CCNY Commencement 2018: Full Ceremony



Boudreaux we are gathered for the 172nd commencement exercises of the City College of New York with your permission dr. Boudreaux the ceremony will begin let the commencement exercises begin [Applause] all please rise as the color guard of the City University Army ROTC program presents the national colors as the national anthem is sung by Megumi Toyama who graduated this February with a BFA in jazz vocal Studies oh can you see right what's so bad world at that twilight's last gleaming whose broad stripes and bright stars through the bed run love fire right or the rare pass away first was so gallantly streaming [Applause] through the night that our flag was still there oh say that's the stuff spend gold or the lair love the free you [Applause] City College is pleased to welcome all of our special guests today's graduates and their families and our alumni the Honorable Fernand Fernando Ferrer trustee of the City University of New York will now bring greetings trustee Ferren morning Chancellor Milligan Senator Schumer president Boudreau faculty and staff honored guests today's commencement speaker legal trailblazer women's activist an American hero in my of mind Anita Hill and class of 2018 I'm happy to bring greetings on behalf of the Board of Trustees to your class and welcome all of you to the long and growing line of thinkers teachers scientists and leaders dressed in lavender who proudly calls City College alma mater class of 2018 on this great lawn we celebrate a hundred seventy years of excellence City College the granddaddy of City University where it all began a hundred seventy years of excellence including your own achievements and sacrifices and the contributions you're poised to make to the life of our city state and nation just as your Great Seal urges look to the past look to the present and look to the future the presence of your family friends and teachers here is a proud reminder that you did not get to this place alone they all deserve your deepest our deepest gratitude and the promise like the Lions of proud graduates who came before that you will pay it forward you will make your own memorable contributions to New York you've reached one finish line but you can be sure that there'll be many new finish lines laid before you and new starting points to new chapters in your own lives so as you look to the future my personal advice is to be audacious enough to question everything even the things with which you may agree in fact especially the things with which you may agree whether they be in a newspaper the internet on television or in its week especially in a tweet because being comfortable and believing something is not the same as seeking the truth as part of the best educated American generation in history you owe it to that same history to lead out the alternative facts and the conspiracy theories be the agents of change and make the world you will command better for those who follow you engage in your communities speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves serve your city and your fellow New Yorkers with pride and integrity change the world and be proud of who you and your families are where you come from what language you speak over the dinner table how much or how little your parents made every week how much or how little education they had their strong shoulders are the ones you stand on today I know something about that because I stand on shoulders just like those first in my family ever to graduate from a college evident much less see the inside of one and so does my wife I Romina a great educator and his City alumna as well [Applause] so as you can see I have good taste so on behalf of City University's Board of Trustees I wish you the very best for everything you're destined to mean to New York we expect great things from you all and we'll be cheering for your success every step of the way good luck class of 2018 Thank You trustee ferry the Honorable Charles E Schumer senior senator of the state of New York will now bring greetings to the 2018 graduating class Senator Schumer thank you and first to the class of 8 2018 Cooney City College congratulations you've made it I want to welcome as well and eat a hill we are so honored you're here and receiving a degree and I want to thank Vincent Boudreau and everyone who makes this not just one of the best institutions of higher learning in America but one of the grand institutions in all of America because for generations this university has provided ladders up to poor people to people of color to immigrants these days with all the bigotry against those people there is no greater testament that the best of America will prevail over those who practice bigotry and divisive this than this graduation [Applause] so I want to give you a class gift cuz you're so great a few years ago I wrote a law that said that you or your parents whoever paid for college can take as a full tax credit $2,500 off your federal taxes to help defray the cost of tuition for each year of college or graduate school provided provided there's always a provided in Washington provided your family income is below two hundred thousand dollars a year so if you come from a family who makes below two hundred thousand make sure you were mom or dad takes that credit last year about a quarter of all the people who are entitled to it didn't take it because it's relatively new if you forgot you can actually file a form with the IRS it's a very simple form and get back up to three years of this tax credit you'd get a check in the mail for $7,500 not a bad gift now what happens if you come from a family that makes above $200,000 a year god bless you I'd like to just say a word to the moms and dads too I know how you feel family members a few short years ago my wife iris and I sat where you did watched our daughter come up on the platform get a diploma and become an adult before our very eyes it's a wonderful wonderful day for you congratulations to the moms and dads now to this great class 2018 you know you're graduating at a time of enormous change across the country around the world it's an era of profound economic change profound social change the world is moving so very very fast in the old days for instance you graduated from college and the odds were pretty high you'd have the same career in the same job for 40 years that's not so true anymore most of you will have several jobs many of you several careers along with these economic changes the Internet has put so much information at your fingertips it's sometimes hard to figure out what's important and to distinguish between what's true and what is not even around the world there have been a whole lot of change as