I, too, see large tour groups walking by the Shapiro Campus Center, but I have a very different thought as they pass: I am so grateful that campus tours are back.
I am grateful because the return of campus tours reminds me that other students will have the opportunity to experience life at Brandeis, to sharpen their intellects and refine their characters. Here, they will live through personal, professional and moral triumphs as well as failures. They will make new friends, find experienced mentors and construct networks of supportive peers.
I am grateful because it means that our university forges on, despite the formidable institutional, financial and greater societal challenges it faces.
Finally, I am grateful because I know how hard the administration, Student Union and university staff will work on the students’ behalf, often without their knowledge.
This past summer, it was not at all clear that we would be returning to campus for our last year of college, yet here we are. While graduation may not take place in its ideal form, and perhaps more could, indeed, have been done for our senior class, it is worth remembering just how lucky we are to be here this year and how fortunate we have been to attend this great institution, Brandeis University.