Excitement was palpable at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on the morning of May 20, where students, families and faculty gathered to celebrate the graduation of the Leonard N. Stern School of Business class of 2016.
The ceremony began with opening remarks from Geeta Menon, dean of the undergraduate college.
“Your triumph is our triumph,” Menon said as she reiterated how proud she was of the feats the Stern undergraduates had accomplished in their time at NYU.
President Andrew Hamilton then took the stage, where he discussed how impressed students have made him in his first semester at the university.
“The scale of NYU befits the city it calls home,” Hamilton told the audience as he spoke to the depth of students’ school spirit.
He proceeded to tell the graduating class that it took the pride and best wishes of the NYU community with it as it navigated life beyond the university.
Following Hamilton’s remarks, distinguished speaker Greg Coleman, who serves as president of BuzzFeed and is an adjunct professor at Stern, assumed the podium. After he jokingly apologized to parents for the time the students had spent procrastinating with BuzzFeed’s content, Coleman offered words of wisdom to the students.
“Do not bullshit yourself in terms of who you are,” Coleman said.
He explained that he had tried to follow in the footsteps of his father, who started a successful business, before discovering that his true talent was cultivating entrepreneurs rather than being one himself.
“Be honest with yourself and do what you love,” he told the graduates, advising them to seek honest advice about their talents from those who care about them. After a video presentation, student speaker Jesse G. Yu discussed the importance of opting-in to opportunities to achieve success. Yu also reminded the students to remember where they came from as they began their professional careers, and urged them to be forces that make the world better.
With the reading of the graduates’ names, Menon returned to the stage to deliver closing remarks. The graduates then threw their caps in the air in celebration of their commencement.
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