Celebrating Our 2021 Honorary Degree Recipients

Descriptive Transcript

Fades to blue with Brandeis logo in white on top, and white text reads: “Brandeis University”
Title: “Celebrating Our 2021 Honorary Degree Recipients”.

Music plays in the background:
“To thee, Alma Mater
We’ll always be true.”

Transitions to university president Ron Liebowitz in front of the fireplace and banner.
His title reads:

Ron Liebowitz
President, Brandeis University

Liebowitz speaks:

Greetings, I'm President Ron Liebowitz. Today we have the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of five distinguished individuals who will receive their formal honorary degrees during our main commencement celebration on Sunday, May 23rd.Although we cannot gather together in person for this year's traditional honorary degree dinner due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I'm thankful we can still honor these five individuals through this pre-recorded presentation. Each year when the honorary degree portion of our commencement celebration approaches, I often reflect on one of Justice Louis Brandeis' most well-known quotes, that most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done. Each in their own way: Ellen Gordon, the late Herman Hemingway, Lynn Schusterman, Bryan Stevenson, and Robert Zimmer, have shaped their lives and careers around things that are indeed worth doing. Where they're doing things extraordinary in academia, business, or philanthropy, each of these individuals has left an important mark on our society and world, oftentimes against long odds. I am honored to have the opportunity to welcome each of our honorees to join the long list of renowned honorary degree recipients who have been celebrated at Brandeis. I would like to thank them for their devotion to bettering society and embodying the spirit of Brandeis' values. I would now like to welcome Meyer Koplow, Chair of the Board of Trustees, to say a few words.

Transitions to Meyer G. Koplow in front of the fireplace and banner.
His title reads:

Meyer G. Koplow ‘72, P ‘02, P ‘05
Chair, Board of Trustees, Brandeis University

Koplow speaks:

Thank you President Liebowitz, for the introduction. This has been an astonishing year with unparalleled challenges and obstacles. That being said, I've never been prouder of Brandeis as a community for our perseverance and ability to face these obstacles head-on. This year's honorary degree recipients each represent, not only the spirit of Brandeis, but embody the perseverance that our university has had to face within their own accomplishments in leadership, in the law, philanthropy, education, and navigating the business realm. To our honorary degree recipients, I'm inspired by each of your many achievements and I'm honored to celebrate you today. As the video that will now play so eloquently illustrates, you join an impressive list of distinguished individuals who Brandeis has had the privilege of recognizing with an honorary degree.

Transitions to a video, framed in Brandeis blue.
Screen shows a picture of Louis D. Brandeis with the camera closing up on his face.
Music begins to play.


Each year, Brandeis University continues the legacy of the justice for whom it was named, by encouraging social justice, a respect for human rights, and a commitment to building a better world. Each year, Brandeis University awards honorary degrees to men and women who exemplify this mission, by pursuing their life's work with excellence, commitment, and passion.

Camera zooms out on the picture, revealing a long line of pictures too small to be seen. There is text above that line that says “Social Justice” in blue.

Background music intensifies.

Speaker: “First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, with an honorary degree from Brandeis University.”

Screen fades to show the title “Business” in orange replacing the previous text. Next is “Fine Arts”, then the screen shows a series of subject names fading in and out in different colors:
“Film”, which quickly fades to read “Law”.
“Theater and Dance”.
“Political Leaders”.

Title reads: “Political Leaders” beginning a series of slides with different political leaders with their pictures and videos.

“First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt 1954”
Video of Eleanor Roosevelt smiling appears on the right.
Transitions to video of Eleanor Roosevelt smiling with a bouquet of flowers.

“Harry S. Truman 1957 U.S. Presidents”.
President Truman speaks:
“While the victims of Hitler’s madness are not allowed to build new lives -”

Images replaced with an image of Harry Truman with John F. Kennedy.

“John F. Kennedy 1958 U.S. Presidents”.
Video of John F. Kennedy during one of his speeches plays.
President Kennedy speaks: " ...a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace...".

“Hubert Humphrey 1961 U.S. President.”

“Rubert Humphrey 1961 U.S. Vice President.”
President Humphrey speaking: “in all Vietnam, and be in serious negotiation toward a durable peace”.

“Adlai Stevenson 1961 U.N. Ambassador.”

“John Kenneth Galbraith 1963 Ambassador to India.”

“Madeleine Albright 1996 U.N. Ambassador, Secretary of State”
Speaker speaks:
“Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, accepts an honorary degree from Brandeis University.”

Pictures fade in and are replaced with clips of George Shultz in graduation regalia receiving a blue stole, 1996, Secretary of Labor.

“Edward M. Kennedy 1975 U.S. Congress.”
Kennedy speaking: “Look out after the working poor.”

“Barbara Jordan 1975 Presidential Medal of Freedom U.S. Congress.”

Voice over speaks: “Congressman, John Lewis, of Georgia, led the 1965 -”
“John R. Lewis 1998 U.S. Congress”. Silent footage of Lewis delivering a speech.

“Nancy Pelosi 2003 Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives”. Clips of Pelosi on TV are shown with Pelosi saying: “the house will come to order”.

“Cory Booker 2009 Mayor Newark, New Jersey”. Cory Booker in graduation regalia at Brandeis University speaks: “Present, in this moment, challenge the world”.

“Deval Patrick 2017 Former Massachusetts Governor.”

“Abba Evan 1958 Israeli Diplomat.”

“David Ben-Gurion 1958 Israeli Prime Minister.”

“Nobel Peace Prize, Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin 1968.”

“Golda Meir 1973 Israeli Prime Minister.”

“Chaim Herzog 1973 Israeli President”
Herzog speaks: “As leader of a divided Labor Party -”

“Nobel Peace Prize, Shimon Peres 1997 Israeli President. Peres speaks: “If the British would remain free -”

“Helmut Kohl 1998 Chancellor of Germany”. Kohl at graduation ceremony wearing graduation gown at Brandeis University.

Title reads: “Literature”

“Saul Bellow 1974 Nobel Prize for Literature” and his book “Collected Stories”.

“Eudora Welty 1979 Author, Photographer” with Welty on the cover of her book “Reads”

“Edward Albee 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Drama Tony Award” and his book “Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?”.

“Isaac Bashevis Singer 1984 Nobel Prize for Literature” and his book “The Penitent: A novel”.

“John Updike 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction” and his book “The Rabbit Novels: Volume One, Rabbit, Run, Rabbit Redux”.

“Philip Roth 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction” and his book “Portnoy’s Complaint”.

“Amos Oz 1998 Israeli Prize for Literature” and his book “To know a woman”.

“Joyce Carol Oates 2007 Writer, Professor” and her book “The gravedigger’s daughter”.

