Ronald D. Liebowitz inaugurated as Brandeis University’s ninth president

The Brandeis community joined in a special ceremony on Nov. 3

WALTHAM – Ronald D. Liebowitz was inaugurated as the ninth president of Brandeis University on Thursday, November 3 in a celebratory ceremony bringing together students, faculty, alumni, staff, trustees, representatives of other universities and public officials.

“The Inauguration of Ron Liebowitz is a moment to honor Brandeis’ roots and look forward as we continue to build on our distinctive place in higher education,” said Brandeis Board of Trustees Chairman Larry Kanarek ’76. “Ron has a deep respect for our history as a nonsectarian university founded by the Jewish community and dedicated to making the world a better place.  A visionary leader, Ron’s experience in higher education, his analytic thinking, openness, and warmth will move Brandeis forward in a way that would make our founders proud."

Anita F. Hill, University Professor of Social Policy, Law and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies served as Grand Marshal for the inaugural procession. In addition to Liebowitz and Kanarek, speakers included Middlebury humanities professor Stephen Donadio ‘63; MIT Morris Cohen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Christine Ortiz and Brandeis Provost Lisa M. Lynch, Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy. Over the course of the program, the Brandeis Chamber Singers and University Chorus and Orchestra will perform the three movements of Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms.”

A highlight of the ceremony was a medallion presentation, during which individuals representing the various groups that make up the University presented a medallion on behalf of their group. These medallions, which were added to the presidential medallion chain before it was given to the new president, symbolize Brandeis’ strength and unity in a concrete way, demonstrating that every community member is an irreplaceable link in the University’s successes, vibrancy and resilience. 

Liebowitz, 59, came to Brandeis after 11 years as president of Middlebury College in Vermont. He joined the Middlebury faculty as a geography professor in 1984, became provost in 1997, and was named president in 2004. Under his leadership, Middlebury made enormous academic, programmatic, reputational and financial gains. Liebowitz received his BA in economics and geography from Bucknell University and a PhD in geography from Columbia University. He is a native of New York City.

Inaugural festivities also conclude the Blue and White Bash. All members of the campus community, especially all students, are invited to attend this night of dancing and fun to celebrate the inauguration, on Saturday evening, November 5. This is also a ticketed event. Please visit

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