many of them not for the better when I graduated from college words like terrorism and mass shootings were never heard from but here's the good news your generation is better equipped to adapt to all of these new changes than any generation before you first you've gotten a great grand education here at CUNY only about 1/3 of the people your age will get any college degree and yours is among the best second you got families they're gonna have your backs through thick and thin no matter what happens and third you're the first generation to grow up totally familiar with all of this new technology your parents your teachers me we try to get used to it but it's hard for us you were born into it technology is to your generation as water is to a fish you've been swimming in it your whole lives and so you instinctively know how to use it so for those three reasons and more you're better equipped to become to overcome the obstacles this new world presents you're better equipped to seize the opportunities this new world affords and you're better equipped to pursue your passions to dream big dreams and maybe even as so many of our honorees here have accomplished big things right now though sitting in your seats you may not be sure what's gonna come next with so much of the world changing it may sometimes feel like you're jumping into an abyss but the key graduates is this don't fear the unknown embrace it relish it soak it up don't let one setback no matter how much I grant how terrible it seems at the time stand in your way because you've you embrace change and don't let the fear of failing deter you the odds are very high you'll succeed how do I know well I experienced things like this when I graduated from college a few years when I was seated at college graduation a few decades back I had just learned that I had won a scholarship to travel all around the world all expenses paid for a whole year for me a kid from Brooklyn who'd never been out of the country before this was an opportunity of a lifetime but graduates at the same time I met a girl and I fell in love so I had to decide do I go around the world on the all-expense-paid scholarship for a whole year or do I stay home with the girl my first true love class of 2018 what would you have done [Applause] president pedro' the class is divided I stayed home with the girl no don't clap yet' you romantic over there the story unfolds that summer she went on a short vacation and I went to the airport to meet her on a return as soon she got off the plane I saw by the look on her face something was the matter she dumped me by Labor Day there I was no scholarship no trip around the world no girl I said to myself what a loser you are hang it up forget it you'll never get anywhere just give it up right now and in fact I stayed in my house for a few months mope around felt sorry for myself but somehow I picked myself up dusted myself off in a few years later I found myself seated at graduation once again this time from law school but on the way home from law school I told mom and dad I was not gonna join the fancy law firm like we had planned I told them I love politics I told them my dream was to run for office even though it was very difficult to win my parents as you could imagine were shocked my mother was particularly disappointed you see I came from a working-class family my dad was an exterminator never went to college never made much money in the law firm was paying $400 a week which in those days was more money than my family had ever seen but my dream was to run for office and so that fall at the age of 23 and against very long odds I ran for the New York State Assembly and I had three opponents there was the party machine candidate there was a neighborhood activist and then there was my mother who was telling all her friends not to vote for me so as she said I get this dumb idea of being a politician out of my big thick head well graduates a few years earlier I sure didn't get that girl but that November I won the election so to this great class of 2018 on this wonderful day of your achievement some such a treasured institution my advice to you take the risk don't let fear of failure deter you you know for those of us who are older sometimes the more painful moments are what I call the what-ifs we look back and we say what if I had only done this what if I had only gone there so my advice to the class of 2018 is very simple go for it you're about to cast off into the unknown sometimes that can seem kind of scary but you've got great assets a wonderful education great families knowledge of technology so garner up your courage garner up your strength put aside your doubts take a chance and if you do it's not only my hope it's not only my prayer it is indeed my confidence that you will find true joy and true success in life to this great class of 2018 congratulations good luck Godspeed and don't forget go for it [Applause] Thank You senator Schubert the Honorable James B Milliken Chancellor of the City University of New York will bring greetings from the City University of New York science allure Milligan thank you how come I have to follow Senator Schumer I want to know something no because I've heard this before how many people would take the trip around the world yeah trip around the world he learned his lesson though he's done all right for himself Thank You senator absolutely a better one so this is my last week as Chancellor and I get to spend it exactly as I want to which is with you with the class of 2018 your family your friends your loved ones who helped you get here and the faculty and staff that nurtured your success now this is one of those days that brings out the best in the university that captures its essence we see the hard work the opportunity the perseverance the love the support the success and a great sense of optimism and so that's why today I wouldn't change this for anything and I wouldn't change the time at CUNY for anything in the world so the City University of New York and City College its flagship and founding college are not merely educational institutions we're part of a cause with a mission that has only become more urgent more essential to the success of our city and our nation since the founding of this College 170 years ago we helped turn this country's greatest resource talent into a force for innovation and creativity and competitive strength you all worked hard to get into City College even harder to succeed earning your degrees supported by a terrific faculty and a great staff so your diplomas are not merely badges of completion but their badges of courage of persistence of great success I applaud you for your accomplishment and I cherish your great promise you represent