“Cixin Liu 2019 Science Fiction Writer, Computer Engineer, 9 Chinese Galaxy Award”

Title reads: “Authors”

Speaker: “The honorary degree in Humane Letters is presented to John Hope Franklin.”

“John Hope Franklin 1985 Presidential Medal of Freedom” and his book “From slavery to freedom”.

“Art Buchwald 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary.”

“Arthur Schlesinger, Jr 1988 Pulitzer Prize for History” and his book “The politics of hope and the bitter heritage”. Speaker: “The Pulitzer Prize for Biography -”

“David McCullough 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Biography, Presidential Medal of Freedom”, with two of his books; “1776” and “John Adams”.

Speaker: “The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.”

“Ha Jin 2005 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction”, with his book “War Trash”.

“David Brooks 2011 New York Times Columnist.”

“Deborah Lipstadt, MA ‘72, PhD ‘76 2019 Historian, Author”, in purple graduation regalia delivering a speech at Brandeis commencement “In the fight against evil, there are no bystanders, onlookers are not neutral, they are complicit.”

Lipstadt’s video zooms out to reveal the next title: “Journalism”

“Walter Cronkite 1987 Emmy Awards, Presidential Medal of Freedom” speaks: “This is Walter Cronkite, good luck”.

Speaker: “Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting.”

“Thomas L. Friedman ‘75 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary” and his book “From Beirut to Jerusalem”.

“Sylvia Poggioli 2000 Fulbright Scholar.”

“Tom Brokaw 2005 Emmy Awards, Edward R. Murrow Award” speaks: “They have families and hope for free-.”

“Ted Koppel 2002, 42 Emmy Awards” speaks: “When we want desperately, sometimes almost hopelessly to believe-”

Koppel’s video zoom out to reveal the next title:
“Fine Arts”.

“Marc Chagall 1960 Painter” with his painting "L'Accordeoniste".

“Louise Nevelson 1985 Sculptor” with a dark green metal sculpture of different shapes.

“Frank Sella 1986 Painter” with different colorful designs.

“Helen Frankenthaler 1982 Painter” with a watercolor painting.

“Al Hirschfeld 1989 Caricaturist” with a self portrait.

“Dale Chihuly 2000 Glass Sculpture” with some colorful glass ceiling art and a blue seaweed sculpture.

“Ellsworth Kelly 2013 Painter, Sculptor, Printmaker” in front of a wall painted with spots of different colors and some blue digital art.

Title reads: “Theater & Dance”

“Lillian Hellman 1955 Playwright” with her play “An Unfinished Woman”.

“Martha Graham 1963 Presidential Medal of Freedom” with a picture of her dancing.

“Sir John Gieldud 1965 Best Actor Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, Tony Awards” with a clip from Julius Caesar of him speaking: “I that denied thee gold will give my heart.”

“Richard Rodgers 1965 15 Academy Awards, 35 Tony Awards, 2 Grammy Awards, 2 Emmy Awards, 2 Pulitzer Prizes” with a clip of him singing: “Oh what a beautiful morning”.

“Mikhail Baryshnikov 1983” with a clip of him dancing.

“Arthur Miller 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Tony Award” with his play “Death of a Salesman”.

“Suzanne Farrel 2015 Dancer and Founder - The Suzanne Farrell Ballet at the Kennedy Center” with a picture of two people dancing.

Title reads: “Sports”

“Bill Russell 2001 NBA Most Valuable Player Olympic Gold Medal” with a picture of him as the cover of Sports Illustrated Magazine.

Speaker: “Sports legend, Bill Russell, was awarded the honorary degree in humane letters.”

Title reads: “Film”

“John Ford 1965, 4 Best Director Academy Awards” with a clip from "The Grapes of Wrath" with Hendry Fonda speaking: “You get. Go on now, get, you ain't doing no good.”

“Danny Kaye 1972 Golden Globe Award, UNICEF Ambassador” with a scene from  "White Christmas" showing Kaye and Bing Crosby lipsynching: “...sisters, there were never...”

“Steven Spielberg 1986 Best Director Academy Awards” with the cover photo of the film E.T. and a clip from "Raiders of the Lost Ark".

“Liv Ullmann 1993 Golden Globe Award.”

“George Burns 1993 Academy Award, Golden Globe Award" with voiceover of Burns singing: "I'd like to do it again".

“Whoopi Goldberg 1997 Academy Award, Golden Globe, Emmy Award, Tony Award, Grammy Award” with a picture of her receiving an award trophy.

“Julieanna Richardson, ‘76, 2016 Founder, The HistoryMakers” in graduation regalia.

Title reads: “Science”.

“Jacques-Yves Cousteau 1970” with videos of him scuba-diving under water.

“Senator John Glenn 1999 United Nations Service Medal, Congressional Space Medal of Honor”
Speaker: “dawn of Colonel John Glenn's day of destiny.”

“Roderick MacKinnon ‘78, 2005 Nobel Prize for Chemistry” with a chemical structure showing a eukaryotic voltage-dependent potassium channel.

“Mildred Dresselhaus 2016 MIT Professor Emeritus ‘Queen of Carbon Science’, National Medal of Science for Engineering” with a picture of her receiving a medal from President Obama.

“Leslie Lamport, MA ‘63, PhD ‘72 2017 Computer Scientist, Turing Award for Informatics”.

Title reads: “Architecture”.

“R. Buckminster Fuller 1970 Visionary, Designer, Inventor” with a picture of him in front of the Montreal Biosphere and a visualization of the nanoparticle.

“Phillip Johnson 1990 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate” with a picture of his work, “The Glasshouse” and a sculpture in gold. Johnson speaks: “If you say wow and you’re impressed, something must be happening.”

“Moshe Safdie 1999 AIA Honor Awards” with a picture of his work “Habitat 67”, model community and housing complex.

“Frank O. Gehry 2002 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate” with a picture of his work, the “Guggenheim museum”.

“Daniel Libeskind 2007 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate” with a picture of one of his architectural works.

Title reads: “Law”.

“Earl Warren 1956 U.S. Supreme Court.”

“Felix Frankfurter 1956 U.S. Supreme Court.”

“Thurgood Marshall 1961 U.S. Supreme Court.”

“William Brennan, Jr. 1986 U.S. Supreme Court.”

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg 1996 U.S. Supreme Court.”

“Stephen Breyer 2002 U.S. Supreme Court.”

“Margaret Marshall 2005 Chief Justice of Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court” wearing graduation regalia at Brandeis Commencement.

“Aharon Barak 2002 President of the Supreme Court of Israel.”

