Reflecting and looking forward

May 5, 2021

Dear Members of the Brandeis Community,

As we mark the close of the semester today, the Brandeis community has many reasons to feel proud of what we have accomplished together. This past academic year has been marked by an ongoing pandemic and social upheaval. Through it all, in the face of adversity and loss, each member of our institution — from our students, faculty, and staff to our families and community partners — has shown great commitment to pursuing our teaching and research mission with resiliency and a true sense of purpose.

These successes were made possible by the unprecedented efforts of many across our campus. Our faculty redesigned their approach to teaching, research, and mentorship so that Brandeis' academic ecosystem could endure and often thrive despite numerous constraints. University staff reimagined everything from dining and academic advising to facilities services, so that members of our community could continue to study, live, and work on campus, and feel supported throughout this difficult time. And our students adapted to a new, often challenging modes of learning, community-building, and co-curricular life. Additionally, our community navigated a contentious election, and it came together to confront systemic racism to support one another and advocate for meaningful change.

I invite you all to join me in congratulating our departing seniors. While their Commencement ceremony will not be what they and their families envisioned or wished for, they should take pride in all that they have accomplished over the past four years. Graduating amid the challenges of the past year is no small feat. I know I speak for the entire university community when I wish our graduates the very best in their future endeavors.

Despite our successes in adapting to the pandemic, I am sure that each of you shares in my desire to resume the type of engaging, in-person experiences that make Brandeis special. We are optimistic that the coming months will bring our campus closer to a return to normalcy as vaccines become more widely available, and I am eager to welcome you back to campus in the fall. In the meantime, I hope that you find time for rest and renewal during the summer months, and I thank the staff and faculty, once again, for all the exceptional work they did to get us through this memorable year.

Best regards,

Ron Liebowitz