Skip to main content

Commencement at Brandeis University collection

Identifier: 09-MWalB00027A

Scope and Contents

Files in this collection were created from 1952 through 2012. Materials include programs, memos, invitations, photographs, speeches, schedules, press releases, and press clippings. Most of the files concern baccalaureate, university commencement, and departmental commencement exercises. Other files include basic biographical information--including photographs--on honorary degree recipients and their speeches, along with a summary list of recipients from 1952 through 1997. Some memos discussing the planning of commencements are included. This collection also contains press clippings and correspondence regarding the controversy about the publication of E. L. Doctorow's 1989 commencement address in the Brandeis Review.


  • 1952-2013, undated


Conditions Governing Access

Access to the collection is in accordance with the policies of the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University. Please contact the department for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests to reproduce or publish material from the collection should be directed to the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University.

Biographical or Historical Information

Commencement is the ceremony for officially conferring degrees for graduating undergraduate and graduate students. Commencements have taken place in the spring every year since 1952 with the graduation of Brandeis' first class. In 1952 and 1953 commencement took place at the Library Triangle. From 1954 through 1991 the graduation ceremonies took place at the Ullman Amphitheater with the exception of 1971, in which graduate students graduated in the Spingold Theater building and the undergraduates at the Three Chapels Area. Since 1992, graduations have been held at the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center. Notable commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients have included Eleanor Roosevelt, Barbara Jordan, Yitzak Rabin, E. L. Doctorow, and Saul Bellow.


7.00 Linear Feet

0.50 Linear Feet

0.50 Linear Feet

3.00 Linear Feet

3.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Arranged in one series: 1. Commencement, 1952-2012, undated. Materials are organized chronologically. For more information about this series, please consult the series description in the box and folder listing. 10 manuscript boxes, 6 irregular boxes

Custodial History

In the 1971 folder there are letters to and from N. Glatzer. What are they doing there? Need to take a second look at those sometime. Also, the videos and audio tapes ought to at least be rehoused if not transferred. Items have been pulled (05/09/2012), and will be reviewd by Judith Wechsler.

Accruals and Additions

Additional files on commencement are in the Dean of Arts and Sciences Collection under the Administration Series. Added additional copies of the May 18, 2008 honorary degrees for Uhlenbeck, Gayle, Carroll, Schneider, and Kay to Map Drawer 8 on 6/16/2011 and noticed that there were not any degrees in the drawer as indicated in the above container list --AWL. Added commencement speech by Barbara Jordan from 1976 in 11/11/11. This speech was provided to us by the Robert J. Terry Library at Texas Southern University.

Other Descriptive Information

Addenda to this collection may not be listed in the finding aid, but may be available for research use. Please contact us for more information.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Brandeis University Repository

415 South St.
Waltham MA

About Us

The Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department at Brandeis University consists of two collecting units, the University Archives and Special Collections. University Archives documents the history and development of Brandeis University and its faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Special Collections features a broad array of unique primary source materials across a wide range of disciplines that support research, teaching and learning at Brandeis. Learn more about our collections