the essential challenge of higher education in this country and what City College and the City University of New York do as national leaders to address that challenge and we need it now more than ever at a time when higher education is more important to individual success and economic competiveness than ever we must be more inclusive as institutions and as a country not less City College and CUNY have long been places of opportunity for immigrants for underrepresented students for low-income students and that my friends is what makes America great so here's why talent is evenly distributed across every socio-economic group without regard to social background wealth race ethnicity national origin but opportunity is not opportunity in this country is still stubbornly correlated with wealth it's no different than it was a hundred years ago the greatest indicator of whether you'll be wealthy or have power is whether you were born into a family that is wealthy and has power how do we bridge that gap between the talent that we know exists among every population and the opportunity that's where City College comes in and the City University of New York because addressing this situation which is profoundly unfair and risks wasting what we need more than anything talent ambition diversity of perspective and experience and wisdom so these institutions today City College and CUNY are recognized as the nation's greatest engines of social and economic mobility in one of the most important studies ever done on the impact of higher education and social mobility year ago cuny's record was unparalleled of the top schools in the nation that moves students from the lowest levels of income to the middle class and beyond of the top ten six were CUNY colleges including the City College of New York and if you've been on the subway recently you've seen our signs that say CUNY propels six times the number of students to the middle class and beyond as the eight Ivy League institutions Duke MIT Chicago and Stanford combined six times the number from CUNY that's why we unabashedly say that CUNY is the greatest urban university in the world because we're measuring it by something that truly matters so the class at City College of 2018 your colleagues who will be here next year in the year after to all the students of CUNY you fill me with pride and optimism optimism for a future that I know with you in the lead will be more equitable more peaceful more inclusive and more successful than it is today and that will make this city and this country great for everyone congratulations class of 2018 good luck and Godspeed Thank You Chancellor Noah sitting here to welcome you and present his charge to the students his president of the City College of New York dr. Vince Boudreau I wish you could see what I see right here what has always been the case is that the future of America the future of justice the future of stability and democracy looks like what it looks like at graduation day at City College I look out at you and I see the future of our country you know in a few minutes you will be asked to square the afib it off and you will sing I hope you will sing the alma mater and both of those documents refer to you you will refer to yourself as sons and daughters of City College and when you sit like this in a vast assembly I think it's easier than usual to think of yourself as part of a family that begins at this institution but I'd like to ask you to think of yourself in an even broader context than that there are other sons and daughters of City College here today we have a group of people that graduated from this institution in 1968 50 years ago and they are sons and daughters of City College we have at least one individual that graduated in 1948 70 years ago and he is a son of City College there is a hundred and seventy-one years of people graduating from this institution as a son and daughter of City College and you know the names I can give them to you : Powell Jonas Salk Bernard Spitzer Andy Grove people that have changed America changed the city changed what we think about ourselves as a people they have defined what the next frontier and opportunity is what the next frontier in achievement is they like you were sons and daughters of City College and they all swore the afib akov they all understood that being where you are today graduating from this institution weighs you down with a responsibility to make the country a better place to build the city we say of City College that we drive the city and if you put a dot on every building in this city that was affected by a graduate of City College by an architect or an engineer or a political scientist or a doctor or an educator if you made that dot read the city would be awash with red and that's what it means to be a son and daughter of City College if you opened up your favorite piece of technology and ask yourself who first thought of this and you put a red dot on that idea or that piece of technology your cell phone your computer I don't know what you have in your hand would be awash in red dots and that's what it means to be a son and daughter of City College if you open up a library and page through literature and poetry and history and philosophy and you mark the books that were written by people that graduated from City College you would have a library entirely written by the sons and daughters of City College and that's what it means to graduate from this institution 171 years ago the wise men and women who conceived of the free academy who conceived of City College got together and imagined what this nation would be like what it would mean for our democracy and our achievement and our level of justice if everyone was Talent had an opportunity to study and what they dreamt of was you you are the wildest dreams and the fondest hopes of the founders of this institution you are a son and daughter of City College and I want you to go from this place and live up to that legacy so my charge to you is this you don't get America without you you don't get New York City without you you don't get justice or prosperity or security without you so simply profoundly importantly go from this place live your life as a son and a daughter of City College and we will be immeasurably profoundly eternally proud of you congratulations graduates thank you president the valedictory address will now be given by Yasmine Al Gore valedictorian of the class of 2018 good morning before I start I'd like to take a picture to remember this moment for the rest of my life so just one second please now a video for Instagram so be loud [Applause] it's a very shaky video good morning president Boudreaux distinguished guests and honorees our keynote speaker Anita