“Frank Brandeis Gilbert, J.D. 2016” wearing graduation regalia at Brandeis Commencement walking on the stage.

“Rosalie Silberman Abella 2017 Canadian Supreme Court Justice” wearing graduation regalia, speaking on stage.

Title reads: “Music”

“Aaron Copland 1957 Academy Award, Pulitzer Prize for Composition” sings: “brass at nine, dah-dah dah-dah...very commanding”.

“Leonard Bernstein 1959 Tony Awards, Grammy Awards” conducting a music recital.

“Marian Anderson 1960 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Presidential Medal of Freedom” singing.

“Charlie Mingus 1974 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award” playing the bass.

“Benny Goodman 1986 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award” with a video of him accepting a degree at commencement ceremony wearing graduation regalia and a video of him playing the clarinet.

“Beverly Sills 1988 Presidential Medal of Freedom” singing a high note.

“Jessye Norman 1988 Grammy Awards” singing.

“Andre Watts 1989 Grammy Awards” playing the piano.

“Harry Belafonte 1991 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards” making exciting hand gestures while wearing graduation regalia on stage at commencement ceremony.

“Quincy Jones 1992 Academy Award, 27 Grammy Awards, Emmy Awards.”

“Barbra Streisand 1995 Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, Golden Globe Awards” singing.

“Wynton Marsalis 1996 Golden Globe Award, Pulitzer Prize for Music” playing the trumpet.

“Mstislav Rostropovich 1999 Grammy Award” playing the cello.

“Marilyn Horne 2009” singing.

“Yo Yo Ma 2011, 7 Grammy Awards, National Medal of Arts, Presidential Medal of Freedom”, playing the cello.

“Chava Alberstein 2018 Folk Singer, Lyricist, Composer, Human Rights Activist.”

Title reads: “Social Justice”

“His Holiness The Dalai Lama 1998 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate” delivering a speech at Brandeis: “Thank you on behalf of 6 million Tibetan people”.

“Elie Wiesel 1980 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate” speaks: “We are duty bound to try and not bury our memories”.

“Yelena Bonner 1992 Human Rights Activist” with the pamphlet “Andrei Sakharov from exile”.

“Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan 2006 Social Justice Activist” in graduation regalia.

“Vernon Jordan 1970 Civil Rights Activist.”

“Marian Wright Edelman 1988 Children’s Rights Activist” with her book “I can make a difference”.
“Leonard Zakim 1996 Human Rights Activist” with a mosaic of multicolored activist ribbons.

Speaker: “Brandeis honors -”

“Deborah Bial, ‘87, 2012, Founder, Posse Foundation, MacArthur Foundation Award” with a picture of Posse Scholars wearing graduation regalia.

Speaker: “- these men and women who have followed their destinies with open minds and given to the world”

“Myra Hiatt Kraft, ‘64, 2012, Civic Leader and Philanthropist.”

Speaker: “the gift of their dedication and passion.”

“Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences, Amartya Sen 2012 Philosopher and Economist.”

“Dr Chaim Peri 2013 Educator & Director, Yemin Orde Youth Village.”

“Geoffrey Canada 2014 President & CEO Harlem Children’s Zone” speaks: “Do not tell me they could not reach those kids and save them, I know they could.”

“Freeman A. Hrabowski III 2018 President, University of Baltimore Country, Educator and Advocate.”

“Barbara Mandel, P’73 2019 Activist, Philanthropist, 2-Term President, National Council of Jewish Women.”

“Coretta Scott King 1969 Civil Rights Activist” and a picture with her spouse.

King’s picture zooms out to reveal a building collage of everyone’s pictures.
The collage fades a little to reveal the text “Brandeis University Honorary Degree”.

Fades to black.

Transitions to university provost Carol Fierke in front of the fireplace and banner.
Her title reads:

Carol Fierke
Provost, Brandeis University

Fierke speaks:

Hello. I'm Carol Fierke, provost, and I am delighted to introduce our first honorary degree recipient, Ellen Gordon. For more than five decades, Ellen Gordon and her late husband Melvin, built Tootsie Roll Industries into one of the largest US candy makers. A New York Stock Exchange listed company with operations throughout North America. Distribution channels in more than 75 countries and annual global sales of more than $500 million. Gordon joined Tootsie Roll industries in 1968, serving as vice president of product development, then senior vice president and president and COO, starting in 1978. Before being named chair and CEO after her husband's death in 2015, she served as a board member or trustee at CPC International, HDI Investment Corporation, the National Confectioners Association, Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, Global Advisory Board, and Unilever Best Foods. She is a founding member, former president and former foundation chair of The Committee of 200, an organization of the world's most successful women entrepreneurs and corporate leaders. In 1992, Gordon was the first woman speaker at Brandeis's Business and Professional network. She received the university's Alumni Achievement Award in 2000. A dedicated philanthropist, Gordon has generously supported institutions that advanced education, healthcare, human services, and many other causes. Before we hear from Ellen, I'm delighted to introduce Katy Graddy, Dean of Brandeis International Business School, and Fred and Rita Richman Distinguished Professor of Economics.

Transitions to Kathryn Graddy speaking on video call

Her title reads:

Kathryn Graddy
Dean, Brandeis International Business School
Fred and Rita Richman Distinguished Professor in Economics

Graddy speaks:

It's my incredible honor to speak about Ellen Gordon. In December of 2018, shortly after I became dean, I was taking a trip to Chicago, and Peter Petri, the founding dean of the International Business School, said that I must visit Ellen Gordon at the Tootsie Roll factory. He went on to describe his visit. I had the impression that he's enjoyment was much like that of any person in a candy factory, complete with leaving with a huge package of Tootsie Rolls. In great anticipation, I wrote to Ellen Gordon who immediately replied that she would be very happy to meet. Unfortunately, the timing didn't work out. With the ensuing intervention of the pandemic, I've yet to meet Ellen myself in person or toward the factory, and I can't wait to do so. Ellen Gordon's reputation as a female executive is inspiring to us all. In her words from a previous interview, "When I wrote my senior paper in high school, I remember writing that I wish I could become a business woman." After completing her Brandeis degree at age 34 and bringing her daughter with her to class, she fulfilled her dream. As many of us would aspire to, she has passed on her love of her profession, business, to her daughters. Ellen Gordon was elected president of Tootsie Roll Industries in April 1978. At the time, she was only the second woman to be elected president of a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2015, she became chairman and CEO. She has pursued business as an occupation. In the words of Louis Brandeis, "Largely for others and not merely for oneself with their strong philanthropic supported organizations that advance education, healthcare, human services, and many other causes." Ellen Gordon is the third generation of her family, the Rubin family, to be involved with Tootsie Roll. Her grandson is also involved in the company, resulting so far in five generations of family involvement. May Tootsie Roll Industries be going strong after another five generations. Thank you, Ellen Gordon for your excellence as a global business leader.

