career at that corporation spanned an impressive 43 years. Between the years of 1972 and 1975, Mr. Nazarewicz and his family lived in Japan, where he founded a subsidiary of Pfizer named Pfizer-Quigley KK. The subsidiary served the Japanese steel industry, which was the largest in the world. In addition, Mr. Nazarewicz succeeded in building for Pfizer over 35 plants in 15 countries, including the United States, Japan, Canada, Brazil, Poland, and Slovakia, among others. Mr. Nazarewicz also served as President of Pfizer’s Minerals, Pigments, and Metal division, which concentrated on serving the paper manufacturing industries of the world.Walter Nazarewicz had also always been interested in Ukrainian traditions and active in the Ukrainian community. Early into his Pfizer career, Mr. Nazarewicz became a member of the Ukrainian Institute of America. Mr. Nazarewicz immediately made his mark on the Institute. He helped to create a special tax status for non-profits, including the Institute. In addition, he was instrumental in the Institute’s sponsorship of Slavic Heritage Week. This magazine was invaluable in that it allowed all Slavic people to write about their culture during the Communist 1980s. Mr. Nazarewicz recognized people who worked and continue to work hard to better the economic and cultural situation of Ukraine and its people – he bestowed Man of the Year awards on former Mayor of Kyiv Oleksander Omelchenko and on Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko.
The Institute has Mr. Nazarewicz to thank for the ongoing restoration of its beautiful mansion on 79th Street. His philanthropic support and the securing of grants from both New York City and State have made an enormous impact on the way that the Institute is able to serve the Ukrainian community. Walter Nazarewicz will be deeply missed, but his legacy at the Institute will live on through all the great work he has done. He is survived by his wife Frances, his children Scott and Susan and grandchildren.