Hill Provost lists Senator Schumer and the City College faculty and a special good morning to the class of 2018 and to all of the families and friends who have come out to show their love and support thank you not only do we celebrate the students today but our support systems as well so thank you all so much and Ramadan Kareem to all celebrating this beautiful month it is an honor to stand here with you all today I cannot express how proud I am of every single one of us and our tremendous accomplishments we even survived the subway commutes in the long truck up the hills so please give yourselves a round of applause as we celebrate our accomplishments with our families friends and loved [Applause] we were one of the only Muslim families in our town our neighbors keep a confederate flag in their garage they didn't have the courage to put it outside but as you drove by you would clearly see it and other neighbors felt threatened when we moved on to the street we tried to acclimate and for the most part we did but being made to feel different to feel other takes its toll my brother Driss was called a dirty Mexican until people realize oh wait he's actually Arab and then they start calling him a terrorist and my father would be followed by police cars for no real reason and this was going on before the era of a trump administration it was not until I started school at my beloved City College an institution that was formally known as the Harvard of the poor that I realized how much I had suppressed my identity my heritage to cope with my difference I will always remember my first day at City College as I'm sure you can remember yours in my case I was so excited to come back to my home in New York City after going to high school and the mostly white suburb upstate it was a discomfort with my identity that I didn't realize I had internalized when I came to CCNY I felt like a weight had been lifted for the first time in a long time I was surrounded by people who resembled me and who wanted to know the real me here at City I have had the honor to sit next to students from all walks of life dreamers people of all races and ethnicities recent immigrants immigrants who have worked for many years and decided to go to college students who work full-time jobs students from working-class families like my own and mothers and fathers yes yes shout-out to my mother who is a current city college student [Applause] yeah at City we are both born and bred New Yorkers and brand new New Yorkers at City we have culture we have strength we create community and that is so special because it is a choice to create community especially in CUNY one of the most beautiful things I have encountered at City College is the opportunity to display the ulnar ability we are often told to hide our emotions in order to give an appearance of control but in the right spaces in places where there's trust learning and giving emotion and vulnerability can become our strengths city is this place and it is this place because of all of you there is a kindness and empathy at City College that is unique and that is because of the communities we foster CCNY students look out for one another my friends and classmates were always sharing opportunities with me from scholarships to ensure internships to research programs every prestigious program I took part in was at the recommendation and through the help of a peer who had taken that opportunity before me it was a chain a redistribution of wealth we mentored each other we edited each other's applications we created an intergenerational family never did I feel I was in competition with anyone I always felt lifted up and looked out for as one should feel and a family this empathy and kindness comes from our diversity and our ability to step outside of our own life and listen to the experiences of our peers early on city college taught me that I have so much to learn about myself as well as others another thing I admire about the students of city is our activism we are bombarded with news of violence and trauma on a daily basis this includes stories of police brutality against global black communities religious intolerance lack of access to health care the deterioration of public school systems the commodification of war the genocide of Palestinians and the physical and metaphorical walls our Calais leaders believe will make any modern nation-state great again yes but we did not turn a blind eye to these issues we discussed them because we recognized how they impact our everyday mycourses exposed me to the brilliant minds of my peers you and our class discussions were always so honest and raw I will never forget our discussions on police brutality and my political ideas and issues course especially after the protest against the closing of the Morales Shakur Center police brutality was not just a news topic it was personal my African American classmates discuss their traumatic experiences with stop-and-frisk policies and what being black in America means yes they do then there were our discussions of what it means to be a Muslim woman living in the West in my mouth web and mushrik literature course another classmate a Muslim Palestinian woman told us that right after 9/11 her family would wear American flag t-shirts to try and show that they were different from the terrorists and were loyal to the US our discussions and especially our difficult our heavy discussions were so thoughtful because we spoke from our hearts from our experiences I want to say that in moments moving forward if you feel hopeless if you think how can I make a difference Howell's our ever be not just equality but equity remember that your small actions your conversations your love make a difference and I am not advocating in naive Kumbaya solution just to be clear for change to come action must be taken however I am advocating for the importance of personal relationships and the communities we build out of love and trust sharing and empathy to create the necessary foundation from movements to survive in some no conversation no interaction no gesture is too small you make a difference you matter as an art history major I am inclined to say that one of the ways we can heal our wounded world is through the arts yeah in times of despair music film photography plays literature can express what we have difficulty saying to heals through the arts though we must provide resources to the humanities by humanities people because the arts do not simply exist they must be fostered humanities brings to those who appreciate them a sense of empathy the tools to critically think an expanded worldview and the opportunity to create and like our stem counterparts we look to create a better future when