Celebrating the Class of '52

a smiling group of students prepare to throw snowballs on a hill2022 marks a momentous year for Brandeis’ inaugural class of students, the class of ‘52, which celebrates their 70th anniversary! In the fall of 1948, one hundred and seven students enrolled as members of the first class, living and working on a charmingly rustic campus in a constant state of construction. Crossing over mud pits straddled by wooden planks on their way from dormitory to classroom and back again, the students came to think of themselves as “pioneers” willing to entrust their education to a fledgling university with no academic track record. And indeed, the spirit of adventure remained strong with the class of ‘52 throughout their time at Brandeis: surveyed by The Justice shortly before their graduation in June 1952, a majority of students cited the pioneering spirit as a primary factor in their decision to attend Brandeis. Other contributing factors included recommendations by others, the outstanding student-to-faculty ratio, and the University’s publicly Jewish atmosphere and roots.  

A special photo exhibit celebrating the Brandeis “pioneers” will be on display in the Shapiro Campus Center during Alumni Weekend, June 10-12th. In addition, University Archives & Special Collections is home to a wealth of content chronicling the experiences of the class of ‘52, including alumni interviews, early documents from the formation of Brandeis, and a timeline of the first 50 years of University history.