Graduating Students Celebrate Upcoming Commencement

Curtis Bryant, Whitney House and Funmibi Atanda-Owo

On Thursday, February 10, Student Services’ Office of Student Development and Activities (OSDA) hosted the inaugural Countdown to Commencement: 100 Nights Dinner in the Theresa Lang Community and Student Center. The title refers to the exciting period when seniors wrap up their final semester at The New School, culminating with Commencement on May 23. Forty students representing Lang, Parsons, The New School for General Studies, The New School for Social Research, the graduate program in International Affairs, and Milano were in attendance.

The evening’s emcee was Lang theater student John Gentile, who is graduating in May. Speakers included Alumni Association board members Colin Dean and Jahmila Joseph. Dean, who graduated from The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in 2006, currently plays bass with his band, Roots and Grooves, and is finishing a master’s degree in international affairs at The New School this semester. Joseph graduated from Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts in 2006 and is currently vice president of operations for Carl Andrews and Associates, a government and community relations firm. Dean and Joseph encouraged seniors to proudly go out in the world as New School graduates and remain part of the alumni network while raising the profile of The New School as a whole.

Linda Reimer, senior vice president for Student Services, closed the evening by reading Dr. Seuss’s classic book Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Raffle drawings with prizes such as tickets to Broadway shows and gift certificates to area restaurants enlivened the evening.

Elisa Deljanin, who will graduate from Lang in May, remarked, I was very happy that we had this dinner because being a senior in college is different from being a senior in primary or secondary school. We’re at an important crossroads in our lives once we reach the end of our educational journey. Do we continue our education or do we go on to pursue a job?

After meeting the challenges of working toward an undergraduate, master’s, or doctoral degree, we deserve a dinner to honor our struggles and recall the good times. The dinner was well organized, and I hope this is something that gains popularity in the future so that students can celebrate their achievements and congratulate one another every year.,

Keisha Davenport-Ramirez, director of Office of Intercultural Support and Higher Education Opportunity Program and the university ombuds office, commented that she appreciated hearing from students excited both about the event and graduation.,

OSDA hopes the dinner will become a tradition for graduating students, along with other events planned for Countdown to Commencement.