Remarks by Meyer Koplow ’72, Board of Trustees Chair

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, it gives me great pleasure to welcome all of you, the Class of 2018, your parents and families, our faculty, staff, alumni, honored guests, and friends to Brandeis University's 67th Commencement Ceremony. A special congratulations to those of our faculty and students who have been recognized with awards and honors in research, artistic output, teaching, and scholarship. To our distinguished honorary degree recipients, it's a great privilege to share the stage with you. To President Ron Liebowitz, Provost Lisa Lynch, the Deans of our various schools, my fellow trustees, our faculty, and absolutely not least, our staff. Thank you for everything you've done to enable our students to reach this day.

I want to extend a special thank you to those whose hard work, dedication, devotion and sacrifice got us all to the degrees being awarded today. Your parents. And an extra-special acknowledgement to the mothers who have produced this stunning assembly of talent and achievement. There could be no finer Mother's Day gift than your children's graduation. Happy Mother's Day.

It was 46 years ago that I sat at my own Brandeis Commencement, held at our no longer extant amphitheater. That day, I could not have imagined how much my Brandeis education would contribute to what I might accomplish, and never did I think that ultimately I would be standing before a future generation of Brandeisians as Chair of the Brandeis Board of Trustees. Unlike others, I do not stand here to share advice, but I do want to leave you with a thought and a hope of mine.

For the past several years, you have been at Brandeis, but Brandeis is far more than a place. Rather, Brandeis is its people, a community of people, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and even trustees. Even though today is about you, I ask you to be mindful that only through the volunteerism, devotion, and contribution to those who came before you has this remarkable center of teaching, learning, and research been there for you. Of course, there is a physical Brandeis, but each of you know that this is not the real Brandeis. You are Brandeis. So are all the classes to come, as well as those that came before. So are two generations of faculty and staff. Brandeis is not an impersonal thing, not an object. It is people, and in the future, when you act to help Brandeis, it is to help a great community of people of which each of you will always be a part.

For Brandeis to flourish, those who are sitting here today must emulate the Brandeisians who've come before. My hope for each of you today is that you will continue to participate actively in the Brandeis community, whether that is through a gift of your time, enthusiasm, or other support. I wish you success in all of your endeavors and congratulations to each of you.