Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development Commencement ’18

Yasmin Gulec
Class representatives hold their flags as they wait to walk on to stage.

Welcomed by the melodies of the Symphonic Brass Alliance, family and friends took their seats in the world’s largest indoor theatre, Radio City Music Hall to commemorate students graduating from the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development class of 2018.

The graduation class was filed in a line, nervously waiting for the ceremony to start and cap their time at NYU. Media, Culture and Communications major Chelsea Amaro said she loved her time at NYU.

“NYU was the best time ever,” Amaro said. “It is like bittersweet, so it is exciting but also a little sad.”

MCC major Aksha Gang could not believe that her four years had come to an end.

“It is kind of surreal, It does not feel real,” Gang said. “For high school graduation you kind of knew what your next steps were, but now everyone is kind of lost.

As the students sat down in their seats, the commencement officially began with NYU Pipes and Drums followed by the Steinhardt faculty’s Order of March. Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Associate Vice Provost for Diversity Programs Patricia M. Carey welcomed graduates and their families and friends.

She was followed by a video compilation of Steinhardt professors who shared their life advice with the graduating class. Students were advised to not only do great things in their careers but also do good and help others. They were told to go out into the world and make Steinhardt proud.

Gale and Ira Drukier Dean Dominic Brewer celebrated his fourth year as dean. He started his by thanking the parents.

“Thank you for opening your hearts and wallets to our graduates,” Brewer said. He kept the Steinhardt tradition alive by taking the Dean’s Selfie, which is a Steinhardt graduation selfie taken by the dean. Brewer took a minute to congratulate the faculty who won Tony’s, Grammy’s, Pulitzer Prizes and Guggenheim Fellowships. Brewer thanked Carey, who recently announced her retirement, for all her hard work for the past 30+ years. Brewer ended his words by talking about the nature of Steinhardt.

“Spirit of innovation is in the Steinhardt DNA,” Brewer said.

Assistant Professor of MCC Finn Brunton gave the greetings on behalf of the faculty. He talked about the importance of the ceremony. He mentioned that it was an opportunity to gather, recognize the moment of passing from one point to another.

He added that NYU is in and of the city and that makes the people who go to NYU both students and everything else that comes with living in one of the biggest cosmopolitan cities in the world. He advised the graduating class to continue being students wherever they went.

The 2018 Dorothy Height Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Grammy winner Desmond Child who graduated from the department of music and performing arts in 1976. The songwriter behind “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Living on a Prayer” and “Livin’ La Vida Loca” was honored with a performance by Steinhardt Student who sung a medley of the songs he wrote. NYU played a big role in Child’s development.

“I found myself at NYU,” he said.

He highlighted the importance of songwriters and the freedom of artistic expression.

In her student address, Department of Teaching and Learning graduate Alyssa C. Smith said that Steinhardt is the heart and humanity of NYU. She shed light upon the problems of 21st century concerning racism, sexism and bigotry. Smith shared that she felt ready to put in the labor to change the way things are.

With Carey’s salute to the 2018 students recipients of honors and awards, the presentation of the baccalaureate degree candidates began with students walking down the legendary Radio City Music Hall stage where many greats from Prince to Michael Jackson have performed. With cheers and claps from the audience, the presentation came to a close.

Dean Brewer told the graduating class to yell very loudly during tomorrow’s commencement at Yankee Stadium. He wanted to overpower the Tisch students who always scream louder than the other schools. WSN got a chance to talk to the banner bearer and Department of Music and Performing Arts senior Christopher Hearn who will be making a speech at the commencement tomorrow. He shared the theme of his speech.

“The theme of the speech which I will be delivering tomorrow at Yankee Stadium is motion,” Hearn said. “You have to tune in to see what the rest is.”

The commencement came to an end with a final performance by Steinhardt Singers who performed “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra. The song made the faculty get up, lock arms and do high kicks.

The teary-eyed audience, graduating class and the faculty were left with an important message:

“If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.”

Email Yasmin Gulec at [email protected].

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