New York Tech Celebrates its 60th Commencement

May 24, 2021

New York Institute of Technology yesterday celebrated its 60th annual commencement virtually, with students, families, friends, New York Tech faculty, and staff tuning in to a stream that included conferral of degrees in individual school ceremonies that recognized each member of the Class of 2021 via a personalized slide.   

New York Tech’s Class of 2021 included more than 3,000 candidates for graduation attending campuses in the U.S. and globally. They hail from 37 states and 68 countries. Thirty-six percent of the candidates earned undergraduate degrees, with the remainder earning graduate, medical, professional, or post-graduate degrees.

During the virtual ceremony, President Henry C. “Hank” Foley, Ph.D., conferred degrees upon students from the university’s campuses in New York City and Old Westbury, as well as from online programs.

“Graduates, go forth today to lead others but also to serve others … inspire and lift them using what you’ve learned at New York Tech,” Foley said. “As graduates of one of the most diverse universities in the United States, you have learned firsthand the critical importance of inclusivity and will stand out among your peers for perspectives that embrace both diversity and inclusion.”

Kevin D. Silva, executive vice president and chief human resources officer for Voya Financial, Inc. and chairperson of the New York Tech Board of Trustees, shared with the graduates: “New York Tech has prepared you for today’s—and tomorrow’s—challenges. Communities, governments, and industries around the world are seeking solutions to the new normal we’re finding ourselves in. You, graduates, will answer the call.”

Additionally, U.S. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, and Oyster Bay Superintendent Joseph Saladino (a New York Tech alumnus) delivered congratulatory messages to the graduates.

Featured Students

Individual virtual ceremonies were held for the School of Architecture and Design, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering and Computing Sciences, School of Health Professions, and School of Management that included speeches by the deans and student orators as well as the recognition of each candidate for graduation. Shanakay A. Walker, who earned a Master of Arts in Teaching and lives in Hempstead, N.Y., sang the national anthem and was featured in each ceremony.

The Class of 2021 student orators are:

  • Bendangtoshi Tiajungla Dominica Jamir (Dimapur, Nagaland, India), College of Arts and Sciences, earned a master's degree in UX/UI Design and Development.  
  • Mikayla Klemm (Oceanside, N.Y.), School of Management, earned a B.S. in Business Administration–Accounting.
  • Nicholas Spano (Staten Island, N.Y.), School of Architecture and Design, earned a B.A. in Architecture.  
  • Jessica M. Velez (Patchogue, N.Y.), School of Health Professions, earned a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. 
  • Kathryn Vu (Shirley, N.Y.), College of Engineering and Computing Sciences, earned a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering.  

In the weeks leading up to the virtual commencement ceremony, New York Tech found ways to bring the students together and enhance their experience given that an in-person commencement was not feasible this year, due to the pandemic. For example, graduating students had the opportunity to have their seated senior portrait taken and participate in a “Stroll Across the Stage” event as their names were announced and up to two guests cheered them on. Traditional activities such as cap decorating and a senior toast were also part of the Class of 2021 “final roar” celebration. Videos of each school/college ceremony can be viewed at

In a separate event on May 24, the Long Island campus of New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) will hold its graduation ceremony, known as hooding, for 302 students earning their Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree. Approximately half of the class will attend in person and the rest will attend the ceremony virtually. Allison Hubschmann (Glen Cove, N.Y.), a member of NYITCOM’s Class of 2021, will deliver congratulatory remarks to classmates.

About New York Institute of Technology

New York Institute of Technology offers 90 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs in more than 50 fields of study, including computer science, data, and cybersecurity; biology and biomedical studies; architecture and design; engineering; health professions and medicine; IT and digital technologies; management; communications and marketing; education and counseling; and energy and sustainability. A nonprofit, independent, private, and nonsectarian institute of higher education, New York Institute of Technology welcomes nearly 8,000 students worldwide. The university has campuses in New York City (Manhattan) and Long Island (Old Westbury), New York; Jonesboro, Arkansas; and Vancouver, British Columbia, as well as programs around the world.

New York Institute of Technology embraces its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, give all qualified students access to opportunity, and support research and scholarship that benefit the larger world. More than 107,000 alumni comprise an engaged network of doers, makers, and innovators prepared to change the world, solve 21st-century challenges, and reinvent the future.

Media Contact

New York Tech Media Relations