Class Of 2010 Celebrates at the Garden The New School’s 74th Commencement

The class of 2010 took part in the 74th Commencement at Madison Square Garden on Friday, May 21 with rousing calls to action by Former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Edward Babbitt, President Bob Kerrey, and student speaker Alexander Fortes. Attendees were treated to a musical tribute to Chen Yi, one of the five honorary degree recipients. Mannes College graduates and guest artist Wang Guowei played Dancing, from Fiddle Suite for Erhu and String Quartet by Chen Yi.

Babbitt asked the graduates to combat global warming with the same degree of passion, commitment to justice, and grassroots activism that fueled the civil rights movement more than a generation ago.

The hour is late, but there is still time to awaken and accelerate the transformation toward a sustainable world,, said Babbitt. Reason alone is not enough, it must be supplemented by passion and commitment. We cannot save what we do not love., Babbitt’s words were particularly pertinent as this is the first year Environmental Studies majors are graduating from The New School.

The theme of passion, in its broadest sense, ran through others’ commencement remarks too. Violinist Alexander Fortes, a Mannes College master’s graduate, spoke of the transformative experience of music, of the arts, of education in general, and how all of the disciplines have the power to affirm human dignity. Only by making each other’s passion’s a vital part of our own careers will we be able to be good artists, good citizens, and more complete people,, Fortes said.

And thus the class of 2010 moves on, a bright, sustainable future.

To read full speeches and view slideshow, visit the Commencement website.