Boston alumni, friends welcome the Lawrences
Similar events planned nationally and internationally in the year ahead
More than 300 alumni, friends and other members of the Brandeis community gathered to welcome Brandeis' new president, Fred Lawrence, and his wife, Kathy, at a reception in the Levin Ballroom on Jan. 10. Similar events are planned nationally and internationally during the year ahead.
Lawrence, 55, who was dean of George Washington University Law School before coming to Brandeis, is a leading expert on civil rights law, free speech and bias crimes. He became Brandeis's eighth president on Jan. 1. His formal inauguration will take place on March 31.
|Meet the Lawrences
Fred and Kathy Lawrence will be traveling the country in upcoming months to meet Brandeis alumni, parents and friends.
The schedule includes Los Angeles (Feb. 8), San Francisco (Feb. 23),
Lawrence told the crowd that serving as Brandeis' president was "a calling," adding that "coming here combines all the threads of my life."
"It is truly remarkable what Brandeis has accomplished in a very short time," said Lawrence, noting the striking accomplishments of its students, alumni and faculty. "But its best days are ahead."
During a town-hall-style question-and-answer session, Lawrence answered a range of inquiries about Brandeis' future, faculty, admissions and financial aid policy, place in a global society, Jewish identity and his role on the national stage. His responses were greeted by laughter and robust applause at least five times.
When asked what surprised him the most about Brandeis, Lawrence shared a favorite story about meeting with students and hearing all that they are involved in. "The students are incredible. They are often double majors, active in theater, arts and music and typically engaged in important social justice or community service work. They are simply amazing."
He often tells students, "You think this is college. But this is Brandeis."
In response to a question about Brandeis' Jewish identity, Lawrence praised the University's founding as an experiment that "shouldn't have worked, but thankfully did."
He added, "Our values will become broader. The roots give rise to the whole tree."