higher education whether in the humanities Social Sciences or stem are given the support they need then they produce better leaders and great thinkers like us so as we all brace ourselves to pursue our next steps in life whether that is beginning graduate school a new job starting families taking a gap year whatever it may be always always remember your roots here at City knows if you are unsure of your next steps there is nothing wrong with some uncertainty and find comfort in the fact that success is not measured in one unit remember to give when you can and don't be afraid to take either as you foster new communities in the next piece of time remember the old communities that shaped you be passionate and take stands and as you rise don't forget to defend those who don't have a strong of a voice as you did while you were here so thank you to everyone who has offered me their love their hugs their editing skills their critiques their kindness their advice their honesty and their respect thank you to my parents I'm gonna cry now [Applause] papa I will never forget you buying me a Harvard sweatshirt when I was like 5 years old and you told me I can go anywhere I want just please get a scholarship well here I am graduating from the poor man's Harvard [Applause] mama I know you're crying and I'm obviously crying I am so proud of you for attorney to school to pursue a degree here at City while still raising our family you are an inspiration and I hope to embody half of the strength that you embody remember vulnerability is the strength yes to my wonderful siblings dree Sonora and their adorable cat Luna I have to give her a shout-out oh and by request of my father shout-out to the Moroccan team in the World Cup we hope you go far yes thank you to my partner Alec for your constant love and support you're a wonderful museum-going partner and thank you for listening to my rants on why museums should be free and accessible for all I want to thank my various mentors as well thank you professor Kornfeld I'm not sure where you are and professor handy from the art department I aspire to be as passionate and giving towards my students as you both are Thank You professor Kamal and Thank You Maxine from the language and literature departments your course this changed my life thank you to my melon and Citi fellows and she professor Bessie and professor Estrada and to my wonderful boss and our friend Rene Philippi who is an example of the backbone of many of these offices it is so important to recognize though those behind the scenes because without our administrative directors our office assistants and our advisors as students we would be completely lost [Applause] and lastly thank you to all of you city college despite our tech issues and constant escalator breakdowns is beautiful and that is because of us we create that beauty a city college education is so much more than readings papers tests studio time and labs I know I leave City having changed and I believe in my heart if everyone could experience what we experienced the world could change for the better as well so with that congratulations to the class of 2018 [Applause] interim provost of the city college dr. Tony lips will present the candidates for honorary degrees Provost Liss [Applause] president Boudreau I have the honor to present the degree of Doctor of Science honoris causa seymour L Moskowitz Seymour L Moskowitz is the co-founder and retired president of covant management which supports federal government agencies in the areas of defense and national security during a career spanning the Cold War through 9/11 mr. Moskowitz focused on technological solutions that address critical issues in national security and counterintelligence as well as the development of environmentally clean electric power generation systems following leading research positions at Curtis Wright and vetro corporations he was part of a group that acquired anti on international cooperation which provides mission-critical information and technology services to federal agencies and which grew into covent Technologies LLC and covent management mr. Moskowitz holds seven patents and has authored numerous technical and peer-reviewed papers on turbine and combustion technologies he has served as a member of the International Council of Advisors of the National Geographic Society and his endowment trustee of the United Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and on the boards of several companies winner of the Townsend Terrace medal and a true son of City College mr. Moskowitz is dedicated to giving current students the opportunities he had at CCNY in addition to donating a gas turbine engine to the mechanical engineering lab at CCNY he is endowed the Seymour and Perl Moskowitz biomedical engineering doctoral fellowship and or undergraduate students the c-more and Perl moskowitz biomedical scholarship and the David Clara Moskowitz Memorial mechanical engineering scholarship earning him a place in the grove School of Engineering wall of honor the City College of New York is proud to honor him today with the degree Doctor of Science honoris causa Seymour L Moskowitz by the authority vested in me by the Board of Trustees of the city of New York City University of New York I hereby confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Science honoris causa congratulations [Applause] good morning class of 2018 it's a pleasure to be here I would like to tell you a little bit about my time when I attended the great city college in 1954 I left the college with a diploma in my hand in order to get my first engineering job but over the next 64 years I realized that when I left the college I received more than a diploma or received a treasure the treasure was the education and tools that the outstanding faculty provided to me to achieve success and career in aerospace engineering the treasure I received was being part of a highly diverse student body where I developed relationships and friendships with every race religion nationality political and gender preferences this brought me to the understanding of openness tolerance and acceptance and the value of social justice in this country the treasure I received was attending a college in the great city of New York where there are world-class museums theaters concert halls newspapers and libraries that provide my growth and intellectual capacity that joy throughout my life and then the treasure of the great city was the many opportunities I found in the streets and businesses that led me to an understanding of the value of measuring risk against reward and deciding what opportunities I should pursue that gave me what's called in New York City street smarts and probably nowhere else in