2017 Commencement speaker and honorary degree recipients
Canadian Supreme Court Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella, a renowned expert on human-rights law, will deliver the commencement address at Brandeis University’s 66th Commencement on May 21. Brandeis will confer honorary degrees on Abella; computer scientist Leslie Lamport, MA’63, PhD’72; Provost Lisa M. Lynch, P’17; former Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick; and Barry Shrage, president of the CJP of Greater Boston.
Dear Members of the Brandeis Community,
I am honored to be the president of Brandeis University.
It is easy to forget that Brandeis is a young university, founded in 1948. Despite its relative youth, Brandeis has grown to become one of the most important and consequential research universities in the United States, having excelled early on across the curriculum. We boast many illustrious alumni and a distinguished faculty. As we look to the future, we must celebrate and draw upon our rich, if comparatively brief, history.
Brandeis was founded by the American Jewish community as a nonsectarian institution, rooted in Jewish tradition and values. It was established, simultaneously with the founding of the state of Israel, to counter the anti-Semitism that denied Jewish students, despite their proven academic excellence, access to the finest American universities. I have great admiration for this unique founding. The best way to honor it is to ensure that Brandeis evolves to meet the imperatives of each new generation while remaining true to its Jewish roots.>> Read more of President Liebowitz's message.