Rivka Carmi

Carmi received the Doctor of Science honorary degree for her work in the sciences, genetics and medicine. As a pediatrician and neonatologist, she focuses her work focuses on diseases in the Negev Arab-Bedouin population. Carmi has written more than 150 publications on medical genetic, and helped in identifying 12 genes and delineating three different syndromes. In fact, one is even named after her — Carmi Syndrome. She was also the first woman to serve as the president of an Israeli university and was president of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev between 2006 and 2018.

Jon Landau '68

Landau, the 2019 recipient of the Doctor of Music honorary degree, began critiquing  music for national publications such as The Rolling Stone while still in college and quickly became a pioneer in the music industry. He currently manages Bruce Springsteen and produced his 1975 album, “Born to Run.” In addition, Landau is the chair of the nominating committee for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Landau also created the Jonathan Landau ’68 Endowed Scholarship in 1997, which is awarded to Brandeis students majoring in the fine arts.

Deborah Lipstadt MA '72, PhD '76

Lipstadt, one of the most prominent historians of the Holocaust, received an honorary degree for her scholarship. In 1996 she won a 10-week trial and six-year legal battle against author and historian David Irving who filed a lawsuit against Lipstadt after she labelled Irving a Holocaust denier. She later wrote a book about the lawsuit titled “History on Trial.”  As the 2019 Commencement speaker, she highlighted issues relating to hate and prejudice in her speech, imploring the audience to step up to change how people treat each other. “In the fight against evil, there are no bystanders,” she said.

Cixin Liu

As the author of several short stories and novels, Liu has vast experience in the field of literature, earning him a Doctor of Arts honorary degree. Focusing on the fantasy genre, he has also written seven novels and won China’s most prestigious award for literature and science-fiction, the Galaxy Award. Liu was also the first Asian person to win the Hugo Award, which he won for his work titled, “The Three-Body Problem.” 

Barbara Mandel '73

Mandel received a Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree. Elected to the Brandeis Board of Trustees in 2005, Mandel currently serves as the vice chair of the Board. In addition, she serves as a co-chair of the Institutional Advancement Committee and is part of the Nominating and Governance and Coordination committees. Mandel has a history of donating to the University, and the Mandel Center’s auditorium is named in her honor.

Perry Traquina '78

Traquina is the recipient of the honorary degree for Doctor of Humane Letters. The son of Portuguese immigrants, Traquina majored in American Studies and Economics while at Brandeis. He went on to become a member of the Board of Trustees since 2002, and has served as the Board chair between 2013 and 2016. He is now the chair of the Board’s Investment Committee and a member of the Resources Committee. Traquina was also the chairman and CEO of Wellington Management Company until 2014. He spent 34 years at the firm.

Susan Windham-Bannister PhD '77

Windham-Bannister was honored with the Doctor of Humane Letters. She leads a $1 billion life sciences-focused innovation fund, making her the first African American to administer such a large fund. Her contributions to the fund led to Massachusetts’ recognition as a global leader in the life sciences. Additionally, Windham-Bannister was a managing partner at Abt Bio-Pharma Solutions and was recognized by the Boston Globe as one of the 10 Most Influential Women in Biotech and by Boston Magazine as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Boston, according to the Brandeis website.