On May 21, nearly 6,500 graduates, family members, and friends joined faculty, staff, and administration at New York Institute of Technology’s Long Island campus to celebrate its 62nd annual commencement. The event saluted 2,611 candidates for graduation from 73 countries and throughout the United States, 29 percent of whom are earning undergraduate degrees and the remainder earning graduate, medical, professional, or post-graduate degrees.
Students from the university’s campuses in New York City and Long Island, as well as from Vancouver, British Columbia, attended the ceremony.
Twenty-eight members of the Class of 2023 are veterans; the youngest undergraduate student is 20 years old; the oldest is 62. Among those earning graduate, medical, professional, or post-graduate degrees, the youngest student is 20 years old; the oldest is 60.
“I ask that you pledge to become the doers, makers, and innovators of tomorrow. I can tell you it is exactly what we are doing here at this school every day as we envision the future of our great institution,” said President Hank Foley, Ph.D. “New York Tech’s reputation is partly made up by you and your future accomplishments. Remember, your future and our future will be inextricably intertwined.
President Hank Foley, far left, and Board of Trustees Chair Peter Romano (B.Arch. ’76), far right, with honorary degree recipients Antonio C. Bianco, left, and Eli Wachtel (B.S. ’72).
Foley conferred honorary degrees upon Antonio C. Bianco, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, and alumnus Eli Wachtel (B.S. ’72), co-chief investment officer (CIO) and founding member of the hedge fund Wachtel Capital LLC. Both were honored with a Doctor of Science (Sc.D.). Wachtel then delivered the keynote address to the Class of 2023; Bianco is the keynote speaker for the College of Osteopathic Medicine Commencement and Hooding ceremony, held later in the day.
In his inspiring remarks, Wachtel shared that he is dyslexic and noted the associated challenges. “Despite this, I found strategies to cope and leveraged them to my advantage. I turned my dyslexia into a strength,” he said. “I urge you all to turn disadvantages into strengths and seize opportunities.”
Wachtel shared with the Class of 2023 that many of his family members graduated from New York Tech, including his father, also a member of the Class of 1972. “My New York Tech education has helped me throughout all of my career and contributed greatly to it. It taught me the value of hard work, and it provided a practical education that rivals any school. This has always stayed with me. And, to the Class of 2023, your New York Tech education will always stay with you.”
Caitlyn Ashley Silva Dy sings the national anthem at New York Tech’s commencement ceremony on the Long Island campus.
Caitlyn Ashley Silva Dy (B.Arch., Architecture), from Union, N.J., sang the national anthem. Zoya Haq (B.S., Information Technology), from New York City, was selected as the student orator to address the class of 2023. Both Dy and Haq assisted in hooding the honorary degree recipients.
“We have overcome any and all obstacles thrown at us to get to this tent,” Haq shared with her classmates during the ceremony. “To get to a chair that is for a member of the graduating Class of 2023. We are tough, brave, resilient. We come, quite literally, from everywhere. We have very, very different stories to tell, and yet, today we share a monumental moment because each of us made it!”
Zoya Haq addresses her fellow classmates at the 62nd annual commencement ceremony.
Leveraging a theme relating to Mission: Impossible movies, she concluded by saying, “I am so proud to be part of this graduating class, and I can’t wait to see what the future—and our next mission—holds for each of us. Congratulations, Class of 2023! Mission accomplished!”
Following the main commencement event, students are recognized individually at in-person ceremonies for the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering and Computing Sciences, School of Architecture and Design, School of Health Professions, and School of Management.
In addition, New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine’s hooding ceremony for the Class of 2023 from the Long Island campus will be held in late afternoon of May 21; the Class of 2023 from the Jonesboro, Arkansas campus will be hooded on May 26. Graduation for New York Tech’s Vancouver campus will take place in the fall.