Tisch School of the Arts Commencement ’16

The Tisch Salute at Radio City Music Hall, Tisch’s commencement ceremony, was poignant in a room filled with pride throughout the entirety of the ceremony. The crowd relentlessly cheered on their loved ones, peers, distinguished faculty and honored guests at the venue on Friday, May 20th.

There was an opening performance by Tisch dance students followed by remarks from the NYU President Andrew Hamilton. Hamilton began by rapping a verse from the Broadway musical “Hamilton.”

“When you have a musical named after you, you have to milk it for as long as you can,” Hamilton said.

As other speakers proceeded to take the stage, the theme throughout every speech was encouragement for the students — encouragement to continue to be different, to continue their creative pursuits and to never give up.

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The class of 2016 student speaker, Maeve Carlos, spoke next. Carlos spoke of a New Year’s Eve where she remembered being the only single person in her group of friends and pining for one of her friend’s boyfriends. In a good-natured and self-deprecating manner, Carlos went on to narrate other experiences throughout her NYU career in a cinematic way. Through sharing her candid experiences, she closed with a call to action of her peers.

“We all need to be the protagonists of our own lives.”

Allyson Green, Dean of Tisch School of the Arts, followed Carlos. Green stressed the importance of the graduate’s journey versus the destination and urged them to embrace the uncertainty.

“How can you know what will happen next? You have to look out for the moments that will grab your heart and set your course.”

Finally, honored guest Bryce Dallas Howard delivered a humorous and advice-driven speech. Howard spoke of her time at NYU, crediting NYU as the place that gave her every meaningful thing in her life. 

Following the speakers was a sentimental celebratory medley from the Department of Drama Musical Production RENT — a musical that after 20 years continues to resonate with the struggles of artists, performers and creators everywhere, as well as everyone’s journey through life and death.

As the ceremony closed, the pride, anxiety and eager anticipation of what lies next for the students reverberated throughout the venue. While it cannot be determined where these graduates will end up, it is certain they will be the creators, innovators, actors, dancers, coders, directors and writers of tomorrow.

Email Gabriella Bower at [email protected]

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