Founded in 1948, Brandeis University is named for the late Louis Dembitz Brandeis, the distinguished associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, and reflects the ideals of academic excellence and social justice he personified. Coeducational classes began on the site of the former Middlesex University in Waltham, Massachusetts, with 107 students and 13 faculty members.
Guided for 20 years by its founding president, Abram L. Sachar, Brandeis grew quickly, establishing itself as an important national and international center for teaching and research. In 1961, only 13 years after the university's founding, Phi Beta Kappa accreditation was conferred. Under each succeeding president, the university continued to grow in breadth and stature, while maintaining the very human scale of its educational environment and its solid liberal arts focus.
In 1985, Brandeis was elected to membership in the Association of American Universities, which represents the 61 leading research universities in the United States and Canada.