Hank Foley, NYIT’s fourth president, addressing the crowd at commencement.


NYIT Salutes the Class of 2017 at its 56th Commencement

May 21, 2017

On a beautiful spring day, more than 8,000 people gathered in Old Westbury to celebrate New York Institute of Technology’s 56th commencement, a global event saluting 3,036 graduates from throughout the United States and 62 countries. Students from NYIT campuses in Old Westbury, Manhattan, Canada, China, the United Arab Emirates, and online attended the ceremony, which was webcast live.

Experience the highlights of NYIT's 2017 Commencement in one minute. Go Bears!

Experience the highlights of NYIT's 2017 Commencement in one minute. Go Bears!

Thirty-three percent of students earned undergraduate degrees, while 67 percent earned graduate, medical, professional, or post-graduate degrees. The ceremony was especially noteworthy as NYIT’s future, interim, and recent past president each addressed the graduates: Hank Foley, Ph.D., who will become NYIT’s fourth president on June 1; Interim President Rahmat Shoureshi, Ph.D., who conferred the degrees; and Edward Guiliano, Ph.D., who stepped down in January after serving as NYIT president for 16 years.

“To a very great extent, our legacy and the reputation of this institution will be judged and determined by your successes and your accomplishments,” Foley told the graduates. “Just like you, we at NYIT are also ready to seize the future. We are about to embark on a new chapter of this institution’s history and to further its legacy of transformative higher education grounded in technology. This is a legacy that is rooted in the past, grows, and branches out in the present, but is fully realized only in the future.”

Shoureshi conferred honorary degrees upon two NYIT alumni: Richard J. Daly (B.S. ’74), CEO and president, Broadridge Financial Solutions, who delivered the keynote address, and Humayun J. Chaudhry (D.O. ’91), president and CEO, Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States, who will deliver an address tomorrow, May 22, to the 295 students graduating from NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine at its 36th hooding ceremony.

Shoureshi offered the following advice to the Class of 2017: “Beginning today, take everything you have learned at NYIT not just to advance your professional and personal standing, but also, and far more important, to improve the lives of others around you. 

Members of NYIT’s “golden anniversary” Class of 1967 Russell Chiarelli (B.S., Mechanical Engineering) and Thomas Holman (B.S., Electrical Technology) sat among the faculty members, administration, and special guests on the platform. Additionally, Chiarelli joined members of the Class of 2017 in pre-commencement festivities, including the Final Roar Senior Toast held earlier this week.

Class of 2017 student marshals Erica Brandt (M.A., Communication Arts, Bellmore, N.Y.), Raiyan Islam (B.S., Life Sciences, Bangladesh), and Farcia Soares (M. Arch., Goa, India) assisted in the hooding of the honorary degree recipients. Andrea LaRosa (D.O., Osteopathic Medicine, Islip, N.Y.) sang the national anthem.

Alvaro Olmedo (B.F.A., Communication Arts), the Class of 2017 student orator, said, “Everyone thought it was crazy for me to go to college in America. I was born and raised in the south of Brazil and graduated from a class of just 80 people. Where I come from it’s not common for people to study in the U.S.”

He continued, “It is truly beautiful to see a crowd of graduates that represents so many ethnicities, nationalities, age ranges, and paths of life. We all come from different places and believe in different things, but we stand here together.” He concluded by telling his fellow graduates, “our time has come, Class of 2017: the time to spread understanding, to praise differences, to build bridges, to clean oceans, to end hunger, to uphold the values we were taught during our time at NYIT.”

Following the main commencement ceremony, students were individually recognized at ceremonies for the School of Architecture and Design; School of Engineering and Computing Sciences; School of Health Professions; School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Education; School of Management; and College of Arts and Sciences.