Transitions to Ellen Gordon speaking on video call in her office

Her title reads:

Ellen Gordon ‘65 | Doctor of Humane Letters
Chairman & CEO, Tootsie Roll Industries

Gordon speaks:

Thank you to the Brandeis leadership team for recognizing me with this very prestigious honorary degree. I am greatly honored and especially privileged to join such a distinguished group of other recipients of this award. Brandeis, of course, is a very special place for so many of us. But most meaningful to me is Brandeis's long standing tradition of being more than a few steps ahead of its time and so it was with me. After high school, I went to Vassar College. After my second year of college, I got married and transferred to Wellesley College. Soon I began to have children, and I left school to raise our daughters. After the third of our four children was born, I went back to college and completed my undergraduate degree at Brandeis. There I was able to further my studies in a rigorous and intellectual environment, but it was different. It was also now a wife and a mom. Brandeis always treated me very well. I was given a parking space on campus so that I could be on time to pick up my children from school. When the babysitter couldn't come, no one batted an eye when my youngest daughter came to class with me and colored pictures quietly in the back row of the classroom. Brandeis always gave me the encouragement to pursue my ambitions. They encouraged me to challenge any limitation that society traditionally had. At a critical time in my life, Brandeis taught me many lifelong lessons that have influenced me over the years with the demands of family, work, and society. Like Tootsie Rolls, Brandeis has a proud history and strong traditions. In addition to its rigorous academic curriculum, it has always prided itself on its openness to new ideas and its encouragement of intellectual explorations, and its emphasis on social consciousness. To the resilient class of 2021, I congratulate you on this very special day. Your accomplishments are already remarkable. With the Brandeis traditions that you're back, you will surely go on to achieve extraordinary things. You are the promise of a healthier, a better, and of course, as we like to say, a sweeter tomorrow for all of us. Thank you again for this wonderful award.

Transitions to Carol Fierke.

Fierke speaks:

Our next honorary degree recipient, the late Herman Hemingway, who passed away in December 2020, was the first black man to graduate from Brandeis. Herman was a lawyer, public defender, law professor, public housing administrator, and architect of the Boston Human Rights Commission. He devoted his life to advocating for the poor, fighting racial bigotry, and broadly advancing the cause of social justice. Growing up in Boston, Roxbury section, where it was a largely Jewish neighborhood, as a high school student, he won scholarship offers from Brandeis, Harvard, and Boston College. He selected the then brand new Brandeis because he thought it would be an innovative and exciting place to study. Herman earned a bachelor's degree in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. He received a law degree from Suffolk University and served as a public defender in the district courts in Roxbury and Chelsea. He then founded his own civil rights law practice. His advocacy brought him into the administration of Boston Mayor Kevin White, where he served as an acting administrator of the Boston Housing Authority and assisted in the creation of the Boston Housing Court and the Boston Human Rights Commission. Herman traveled to Nigeria on a three-year sabbatical to serve as a lecturer on the American legal system at the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria. He returned to the US to become chair of Boston State College's Department of Public Service, Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and a senior fellow at its McCormick Institute, an adjunct professor at the Boston College and Boston University Law Schools. We are honored to celebrate Herman's life achievements with his daughter, Myra. First, it is my pleasure to introduce Chad Williams, professor in Samuel J and Augusta Spector chair in history to offer reflections on Herman Hemingway. We will then hear from Myra Hemingway.

Transitions to Chad Williams speaking on video call from his office

His title reads:

Chad Williams
Samuel J. and Augusta Spector Chair in History

Williams speaks:

One of my earliest Brandeis memories is of Herman Hemingway. It was September of 2012 and I was new to the university, only a few weeks into my position as chair of the African and African-American Studies department. We organized the beginning of the year, welcome reception and extended the invitation to alumni. Mr. Hemingway generously attended. I vividly really recall our serendipitous encounter from that late fall afternoon. He humbly introduced himself and we talked about Brandeis, its history, and the place of African Americans in it. He was the last person to leave, and our conversations spilled outside of the Mandel Center for the Humanities and on to Loop Road as I walk with him back to his car, dusk engulfing the campus. The history of African Americans at Brandeis in so many ways begins with Herman Hemingway. In 1953, Mr. Hemingway joined Theresa Danley as the first two black people to graduate from Brandeis. He was a pioneer, paving the way for future black students to find a space as challenging as it was and still is within the university. Mr. Hemingway, who established a campus chapter of the NAACP, also laid the foundation for a history of black student activism that continues today. A lawyer, teacher, freedom fighter, Mr. Hemingway was brilliant, passionate, selfless, and kind. I last saw him in early 2019. I was teaching a course titled Black Brandeis, Black History, which explored the history of African Americans and other people of African descent at Brandeis from its founding to the present. On January 24th, Mr. Hemingway visited the class. He spoke about his life experiences, at times becoming choked with emotion in what Brandeis meant to him. A few weeks later, on February 8th, I saw Mr. Hemingway for the final time at the 50th anniversary commemoration of the AAAS department. In attendance were some of Brandeis's most distinguished black alumni. Angela Davis, Julieanna Richardson, Hortense Spillers, the veterans of the Ford Hall protests in 1969. During what would be his last visit to Brandeis, Mr. Hemingway was surrounded by generations of black alumni, faculty and staff, and current students, that whether they realized it or not, stood on his shoulders. Mr. Hemingway is a giant. He helped make Brandeis into the university it is today. But even more importantly, fought for Brandeis must continue to aspire to become a university that puts social justice into action, that embraces its responsibility to the world, and recognizes that the commitment to black lives is a commitment to our shared humanity. I'm very happy that Brandeis has seen fit to award Mr. Hemingway with an honorary degree. I offer my best wishes and congratulations to his family on this accomplishment.

Transitions to Myra Hemingway.

