Brandeis University's 69th Commencement Exercises

An letter from President Liebowitz about the 2020 Commencement exercises

April 14, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

I would like to acknowledge your hard work as we continue to teach, learn, and work in the virtual environment. Equally important is how all of you are sustaining connections as a community even though we must remain apart.

I am pleased to share with you information about how we can come together as a community – both virtually and in person – to celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2020.

As you know, to ensure the health and safety of our community and the greater community, we are not able to hold our traditional on-campus Commencement. However, this did not deter us from thinking creatively about alternative ways to mark this important event. We received more than 300 responses from you to the request for suggestions that was in my March 19 message. Our Commencement working group incorporated many of these ideas into developing plans for both virtual and on-campus events that will acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of our students and the teaching and mentoring of our faculty.

While these plans are still in formation, I wanted to share them with you as soon as possible.

The Virtual Celebrations beginning on May 24 – Because many of you let us know that you wanted to recognize Commencement in some way, we are planning on holding several virtual celebrations on and soon after May 24 that will utilize a number of online platforms including Zoom, streaming video, social media, and BrandeisNOW. These celebrations will differ by school and department and will strive to provide an intimate and interactive experience recognizing the accomplishments of our students in as individualized a way as possible. (While the original Commencement date was May 17, this new date reflects the recently announced revised academic calendar.)

The On-Campus Celebration – Students, their families, faculty, and staff have made clear their desire to have an on-campus, in-person celebration for the Class of 2020. A special task force is developing plans and proposals. Because of logistical and space issues, this event is likely to take place next spring, but no date has yet been set. We will share details in the coming months.

I look forward to celebrating the Class of 2020 virtually and on-campus and will be providing more details as well as save-the-dates in the near future.

Best regards,

Ron Liebowitz