Hamilton begins his final year at NYU

In the final welcome address of his NYU presidency, Andrew Hamilton greeted new and returning students before hosting the university’s annual “Reality Show” performance.


Yezen Saadah

The semester’s second presidential welcome event is NYU President Andrew Hamilton’s final welcome speech to new and returning students. He will be stepping down on June 30, 2023. (Yezen Saadah for WSN)

Yezen Saadah, Contributing Writer

NYU president Andrew Hamilton gave his final Presidential Welcome speech to a crowd of new and returning students on Tuesday, Sept. 20. Hamilton, who announced in April that he would step down from his role at the end of the 2022-23 academic year, addressed over 100 students in the auditorium of the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.

“Your arrival here on campus coincides with a rather wistful — a rather sad — moment for me because this is my last year as president of NYU,” Hamilton said. “But for many of you, it is the beginning of the next stage for your journey,” he continued. “You are now part of an extraordinary community and we could not be happier that you are part of it.”

Before Hamilton’s address, student government chair Ron Hall — who is also on the search committee that is working to find Hamilton’s successor — spoke to the crowd and wished them good luck for the rest of the semester. Gigi Dopico, the university’s interim provost, also offered advice to the incoming first-year students.

“Every good journey includes unexpected detours,” Dopico said. “College is a time for discovery, a time for you to expand your world views and to imagine new possibilities for yourself, for society and for the planet.” 

Hamilton also hosted a larger presidential welcome, which was only open to the class of 2026, at Radio City Music Hall on Aug. 29 as a part of NYU Welcome. Both events concluded with a comedic musical written and performed by NYU students and alumni. The performance, referred to as the “Reality Show,” features songs about topics including mental health resources on campus and how to best navigate life on campus.

Hamilton, who has hosted the Presidential Welcome since he started his role in 2016, will step down as NYU’s president on June 30, 2023. After taking a sabbatical, he plans to join the College of Arts & Science as a professor in the chemistry department. He previously served as the provost at Yale University and the vice chancellor at Oxford University.

A search committee was formed after Hamilton announced that he would be stepping down at the end of the 2022-23 academic year. The committee has invited students, faculty, staff and alumni to join the hearings to learn about the presidential search process and give input on what qualities the university should look for in search of the next president. So far, the hearings have seen low student involvement

The committee will proceed with gathering a list of nominees through Nov. 1 Participants can submit recommendations or provide input about the process online or via email no later than Oct.1. The search committee also created a website where community members can share their comments, questions and ideas about the selection process. The website will be accessible through Sept. 30.

Contact Yezen Saadah at [email protected].