Her title reads:

Myra Hemingway
Daughter of Herman Hemingway ‘53, Attorney and Humans Rights Activist

Hemingway speaks:

Ladies and gentlemen, fellow honorary degree recipients to the Brandeis University class of 2021, their families, to the Brandeis faculty staff and President Ron Liebowitz, it is with great honor that I accept this honorary Doctor of Humane Letter degree from Brandeis University, posthumously awarded to my late father, Herman W. Hemingway. My father was an eloquent speaker, not only in the delivery of his pearls of wisdom, but in the substance of which he spoke. His journey through life from humble beginnings, raised by a single mother, the eldest of three, he realized at an early age that education would provide him with the skills to achieve his full potential. His decision to attend Brandeis University was born from this realization, an opportunity to be part of a brand new university during a time when the Civil Rights Movement was building momentum. Brandeis allowed my father the opportunity to develop friendships with classmates that were uniquely familiar with the similarities of race and discrimination. Brandeis was a place where he felt welcomed and he was able to share his views about racial inequities and social change. My father's career as an attorney, educator, and public servant would not have happened had it not been for his experiences at Brandeis that provided him with the tools to forge his path during times of uncertainty. My father was a man of many words who credited much of his success to his unwavering faith in God and the people who came into his life that believed in him and invested in his potential. He offered those who knew him many teachable moments through his journey and he always appreciated the opportunities that were forwarded to him. Thank you for honoring my father with his Doctor of Humane Letter degree. We are so proud that he is being recognized for his leadership and humanitarianism.

Transitions to Carol Fierke.

Fierke speaks:

I'm now pleased to recognize Lynn Schusterman, the co-founder and chair emerita of Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, a global organization working in the United States and Israel to achieve more just and inclusive societies. Schusterman Family Philanthropies has created transformational opportunities in the lives of thousands of people for 34 years, driving long-term systemic change through investments and leaders, organizations and public policy. In the United States, the organization works to advance racial, gender, and economic equity, as well as to foster a more joyful and diverse Jewish community. In Israel, the organization works towards a vision of a secure Zionist Jewish homeland with a strong democracy and thriving civil society that cares for its most vulnerable. At Brandeis, Lynn Schusterman created and endowed the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, one of the world's leading economic institution focused on modern Israel. She served on the University's Board of Trustees from 2008-2010. In a moment, we will hear from Lynn's good friend about her many philanthropic commitments, some of which includes serving as founding board member of the Birthright Israel Foundation and the Israel Institute. In 2000, along with her late husband, Charles, Schusterman was inducted into the Tulsa Hall of Fame, in 2003 into the Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame, and in 2006 into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. The following year, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion. She was honored in 2008 with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Public Service Award, and in 2011 joined Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and other leading wealthy individuals and families in signing The Giving Pledge. In doing so, Schusterman has committed the majority of her wealth to philanthropy. I am delighted to introduce Lynn's longtime friend and colleague, Itamar Rabinovich, who will offer some thoughts before we hear from Lynn.

Transitions to Itamar Rabinovich.

His title reads:

Itamar Rabinovich
Former President, Tel Aviv University and the Israel Institute
Former Ambassador of Israel to the US

Rabinovich speaks:

It's a pleasure and a privilege for me to introduce my partner and friend Lynn Schusterman for an honorary doctorate at Brandeis University. For many years now, Lynn has been a civic leader and a philanthropist. She is, in these capacities, a warm leader endowed with vision and of course, kindness and generosity. She has been active in her own hometown of Tulsa, in the American Jewish context, in the United States, in Israel and in the Jewish world at large. In this context, Lynn developed a particular interest in the academic discipline of Israel Studies. Israel studies is an academic area emerging and has been for many years sandwiched uncomfortably between Middle Eastern Studies and Jewish Studies. Lynn is one of the individuals who took it from that fledgling state into the much better state in which Israel Studies are today, first by establishing the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis, then by starting a smaller one at the University of Texas, and finally in 2012, in starting the Israel Institute in Washington. This is an academic entity devoted to consolidating and developing the whole field of Israel studies, working with centers, institutes, universities in the United States, in Europe and surprise, surprise, in China. She, and the image, and the figure she projects have come through so remarkably through all of these activities. She deserves this honorary doctorate, this recognition amply and richly. I'm delighted to be part of this ceremony in which she was awarded the honorary doctorate.

Transitions to Lynn Schusterman.

Her title reads:

Lynn Schusterman | Doctor of Humane Letters
Founder & Chair Emerita, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies

Schusterman speaks:

Thank you so much to Brandeis University for honoring me with the Doctor of Humane Letters. It is so very meaningful to receive this degree from the country's first secular university founded on Jewish values. These same values guarded my own life work and my family's philanthropy, which is committed to building a more just and inclusive society in the United States and Israel. I am so very grateful to President Ron Liebowitz, who has been an advocate for these values, and to all of the Brandeis Schusterman Center for Israel Studies stand for. I also want to thank the Schusterman Center's leaders and supporters, past and present, who have been integral to its growth and its impact. Most importantly, I'm grateful to our aspiring students. It is with pride that I watch you, the class of 2021, begin your journey as Brandeis alumni. You are stepping into the world not only with an exceptional education, but with the ability to think creatively and collectively about the world's most pressing issues. This skill is not only essential for thriving in academia, it is the most valuable tool for making the world a better place. Brandeis commitment to fostering this type of thinking brought me here more than 10 years ago to launch the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies. The Center has built a vibrant multi-disciplinarian academic environment where modern Israel is taught and studied with the energy, thoughtfulness, and the intellectual rigor it deserves. This work has never been so important. We live in an age of misinformation and distortion. We need to recommit ourselves to the pursuit of truth, understanding, and respect for diverse perspectives. My hope is that the universities across the country can learn from Brandeis' leaderships and prioritize complex, multifaceted therein in education, be it about Israel or any other important issue. In doing so, we can pave the way towards building a more inclusive and equitable society where people of all backgrounds can live with respect and dignity. Class of 2021, you are our leaders. Boggling how to collaborate, how to talk with civility, even when we disagree and how to act out our values. I am counting on each and every one of you to take what you have learned at Brandeis and lead us to a more just world. Congratulations, and may we are go from strength to strength.

Transitions to Carol Fierke.

Fierke speaks:

Our next honoree is Bryan Stevenson, who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated, and the condemned. A public interest lawyer, Stevenson founded and serves as executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative. The Alabama-based organization has prevailed in major legal challenges that overturned excessive and unfair sentencing practices, defended children prosecuted as adults, and confronted the abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill. The initiative has also won reprieves for innocent prisoners sentenced to death. The initiatives work led to a landmark 2012 US Supreme Court decision. The ruling mandated that life sentences without parole for children 17 years old and younger violate the Constitution. Stevenson is the author of Just Mercy, A Story of Justice and Redemption, which was made into a film in 2019. He also led efforts to create two acclaimed national cultural sites that opened in 2018, The Legacy Museum and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice. The sites chronicle the legacy of slavery, lynching, and racial segregation, and their links to contemporary issues of mass incarceration and racism. Stevenson graduated from Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He began his career at the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta. He's been a faculty member at the New York University School of Law since 1998. Stevenson's many honors and recognitions include the McArthur Fellowship, the ACLU National Medal of Liberty, the Olof Palme Prize for international human rights. He's also received honorary degrees from more than 40 universities and colleges, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Georgetown Law. As this year's keynote speaker, Bryan will be joining us during our main commencement on May 23rd, where he will receive a Doctor of Laws. Today we have Leah Wright Rigueur, Harry Truman Associate Professor of History to share a few words about Bryan's inspirational work.

