A Commencement to Remember

May 20, 2019

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

As always, Commencement brought excitement and tradition to our campus yesterday, as the Class of 2019 and their families celebrated a joyous milestone.

We began our 68th Commencement exercises by asking the class to thank their families for all their support, which the graduates did with infectious enthusiasm. Throughout the ceremony, we were inspired by the stories of our graduating students, by the achievements of our faculty, and by the life accomplishments of our honorary degree recipients.

Our keynote speaker, in particular, delivered one of the most powerful commencement addresses one is likely to hear. Deborah Lipstadt, MA’72, PhD’76, founder of the Institute for Jewish Studies at Emory University and one of the world’s foremost authorities on the Holocaust, challenged the graduates to join the quest against anti-Semitism, racism, and other forms of prejudice as they put the talents they developed at Brandeis to work in the wider world. She reminded us that “we cannot be against just one ‘-ism’ to the exclusion of all others. If we are going to fight prejudice, we must fight it across the board.” And, she said, because anti-Semitism, “unlike the other prejudices, comes from both ends of the political spectrum, the right and the left, we must fight it on both sides of the spectrum.” I encourage you to read more of her stirring remarks in our Commencement coverage on BrandeisNOW and in the Boston Globe.

I also urge you to watch or read the speeches by our two graduating student speakers, R Remi Matthews ’19 and Akash Kalra, MBA’19. Both offered insightful, enjoyable perspectives on their time at Brandeis.

Commencement is always a time of inspiration and reflection. As our graduates enter the next phase of their lives, we on campus will renew our efforts to build Brandeis into an even greater institution.

And as another successful academic year draws to a close, I want to express my deep gratitude to our returning students, our dedicated faculty, and our talented staff, for all you do for our university.


Ron Liebowitz