Brandeis Magazine

Winter 2023/2024

From the President

From Strength to Strength

President Ronald D. Liebowitz smiling and leaning back in a chair at a table.

President Ronald D. Liebowitz (Photo Credit: Mike Lovett)

On Oct. 7, as our campus community was ramping up for Brandeis’ 75th-anniversary celebration, the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas launched a multipronged attack on the Israeli people. Many in our community, including me, were deeply affected by this attack. Some lost family members and friends to the violence or had loved ones who were taken hostage. Ilan Troen ’63, the Karl, Harry, and Helen Stoll Professor of Israel Studies, Emeritus, has openly shared how his daughter and son-in-law were murdered in their home while successfully shielding their son from a terrorist’s bullets.

I met with our leadership team immediately following the attack to decide whether we should move ahead with the commemoration of our 75th. After much conversation, we decided we would, because we didn’t want terror to dictate how we recognized the university’s remarkable accomplishments or prevent us from being together.

I’m glad we made that decision. During a very difficult time, more than 3,000 Brandeisians came to campus with enthusiasm and pride in our community, to celebrate our history, our mission, and our ongoing responsibility to our mission. We celebrated our steadfast resilience as a university originally founded in response to antisemitism and bigotry, one that now flourishes as a top research institution and liberal arts university in the United States. We celebrated Brandeis’ enduring truths: We are a community of people committed to academic excellence, who care deeply for one another, and are dedicated to repairing the world.

The weekend’s highlights were many, from the ways in which our faculty engaged our inquisitive students, alumni, families, and friends on a broad range of topics; to the inauguration of the Alumni Art Gallery, which showcases alumni talent; to the large crowds at our tailgate party and soccer games; to the student performing-arts showcase.

School spirit was on full display throughout the weekend, and Brandeisians made connections across generations, all there to support our exceptional institution. We will continue to commemorate our 75 years of history through June, with smaller events on campus and around the country.

The sadness and grief caused by the ongoing war in Israel persists for many of us, and won’t go away until the region finds peace. I continue to be in touch with our friends in Israel, to offer our assistance and pledge our solidarity with them.

Yet even in this dark time, there is hope. As we celebrate our first 75 years, we are committed to making Brandeis even stronger over our next 75.

Best regards, 

Ronald D. Liebowitz