Transitions to Leah Wright-Rigueur.

Her title reads:

Leah Wright-Rigueur
Harry Truman Associate Professor of History

Rigueur speaks:

Hello everyone. My name is Leah Wright Rigueur, and I'm the Harry Truman Associate Professor of American History at Brandeis University. Thank you for having me. I have the honor of offering remarks for a man who needs no introduction. At this stage, Bryan Stevenson is ubiquitous. The challenge for me, or for anyone really in offering words of praise and reflection is, what is there left to say that hasn't already been said? Now, a colleague once referred to Mr. Stevenson as a "Renaissance man", the likes of which we haven't fields with Paul Robeson. A Harvard graduate twice over, a MacArthur Genius Grant recipient, a New York Times bestselling and award-winning author, and most recently, the subject of a blockbuster award-winning film. Now if you'll indulge me a bit, I can even say that like Mr. Robeson, Mr. Stevenson was a singer and played competitive sports in college. Now through his work, [NOISE] especially the Equal Justice Initiative, Mr. Stevenson has spread the gospel of justice, equity, and empathy. He's done it with a kind of religious fervor, and in the process has managed to convert a good portion of the rest of the nation as well. We know that his work has been impactful. His legal work has eliminated excessive and unfair sentencing. For example, he's exonerated innocent men on death row and has confronted and rejected the draconian conditions of the American carceral state and system. In a nation that continues to deny children, especially black children, sanctuary and dignity, Mr. Stevenson has won a number of prominent victories recognizing the humanity of incarcerated children and young adults while restoring their constitutional rights. Perhaps what is most remarkable about Mr. Stevenson is that having met him several times, and having seen him speak on a number of different occasions, I'm still moved by his sense of humility, integrity, passion, and most significantly, his commitment to bestowing grace upon those less fortunate, for fighting for the most vulnerable and marginalized members of our society, including those who have committed even the most heinous of acts or crimes. [NOISE] I'm struck by a quote from Mr. Stevenson, borrowed from an interview in the 1990s where he says, "When we execute someone, we're saying life has no purpose. I've met people on death row non about whom I could say this person's life has no purpose." That's a powerful sentiment made all the more so given that we live in a nation that values punishment. Mr. Stevenson's voice then has played an instrumental and critical role in challenging our country to imagine ourselves differently as a nation committed to restorative justice, rehabilitation, and truth-telling, and we see that Mr. Stevenson's impact has been such on all sides of the aisle. It is bi-partisan. It is beyond partisanship. He's been wildly successful, and I'd argue he's changed the zeitgeist of our American culture around race, justice, and incarceration. I want to close by giving a brief example, powerful example of Mr. Stevenson's impact on our nation. In 2018, the Equal Justice Initiative launched the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, a memorial dedicated to the legacy of enslaved black people, people that were brutally tortured and ritualistically lynched, African Americans living under the [inaudible 00:38:22] deer of segregation in Jim Crow, and black people burdened with the contemporary presumption of guilt and police violence. Now my good friend who worked on this project under Bryan Stevenson, and he had no shortage of amazing stories and tales to tell, he also said it was wonderful having a boss like Bryan Stevenson, so all good there. But he also spent hours researching racial lynchings in America and collecting data on the atrocities. He also helped collect the soil, the actual physical soil from the lynching sites; an integral part of the present-day memorial site. When my friend first described the project to me, he and I both were moved to tears. That acknowledgment of Black trauma and injustice, but also documenting and exposing that which was unspoken for over a century has fundamentally remade our American society in ways that can't be calculated. As a historian, as a teacher, Mr. Stevenson's project for me, his project, and his data, and the memorial are an integral part of my classroom experience. But more than that, Mr. Stevenson has restored the idea of dignity in sanctuary and death, where it was once missing. For that, we should all be grateful. For that, we see a model for the future. Thank you.

Transitions to Bryan Stevenson.

His title reads:

Bryan Stevenson | Doctor of Laws
Founder & Executive Director, Equal Justice Initiative

Stevenson speaks:

To President Liebowitz, [inaudible 00:39:49] , and the entire Brandeis Board of Trustees, let me say thank you for this wonderful recognition and this extraordinary honor. It meant a great deal to me to receive an honorary degree from an institution that has been so central to shaping the lives of critical thinkers in America for so long. I'm really honored to have an association with the university and to be part of this year's commencement events. I've spent my career trying to help the poor, trying to serve those who are in need. I believe that we have a criminal legal system that treats you better if you're rich and guilty than if you're poor and innocent. There are too many places where inequality and injustice is creating hardship, and pain, and suffering, and I feel called to respond to that. I believe that you have an institution that recognizes the importance of dealing with inequality, addressing injustice, serving the poor, and that's what makes me proud to be a part of this assemblage, to receive this award. I've often believed that if we affirm basic human rights, if we recognize the demands of human dignity, if we respect one another, if we challenge inequality and injustice and oppression, then we can create great futures. I believe that there is a better future waiting for us. I do. I hope that everyone graduating from Brandeis this year will embrace the opportunity we all have to advance justice, to protect human rights. I know that you share that vision, or you wouldn't have invited me to be with you. I want to just thank you for that and extend my heartfelt, sincere gratitude to each and every one of you and wish you all the best during this commencement season. Thank you.

Transition to Carol Fierke.

Fierke speaks:

I'm now delighted to recognize the many accomplishments of our esteemed academic colleague, Bob Zimmer. Appointed in 2006 as the 13th President of the University of Chicago, Bob Zimmer is a strong advocate for access and affordability in higher education and an outspoken defender of the importance of free expression and open discourse on college campuses. In 2014, he commissioned a faculty committee, the committee on freedom of expression, which developed the Chicago principles. These principles have become a widely adopted national model for promoting free, robust and uninhibited debate and deliberation in the academy and beyond. In recognition of his work in support of free expression, he was given the Philip Merrill Award for outstanding contributions to liberal arts education by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni in 2017. Bob authored four books and more than 80 academic papers in differential geometry, ergodic theory, and other mathematical topics. He was also a distinguished professor and deputy provost at the University of Chicago before joining Brown University from 2002 to 2006 as the Ford Foundation Professor of Mathematics and Provost. A 2013 winner of Brandeis' Alumni Achievement Award, Bob served on the National Science Foundation governing board from 2011 to 2016, and on the president's committee on the National Medal of Science from 2008 to 2010. Bob had masters and PhD degree from Harvard University. He's held teaching positions at Harvard as well as the US Naval Academy and institutions in Australia, France, Israel, Italy, and Switzerland. He also has honorary degrees from Tsinghua University and Colby College, and he will become chancellor at the University of Chicago in September. I would now like to welcome Bob's dear friends, Brandeis board member Sylvia Neil and her husband Dan, and Joseph Neubauer, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of Chicago, to say a few words. Bob will then conclude with some reflections.

