Taking the podium at the University Center before a packed room of New School alumni, university president David Van Zandt said there is “plenty to be proud of about your institution.”
“We have a single unified campus that’s centered right here in this university building. We have programs that are integrated to create an education that is truly multi-disciplinary. We are the only school in the world with a comprehensive design school surrounded by social sciences, humanities and performing arts,” he said. “We are a place where students with tremendous creative talent come to unlock that talent and use that talent to make the world a better place.”
Van Zandt made his remarks at #NewSchoolAlumni Day, a daylong celebration for graduates of the legendary progressive university. Attendees enjoyed a seminar-style discussion with feminist author and scholar-in-residence bell hooks, a university history tour, a conversation with Parsons School of Design faculty member David Carroll on the university’s new visual identity and a discussion with Milano School dean Michelle DePass and faculty members Dennis Derryck and Jessica Roberts on sustainable food production.
Twenty faculty members and three alumni participated in New School Minute, a PechaKucha-style program in which participants delivered one-minute lectures on their passions (Lectures can be viewed here). Alumni speakers included Douglas Cliggott, Economics ’85; Mala Kumar, International Affairs ’10; and Jessica Thompson, Media Studies ’05.
The day concluded with a performances from Mannes School of Music alumni Liana Guberman, Voice ’13, and Eun Kyung Lee, Collaborative Piano ’11; School of Jazz alumni Alon Albagli ’12, Or Bareket ’15 and Hayden Hawkins ’09; School of Drama alumni Assol Abdullina, Acting ’15; Jim Anderson, Acting ’06; Martin Boersma, Acting ’13; Chaelon Costello, Acting ’10; Andreas Damm, Acting ’12; John Hurley, Directing ’10; Christian Jacobs, Acting ’10; with Director Stephanie Cunningham (Directing ’14) and Line Producer Tristan Sample (Acting ’14). In addition, students from Mannes Opera and Parsons gave a sneak peek of their production of Jonathan Dove’s Flight.
After experiencing the thought-provoking discussions, eye-popping performances and words of wisdom from New School graduates and faculty, alumni certainly had plenty to be proud of.