Paul W. Brandel, Class of 1933

Businessman and philanthropist

Paul W. Brandel '33Paul W. Brandel was a notable attorney, businessman and philanthropist. After receiving his J.D. from Chicago-Kent in 1933, he shared office space downtown with other attorneys and hung a sign in the window of a moving company on the north side of Chicago to try to attract Swedish clientele. Although he initially had to clean offices on the side just to make ends meet, his law practice grew and prospered and he eventually became a senior partner at the firm Brandel, Olson, Johnson and Erickson. While he practiced law for more than fifty years, Brandel also developed an interest in real estate investment and as president of Paul W. Brandel Enterprises, he became known for his visionary business instincts and willingness to take risks. He also served as Chairman of the Board and Director of the Schaumburg State Bank and Barrington State Bank; and Director of the Countryside State Bank.

Brandel was elected to the board of Covenant Benevolent Institutions in the 1930s and over the years he gave land and financial assistance totaling millions of dollars, as well as his tireless dedication to the development of six Covenant Retirement Communities in Florida, California and Illinois. Several of these centers are named in his honor. He was active on the boards of several hospitals, retirement homes and charitable foundations across the country and endowed chairs in nursing and in New Testament Studies at North Park College and Theological Seminary bear his name. Brandel also received several honorary doctorates and numerous awards, including special recognition by the Covenant Centennial Annual Meeting, receiving the Commander of the Royal Order of the North Star award from the king of Sweden and being listed in Who’s Who in the World.  He passed away in 1986 at the age of seventy-four.

The primary first floor event space and student lounge at Chicago-Kent is named for Paul and his wife Bernice.