Frederick Lawrence became the eighth president of Brandeis University earlier today. As president-elect, Fred has spoken often and eloquently about Brandeis as a “global liberal arts university,” and I look forward to working with him to move the University forward in further developing and amplifying our global presence.

Under President Jehuda Reinharz, the global dimensions of Brandeis expanded and thrived. His vision and support led to the founding of the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, the Brandeis Institute for International Judges, the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts, the Sorensen Fellowship, the Master’s Program in Coexistence and Conflict, the Brandeis University/Al-Quds University partnership, the Office of Global Affairs, the Brandeis-India Initiative, the Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry, and Brandeis in The Hague — and this small number of Jehuda’s global accomplishments is only the subset in which I have had a personal role. Jehuda’s leadership has given “Global Brandeis” a strong foundation on which to build in the years to come.

Now, we all have a chance to move forward together to take the next steps under Fred Lawrence’s leadership. “Global Brandeis” is more than a slogan. It is a personal and institutional commitment to making the Brandeis quest for knowledge, experience, and action a collective effort in partnership with women and men from around the globe.

My best to all for a happy, healthy, and peaceful start to 2011.