5 ways Commencement at Brandeis will be different this year

twostudents celebrate commencementPhoto/Mike Lovett

Two students celebrate inside Gosman Sports and Convocation Complex.

Changes are coming to Brandeis’ Commencement Exercises and graduation celebrations.

Last summer, Brandeis’ Commencement Committee began an evaluation of how the university celebrates its newest graduates. After surveying faculty, staff and graduating students, the committee re-designed commencement for 2023 by adjusting some events and adding new ones, along with other changes that aim to improve the experience for everyone involved. 

“Each change is the result of a careful process of evaluating what is most important about Commencement,” said Jon Petitt, commencement consultant for University Events. “Everything that is new or different carries an overarching goal of honoring the graduates in the best way possible, while providing more time and space to celebrate with friends and family.”

Here are five ways Commencement will be different in 2023:

  1. Two Commencement Day Ceremonies in Gosman: The School of Arts and Sciences will hold its commencement for undergraduates at 9 a.m. in Gosman, while graduate students will have their own ceremony in Gosman in the afternoon at 2:45 p.m. Each ceremony will include a conferral of degrees, remarks from President Ron Liebowitz and an alumni induction. The events will each feature their own keynote address: Drew Weissman at the Arts and Sciences commencement and Annette Gordon-Reed at the graduate commencement.

  1. Walking the stage. Each ceremony will integrate individual recognition so that every graduate will have their name called and walk across the stage to be received by their dean and the President in front of the full  Commencement audience. 

  1. More tickets! The separate ceremonies also create more space for friends and family to celebrate with graduates. Each student is permitted at least six tickets for Commencement. When they register, students also have the opportunity to be waitlisted for up to two additional potential tickets.  

  1. A new Commencement reception event. From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., graduates, family and friends are invited to kickoff Commencement weekend with “Commencement Capture: A Social Photo Experience,” a reception sponsored by the Office of the President in Gosman Sports and Convocation Complex. The event will feature a variety of photo opportunities and experiences, including a 360 boomerang camera that rotates around its subjects to capture every angle of the scene.

  1. Celebratory receptions for programs and departments. Intimate celebratory receptions will precede commencement ceremonies from May 15 through the 19. The Office of University Events will set up four spaces to accommodate receptions of various sizes and programming. These receptions will replace elements of smaller diploma ceremonies that were held by departments or programs in the past. The programming of these events is up to the group hosting the event. The hosts manage their own invitations and RSVPs, and in some cases may choose to extend the invitation to families and friends in addition to graduates, faculty, and departmental affiliates.

Learn more about this year’s celebrations and ceremonies on the Commencement website.

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