the country do you get that provide me Avenue for success in business there is a result of the success in business I became to recognize and realize they are a responsibility to the city of compound City College and I believe that I had to give back to the city college the were the you life the personal and professional life that I enjoyed throughout these years and so I want to ask you to think about your responsibilities you receive the same treasure that I did and it be important responsibility for all of us to know that we must do the same thing let's provide the education for the young women and men that follow us and I hope that as part of the alma mater you too will give back to City College I leave its platform humbled by the honor given to me by president boot row the dark professor garage and the other members of the faculty the trustees and of course Chancellor Milliken for this honor and the honor of being able to provide an address to this great University and the great students that are leaving in this graduation congratulations thank you so much and good luck [Applause] president Boudreau we will present the degree of Doctor of Science to Harold turaga on June 6 in Ithaca New York and now I have the honor to present the degree Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa Anita Hill [Applause] with her unflinching courageous testimony before the 1991 Senate Judiciary Committee's televised hearings on the confirmation of Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court of the United States Anita Hill stepped from a highly accomplished private life into the very public white-hot center of an intense national debate about how men and women relate to each other in the workplace she may not have won the battle then but 27 years later she and those who fought with her and those who she inspired have turned the tide but great granddaughter and granddaughter of slaves and the youngest of 13 children growing up on a farm in Oklahoma Anita Hill received her JD from Yale Law School in 1980 she began her career in private practice in Washington DC there she also worked at the US Education Department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1989 professor Hill became the first African American to be tenured at the University of Oklahoma College of Law where she taught contracts and commercial law currently at Brandeis University she teaches courses on gender race social polity policy and legal history as counsel to Coe and Millstein she advises on class action workplace discrimination cases in 1995 professor Hill co-edited race gender and power in America the legacy of the hill Thomas hearings with Emma Colm and Jordan in 1997 she published her autobiography speaking truth to power her latest book reimagining equality stories of gender race and finding home is an analysis of the housing market collapse of 2008 and its impact on gender and racial equality professor Hill adds this work to numerous other publications on subjects ranging from bankruptcy to equal educational opportunity in addition professor Hill engages prominent professionals all over the country to spearhead the gender race imperative a project to revive awareness of the broad capacity of title 9 the crucial law mandating equal education opportunities for women in collaboration with artist mark Bradford in his 2017 Venice Biennale Anita Hill explored contemporary art as a gateway to our understanding of the legal and policy challenges present in today's civil and gender rights movements professor Hill is the recipient of numerous awards grants and honorary degrees she chaired the human rights law Committee of the International Bar Association and is a member of the board of directors of the National Women's Law Center and the Boston area lawyers Committee for civil rights last December professor Hill became the chair of the Hollywood entertainment industry's Commission to eliminate sexual health harassment and advance equality in the workplace [Applause] in that world she will establish a best practices and policies framework for addressing workplace abuses and discrimination and creating more equitable work environments throughout the industry anita hill indeed speaks truth to power at a time when sexual harassment was seen if it was seen at all as a private pain her towering courage made us see that it was a matter of human and civil rights professor Hill is a civil rights leader of historic national importance and the City College of New York is fiercely proud to confer upon her the degree Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa Anita Hill by the authority vested in me by the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York I hereby confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa congratulations [Applause] [Applause] good morning first of course I have to congratulate this graduating class as well as my fellow honoree dr. Moskowitz and I know I know year yes let's hear it for dr. Matsu years of hard work got you here today and so I want you all to savor this moment just savor this day because you earned it you earned our applause you are earned our congratulations and you earn that degree that you came here to get so president who drove faculty members of the board staff and of City College who have made this singular recognition possible I thank you I proudly accept this honorary degree and the privilege of addressing this class of 2018 now I know you're ready to get your diploma and I also know from my own experience that you probably won't remember much about graduation day and certainly not about my speech but because I didn't I don't really even remember who the speakers were from my college graduation but I do remember my favorite gift so that gift was a gift given to me by my mother on graduation it was a set of new blue Samsonite luggage and it's very impractical down no one would carry it on an airplane because you can get it in the overhead the new luggage replaced a set of brown Samsonite suitcases that were given to me by a family friend mrs. young now mrs. young had also been as well as a friend she had also been an English teacher to my older siblings in the segregated school system that ten of my 12 siblings and his brothers and sisters graduated from yes I am that old I am old enough to know what a segregated school system segregated by law look like and mrs. young of course being a teacher was a revered member of our community and so I was of course happy to receive a gift from her but my mother receives a gift which sort of mixed feelings and so for the entire time that I was in college my mother saved S&H Green Stamps for the sole purpose of getting me my own luggage now some of you are looking quizzically