New School News

A Look at The New School’s 75th Commencement

More than 3,000 students, the university’s largest graduating class in history, brightened the rainy Monday afternoon on May 23 at The New School’s 75th commencement ceremony. Presiding over his first commencement, David Van Zandt proudly greeted the graduates and reminded them of their connection to the legacy of this institution. You are part of an eclectic group of individuals who chose to study in a school that would prepare them to live their lives out loud and in the service of others, to make a difference, to touch the world,, Van Zandt said.

This year’s commencement speaker, journalist Frank Rich, was joined on stage at the Javits Center by honorary degree recipients NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and playwright Tony Kushner. Accepting the award for Shigeru Ban was Dean Maltz, partner, Shigeru Architects.

Student speaker Chandler Griffith, who received a master’s degree from Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy, provided an unexpected dose of school spirit with this farewell to his classmates:

Look around and realize that the people in this room are going to be responsible for not only how the future looks, but, more importantly, how people see it. We are designers, architects, scientists, researchers, and educators. We are analysts, artists, development workers, statisticians, and politicians. We are writers, actors, musicians, filmmakers, and dancers. We are radicals. We are agents of change. We are the 2011 graduating class of The New School. I assure you, the world is not ready for us. But that’s ok, because WE are ready.

For the full text of all commencement speeches, including President David E. Van Zandt’s, click here.

You can also watch a video of Chandler Griffith’s entire speech as well as Frank Rich’s commencement address.


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