Transitions to Sylvia M. Neil sitting next to Daniel Fischel.

Her title reads:

Sylvia M. Neil
Member, Board of Trustees, Board of Fellows, Brandeis University

Neil speaks:

Bob, Dan and I are honored to be asked to celebrate you, our dear friend and colleague. We are so pleased that Brandeis is bestowing this honorary degree on you. You are the ultimate quintessential Brandeis graduates of all time. Proud of your roots, brilliant, successful, and committed to making the world a better place. Your achievements are many, an extraordinary university president, a great mathematician, a devoted father, and wonderful husband. Shadi and you have a true partnership. Indeed, you may also be the coolest mathematician that ever lived. [LAUGHTER] During your tenure, the University of Chicago became renowned not just as one of the great academic institutions of the world, but one of the coolest too. In awarding this degree, I hope that Brandeis students will be inspired by you. Your commitment to rigorous thinking, independent thought, respect for ideas, and the pursuit of knowledge. A clear, brave, strong voice leading the way not just in academia, but throughout the world, valuing discourse, inquiry and the open-mind. Most of all, you are a match. Congratulations and much love.

Transitions to Daniel Fischel.

His title reads:

Daniel Fischel
Chairman & President, Compass Lexecon
Lee and Brena Freeman Professor Emeritus of Law and Business, University of Chicago

Fischel speaks:

Wow. As usual, it's hard to follow Sylvia but I also want to share my congratulations. There's so many things that you've done and you've accomplished, it's hard to know where to start, but I just want to say a word or two about what you've done at the University of Chicago and for really higher education throughout the world. As a former dean, one of the things that I've done is I've studied the history of the University of Chicago. I think without question, you will go down in history and you're still going. You still have history to go. But based on everything that you've done, you will go down in history of the University of Chicago as truly one of its great, great presidents. One of the leaders of the university that really embodies everything that the university stands for, everything that makes the university great and you've made the university even greater. You will go down along with the great founder of the university, William Rainey Harper, as a truly transformational figure, and 100 years from now, when future deans are researching the history of the university, you will be prominent among those who will be studied as one of the great man in the history of the University of Chicago. The other thing that I want to mention is, because of everything that you've done at the University of Chicago as a leader, making the university great, but also embodying the values of free expression, open exchange of ideas, you've become a model for universities everywhere. It's no accident that around the country people know of you and regard you as really the greatest living university president. For that, along with everything else that you've accomplished, you really are well-deserving of this great honor of receiving this honorary degree. Bob, my close friend, our close friend, our congratulations and we can't wait to see you and Shadi in person and celebrate this great honor. Congratulations.

Transitions to Joseph Neubauer.

His title reads:

Joseph Neubauer
Chairman, Board of Trustees, University of Chicago
Former Chairman of the Board, Aramark Corporation

Neubauer speaks:

Hello, I'm Joe Neubauer and it's my pleasure to introduce my friend and colleague, Robert Zimmer to you. My wife Jeannette is a Brandeis graduate, a former trustee and she and I have been long-term supporters of innovation at this university. I'm also chairman of the board of the University of Chicago and have had the privilege of working with Bob Zimmer almost since the first day after he became our 13th president. During the 15 years of his presidency, the University of Chicago has enhanced its eminence among the top ranked research universities in the United States and the world. During his tenure, the university has strengthened its position as a preferred destination for world-leading scholars, as well as gifted students. Under Bob's inspired leadership, the university has made substantial investments to fulfill the programmatic ambitions of the faculty, support the exceptional scholarship and education for which the university is known, increased financial support for students, and build relationships with our surrounding neighbors on the South side of Chicago. Personally, I've always defined the essence of the university as great faculty and outstanding students. Since 2006, Bob's vision and leadership have enhanced student's access and opportunity. He has run the tenured and tenure track faculty by 24 percent, created deeper engagement of our affiliate laboratories, Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Marine Biological Sciences Laboratory. All for the benefit of our faculty and students. Bob created Chicago's first engineering program, launched the Pritzker's School of Molecular Engineering where applied science and quantum computing are just a couple of examples of how he's long range vision and can-do attitude resulted in totally new fields of inquiry, not only for the university but for the academy at large. He also insisted on the value and need for arts and humanities education. Constructing a new arts building, as well as the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation among many other noteworthy innovations. Driven by his devotion to Chicago's core principles with emphasis on rigorous scholarly inquiry, academic freedom of expression, as well as the diversity and inclusion, Bob reinforced Chicago's distinct culture heritage, while helping the institution evolve appropriately to unique challenges of our time. These many achievements require clear vision, a strong disciplined team, and an ever-growing list of partners and supporters, while we'll continue to provide leadership to the University of Chicago in his new role as chancellor. Rob would not have achieved any of these without the strong foundation his undergraduate years at Brandeis provided. I wanted to congratulate Brandeis University for selecting one of its own, Rob Zimmer to receive an honorary degree today. I can think of no other academic leader who pursues the Brandeis motto, truth, even until its innermost part, more passionately than Rob Zimmer. Thank you very much.

Transitions to Robert J. Zimmer ‘68 in full regalia.

His title reads:

Robert J. Zimmer ‘68 | Doctor of Humane Letters
President, University of Chicago

Zimmer speaks:

Thank you board Chair Koplow, Princeton, Ron Liebowitz, and Provost Carol Fierke for this warm welcome and the generous words. I particularly want to acknowledge and thank President Ron Liebowitz. He and I have had an opportunity to discuss Brandeis higher education and the challenges and opportunities of leading these most important institutions. As an alumnus of Brandeis and a colleague, I have greatly valued the thoughtfulness, values, and wisdom that President Liebowitz has shown. I also want to thank my good friends of longstanding Sylvia Neil, Daniel Fischel, and Joseph Neubauer, for generously participating in today's event, for their most generous words, and for their wonderful friendship over the years. One of the features of being at a stage of life where one is fortunate to be receiving an honorary degree is that it offers a time for reflection on the forces that had a strong impact on how your life has unfolded. Of course, one's family, in particular parents, and those that came before inevitably have an outsized impact. For me, Brandeis also had an outsized impact. I would point out three important ways this was manifest. The first concern is mathematics. It was at Brandeis that I first experienced mathematics in a mature form, saw the power and beauty of its multiple approaches to structure, and the sheer excitement of this remarkable area of human endeavor. I had the benefit of a wonderful mathematics faculty here at Brandeis that guided this discovery. I want to mention Michael Spivak, Elavsky and Dick Pele, now all gone from Brandeis who were particularly inspiring in opening up this extraordinary world for me. I also want to mention Stephan Barkow, a physicist who made that subject, of course, one closely related to mathematics, come alive for me. The second important influence of Brandeis was an education beyond mathematics and physics namely, the excitement of a liberal arts curriculum in which one learns to deeply appreciate context, culture, and history as important frameworks for all topics of study and analysis has stayed with me my whole life and which I feel serves me well every day. In this regard, I want to mention professors Richard Onorato and Philip Roth, who conveyed the joys and skills of reading. Reading carefully, reading in context, and showing how careful and contextual reading greatly enhanced the enjoyment of the beauty of what was being read. I want to mention Henry David Akin and the joy of the Scottish Enlightenment and reading David Hume. Third was the environment of endless discourse with friends at Brandeis in discussing the importance of free expression and open discourse around the country as I do. It is evident that in the current period, many persons, unfortunately, seem to only feel comfortable if people have the same general views as they do, limiting their friendships and what they can learn from them. In contrast, I often recall growing up in Greenwich Village and then the tumultuous 60s at Brandeis at time of the Civil Rights Movement and conflicts about the Vietnam War. In both of these cases, there was lots of argument, lots of discussions, and then we would all go together to play stickball or bridge if in New York, or bridge or touch football if at Brandeis. Disagreements did not mean we could not be friends or close, it meant we had plenty to discuss. This too was a valuable educational and social feature at Brandeis, one that I value and that continues to stay with me every day. Let me conclude by again expressing my thanks. Brandeis gave me a great deal only some of which I haven't tried to indicate today. It is a moment to recognize this and express thanks for it. Likewise, I am deeply appreciative of the recognition of my work by virtue of the honorary degree awarded today, something I will always greatly value. I want to express my deep appreciation to the leadership of Brandeis, the faculty, the board, and all those who had a hand in my receiving this recognition. For today and for the past and its impact on the present and future, let me say thank you to all of Brandeis University.

Transitions to Ron Liebowitz.

Liebowitz speaks:

Once again, congratulations to this year's honorary degree recipients. Despite the challenges we have faced this past year, I am pleased that we were able to celebrate these five outstanding individuals and honor them, albeit virtually. I look forward to coming together in the near future as a community, and with this year's recipient's continued success. Thank you for being part of this wonderful celebration. To thee, Alma Mater we'll always be true. All hail to thy standard the white and the blue. Proclaiming thy future recalling thy past our hopes spring from memories eternally cast. With sorrows we'll leave thee, new worlds to create. May deeds of thy children make thee forever great. May deeds of thy children make thee forever great.

Title: Commencement 2021, Alma Mater
Subtitle: Performed by the Brandeis Chamber Singers, University Chorus, and Alumni, Robert Duff, Conductor.

Slide with the Brandeis University Logo, screen text says “Commencement 2021”, “Alma Mater”, “Performed by the Brandeis Chamber Singers, University Chorus, and Alumni”, “Robert Duff, Conductor”. 

Opens to a sweeping view on the Louis Brandeis statue with a springtime campus in foreground surrounded by twenty of the The Brandeis Chamber Singers on Zoom who can be heard singing:

“To thee, Alma Mater.

We'll always be true.
Singing continues, but the inner video is replaced by more choir singers in the center singing in-person, wearing masks and social distancing. Camera moves towards the right showing more students singing on the right side before zooming in on two of the students and then moving back left.  
All hail to thy standard
the white and the blue.”
Music continues.
Shot zooms out to show the Chamber singers from above. Camera moves around to show other students.
“Proclaiming thy future,
recalling thy past
our hopes spring from
mem'ries eternally cast.
With sorrows we'll leave thee,
new worlds to create.
May deeds of thy children
make thee forever great.
May deeds of thy children
make thee forever great.”

Transitions to an aerial view to show all of the masked, in-person singers, with the zoom singers still framing the inner video. 

Transitions to sweeping view of the Louis Brandeis statue in the foreground with trees and the Shapiro Campus Center in the background. 

Fades to black.

Series of slides appear with white background and text in Brandeis blue, each with a header on top reading “Brandeis University”, “Brandeis Chamber Singers, University Chorus and Alumni”.
Transitions to first slide: “Conductor”
“Robert Duff”
Transitions to next slide with the heading: “Soprano” and the names spanned across two columns:
“Lauren Reis Barkley, 2024
Emma Leopre Calson, 2024
Christina Chen, 2019
Avery Dowd, 2018
Mercedes Elizabeth Helm, 2021
Elizabeth Grace Hilliard, 2022
Bethy Louise Huebner, 2023
Liana R Perlman, 2023
Emilia Poma, 2023
Sarah Salinger-Mullen, 2019
Rosie Rose Sentman, 2022
Sarah Elisabeth Shingle, 2022
Irina Znamirowski, 2024”

Transitions to next slide with the heading: “Alto” and the names spanned across two columns:

“Tess Elizabeth Aalto, 2022
Amber Sarah Bartlett, 2022
Aditi Bhattacharya, 2023
Aviva Ruth Davis, 2021
Tamar Forman-Gejrot, 2016
Rachel Geller, 2018
Davina Louise Goodman, 2023
Dina Gorelik, 2024
Ashley Nicole Kamal, 2022
Elana Kennedy, 2021
Alyssa N Knudsen, 2024
Hannah Lee, 2019
Sarah Lipitz, 2017
Adina Sarah Kalish Scheinberg, 2021
Aarthi Sivasankar, 2022
Katie Stenhouse, 2019
Kaylee Wallace, 2019”

Transitions to the next slide divided into two columns.
First column with heading: “Tenor” with names under it:

“Chris Hillard Martin, 2024
Milo Rosengard, 2022
Alexander Port Ross, 2022”
Second column with heading: “Bass” with names under it:
“Quinn Lucian Bonnyman, 2023
Henri Choi, 2020
Steven Hoffman, 2016
Andrew Larson, 2019
Benjamin Emanuel Maffa, 2021
Micah Pickus, 2020
Matt Connor Robin, 2022”.

Transitions to the next slide with text saying “Filmed and Produced by Brandeis Media Technology Services with special thanks to Brandeis Maker Lab”.

Transitions to next slide with bold and enlarged text reading “Congratulations Class of 2021!!!”.

Fades out.