because you've never even heard of S&H Green Stamps but as I often say when there's a generational gap Google they're kind of like little coupons that you get that you have to save a lot of to actually get something my mother and mrs. younge sent me off to law school with two sets of luggage the older versions with years of wear and tear and the wisdom that symbolize mrs. younge it also had her initials on it and my new set of luggage had my own stick on initials both were waiting to be filled with my own life experiences in a world that was going to be entirely different from my mother's and the English teachers as you've been told my mother was a youngest daughter of a man born justice slavery was drawing to an end and my father also the descendant of slaves hoped that I would take with me something of what it meant to be an african-american woman growing up in a community of what was often called dirt farmers and you can translate dirt farmers to me that we never had much money my parents expected me to travel and they also wanted me to take something of that community with them and I proudly do today they thought that I would go out in the world but honestly they could not have dreamed that I would be here at this great University in this great city receiving my honorary degree with this great class [Applause] and like you I am the descendants of immigrants forest immigrants and know their enslavement was not a choice [Applause] so you may not remember it speakers the names or the words you may not remember that I grew up in longtree Oklahoma but please remember this please remember that I am a female descendant of slaves that I am a farmer from Oklahoma that I am a former student and a graduate and that I am a teacher of 33 years and because of all of these things I am a lifelong advocate for equality [Applause] and I do believe that you are going to remember this day and also the times that you lived in through your college years there are events that have marked it that will be seared in your memory now you're gonna hear today that you're gonna leave college now and you're going to go off into the real world right you probably already heard that before if people tell you oh you're going to college now but now you're gonna have to go out in the real world well let me tell you this you have already been in the real world and you are ready to take the next step this is the real world and what makes it so real is really some of the hard times as familiar as news reports of the violence and dislocation of war Orma broad are the stories that you have dealt with and you have shape that have shaped your life in your time at City College our stories also that are two familiar stories of university's high school and junior high school campuses ripped apart by shootings in 2018 an average of one school shooting occurs every week it is of course as someone has already referred to a time of great social and political uncertainty and some would even call it crisis and let me just say what I mean by uncertainty specifically in your time on campus the US Supreme Court has declared that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional but at the same time we've seen a rise in hate crimes and the introductions of so-called bathroom bills in this country and you wonder who speaks for America the laws or Supreme Court are those who would divide us and frankly now this is I know oh we can't oh god hey let me just say frankly to characterize movement from Barack Obama presidency to a Donald Trump presidency to call this astonishing is an understatement I don't care what party you're in and so it is almost a so we're whoops ha it's almost as though we're you know our heads are spinning to try to figure out what this country is about so those are the external factors that I think are shaping your experience today those are the things that you're reading about in the newspaper but some of the hardships of being a student in 2018 aren't gonna make the newspapers for some they are personal deeply personal and they had they to have tested your resolve they have caused you to question your commitment they challenged your concentration you've had relationships that have gone sour during your time in college maybe not you had required courses that you absolutely hate it maybe no Allah but you've also had other concerns you've had concerns about your parents or grandparents well-being it might be physical or health concerns maybe financial concerns and and yes some of you have your own children's health or child care challenges then there are the tougher issues facing students that make all of us uncomfortable especially those of us who are in our education problems of food and housing insecurity and homelessness among the student body and those are just examples and sadly as a teacher I have watched students face marginalization due to a whole range of isms some intentional and some just thoughtless I've seen young people struggle to prove that they belong on college campuses despite their proven capacities for learning and it is disappointing and disturbing when that happens but it is real and it is part of the student experience a far too many students because of age class language students are made to feel less in all of these we know as a nation that we need to do better by our education system by our students we need to provide more scholars we need to provide lower tuition and you are fortunate that this City University has taken that demand seriously but we also need support services scholarships can get us in to school but those services help us get through and get to this day to get your degrees we all need to commit more to public resources to education yet in 2017 as many as 22 states had reduced public resources to education and some fall some fall below amounts offered during the 2008 recession and unfortunately many of those choices are made not because of quality of education but because of politics and educational systems become the problem that grounds for political parent path battles and all of us suffer but you at City College you graduate stayed the course at times when events of the world and when real world personal problems challenge your concentration and maybe your commitment to your education and as I've heard before you supported each other as peers you went to mentors and caring professionals here on campus and friends and family off campus who helped you with all kinds of resources and some of it was just emotional and and and been some of it was financial and when you weren't sure about yourself you sought help help that would enable you to see your possibilities and assured you that demographics and other people's prejudices do