New School News

Graduates Have ‘Plenty To Be Proud Of’ On New School Alumni Day

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.

For more information, visit For additional photos from the event, click here.

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