2020 Mini Celebration FAQs
Mini celebrations are not a replacement for an in-person ceremony. As President Liebowitz stated in his April 14 letter to the community, Brandeis will hold an in-person event to recognize the undergraduate and graduate Class of 2020 at a future date. There will be a page posted on the Commencement website with more information about the in-person event at a later date.
The mini celebrations are being organized to honor Brandeis students’ hard work and achievement during their time at the university, and to provide an opportunity for students to connect with their faculty and peers.
All mini celebrations that are occurring live will be held on the Zoom platform, either as a webinar or meeting.
Most ceremonies will be using the Zoom webinar platform, while a few of the smaller departments may use a standard Zoom meeting. Zoom webinars allow participants and attendees to be separated, allowing for larger audiences. Graduates may be panelists or attendees depending on the format of the event as planned by the department.
Undergraduate and graduate degrees will be mailed to students in June.
Most mini celebrations are organized by major, though some departments have joined together and will host one event. Programs including Phi Beta Kappa are also hosting events.
Each mini celebration will be unique. Faculty and staff coordinators in each department are making their own considerations about the contents of their respective events so they reflect the character and spirit of their academic program.
For a complete list and schedule of mini celebrations, please visit the 2020 Mini Celebration Schedule page.
You can attend every mini celebration that corresponds to your declared majors. Students are asked to RSVP to each mini celebration they plan on attending. Instructions on RSVPing for each celebration will be sent via email. Students are also encouraged to check the complete schedule of mini celebrations before sending in an RSVP.
Brandeis will host mini celebrations on May 24, May 26-28, May 31 and June 1. These celebrations were scheduled with several considerations in mind, including not overlapping where possible to accommodate double- and triple-majors; allowing for maximum participation across multiple time zones; accessibility; staff resources and department preferences.
Mini celebrations will run between 45 minutes and one hour.
Some department coordinators have also reserved virtual space following their respective celebration to allow for additional conversations and interaction among students and faculty.
Family and friends will be able to participate in the mini celebrations, though there is a limit to the virtual space capacity. Each graduating student can register for up to seven connections to view the live celebration. Multiple people may be able to watch from a single connection, therefore the limit is based on connections rather than the number of people. Students will receive these links from the academic department or program hosting the mini celebration so that you may invite family and friends.
Security of the Zoom-based celebrations is being taken very seriously. The Office of Media Technology Services has taken steps to ensure that only Brandeis community members and their guests can participate in each celebration. The majority of the events will take place on the webinar platform to help ensure that the event remains safe and secure, as webinar attendees do not have the ability to share screen, video or audio. In these events, only faculty, speakers and graduates will be seen/heard with video/audio, while friends and family will just be able to watch. For smaller ceremonies that are using standard Zoom meetings, security measures will be in place to ensure only authorized participants are able join or share screen/video.
The registration process was also conducted on a Unet protected page. However, students are strongly urged to only share celebration access with their intended guests.
Undergraduate and graduate speakers will play active roles in recognizing the Class of 2020 this May and will participate in the in-person ceremony in 2021.
A cap and gown is not needed at this time. Undergraduate students are free to order them for personal photos or as a souvenir. If you would like to order a cap and gown, please visit the Herff Jones website.
Your coordinator from your respective school (GSAS, Heller, IBS or RABB) will reach out to you with ordering information for caps and gowns.
Mini celebrations will be recorded for archival purposes and available for viewing by graduates, their families and friends after the videos are fully captioned, transcribed and made accessible.
Brandeis will make an announcement in fall 2020 with specific information about the in-person event. More information will also be available on the 2020 Commencement website.