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May 22 2011

NYIT Celebrates the Class of 2011

Old Westbury, N.Y. (May 22, 2011) – Inspired by the remarks of worldwide leaders in education, health care, and sports, nearly 3,500 students graduated today at New York Institute of Technology’s (NYIT) commencement.

More than 14,000 guests gathered at NYIT’s Old Westbury campus to celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2011, which included undergraduate, graduate, professional, and doctoral degree candidates from 50 states and 81 countries.

"Dream large. Let your imaginations soar; impose no limits on what you can be,” NYIT President Edward Guiliano, Ph.D., told the graduates. His address, “Thriving in the Near Tomorrow,” referred to a slogan at the 1964 World’s Fair, which was considered the high-tech showcase of its day.

President Guiliano encouraged the graduates to dream far into the future, but to plan for the near tomorrow so they will not miss imminent opportunities.

President Guiliano awarded honorary degrees to Vice Admiral Regina M. Benjamin, M.D., U.S. Surgeon General; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, NBA legend and founder of the Skyhook Foundation; and Denis Huisman, Ph.D., founder and president of Groupe EDH, a group of higher education institutes in France. The three recipients shared their personal journeys with the graduates.

“You should know that life is at all times an adventure,” Abdul-Jabbar told the cheering audience.

Student orator Michael Cavalli described his experiences with a community-building exercise – sharing “free hugs” – during a leadership conference in Atlanta. The exercise created a sense of unity and friendship, he said. "I ask you to pledge to empathize more with each other,” Cavalli, a computer science major from West Babylon, N.Y., told his classmates. “To create a better tomorrow, we must work on bettering ourselves today.”

Hundreds of students from NYIT’s campuses abroad – in China, Jordan, Bahrain, Canada, the United Arab Emirates and online – attended the ceremony, which was webcast live on

Student marshals Erica Ayisi, Luke Ferland, and Peter Pitzer assisted in the hooding of the honorary degree recipients.

About NYIT

New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees in more than 90 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has more than 15,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. NYIT sponsors 11 NCAA Division II programs and one Division I team.

Led by President Edward Guiliano, NYIT is guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. To date, 89,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit

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