not define you or your destiny [Applause] and perhaps you work burden the tens of thousands of dollars of school debts but so many others are and so I say you know we hear a lot of talk about the greatest generation when I look out at you now the greatest generation has been described as a world war two generation from the 20th century when I look out at this class of 2018 I see the greatest generation of the 21st century sitting right here in front of me and I want you to look around at your peers and acknowledge that you are the greatest generation of our time I look out and I see tenacity and I see resilience and I see joy and learning and I see joy in getting to this day that you will share with your family and your friends you overcame roadblocks to arrive here relish this moment and when times get tough think back on this day and believe that you can overcome obstacles that you are going to see in the future and you will achieve your goals but your generations of college grads did more than get degrees you engaged in activism during your time here you have seen students from across the country from Charlottesville Virginia to Columbia Missouri to my own school to Brandeis University here on your own campus at City College and really at a hundred campuses across the country students protested for racial inclusion demanding changes in content and the culture of our campuses and everybody there faites when those demands are heard sometimes these requests and or ignored but students kept sanding not only did they change the campuses but you have changed the world you've gone and made it much more inclusive and you have advanced knowledge because of your activism and saying at the same time students of all genders organized to end campus sexual assault and harassment and made their campuses safer for everyone and these times of great change come great opportunities to reinvest in gender equality basics like safety from violence should not be up for debate time's up time's up for one and every for undergraduate woman having to face the reality that sexual assault will occur and she will be the victim times out for that we are better than that we are a better community in that and we must acknowledge that this day now I've been teaching for 33 years as I said and I have never seen more energized students who are more committed to change and some will chalk that engagement up to Twitter or the internet for me these are only platforms I attribute today's campus engagement and activism as an enduring desire for community community within and community outside of your campus walls when you protest mass incarceration when you protest for better labor conditions for farmworkers you are engaging in reaching out and building a broad community together today's campus active activists are breathing new life into the words that dr. Martin Luther King pen in 1963 from a Birmingham jail and he wrote this just a few weeks before he gave the city college community commencement address dr. King reminded us that we are all all of us are caught up in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny Martin Luther King's warning that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere is just as critical today maybe even more critical than you have ever seen before because we live in a time when device Ignace and as isolation posed as solutions to our pressing problems when a fact isolation and divisive nough the cause of our social problems [Applause] fifty-five years ago in 1963 when dr. King spoke at the commencement of City College 55 years ago and I am proud to stand at this podium today 55 years later he spoke of three evils war economic inequality and racial inequality the three evils and he talked about sadly again sadly it almost as though we did not hear his words but much has changed since then and you will bring in the tools into the world to change even further now we don't know what happened in these challenging times but history does teach us if we don't commit our hearts and our minds to dream a better world we are likely to be stuck where we are and we cannot let that happen so I want you to just take a little trip with me imagining a few scenarios and I know I've got some artists right here in front yes so for you people in the arts I want you to imagine that you will write produce or direct an award-winning Broadway musical [Applause] about the life of a courageous early American leader now you say that's been done already but I'm not talking about Alexander Hamilton but let's say I'm talking about Harriet Tubman she liberated herself from slavery and became an underground railroad conductor a nurse in the Union Army and years later an advocate for women's suffrage proving a lifelong commitment to freedom and equality and what war what could be more the ideal of America than Harriet Tubman which is why she has earned that musical that is yet to be written and why her picture should be on the $20 bill and maybe this generation will make sure that happens to some of you are going to be going into business though do I have some business majors over here yes okay they're not they're not as loud as arts majors maybe you'll be even going into finance sometime imagine with me all US banks are rebranding themselves and revising their practices and included in the c-suite offices on the boards are people whose communities were devastated by the 2008 financial crisis and individual students who are burdened with massive amounts of student loan debts and at the top of their agenda in their rebranding and revision at the top of the agenda is the development of loan forgiveness policies and partnerships to restore cities and communities and institution like public colleges still suffering from the recession finally imagine a United States House and Senate led by members of the me to movement poised to put into law strong measures to protect people on campuses and military government and private industry work forces against sexual harassment and sexual assault we didn't finish the work that was started in 1991 and it was said earlier that I did not win my challenge but I did not leave Washington DC a loser I continued to battle and this day is possible because of many people who battled with me we didn't finish the work in 1991 but we can finish it today now those are just a few of my dreams of a better world those are just for starters you have your own dreams and I even imagine that they are better than my own today each of you will leave here with a diploma and it's gonna look just like many other diplomas that you're gonna see but it's gonna bear your name your diploma is different it's not just a piece of paper that you can hang up on the wall your diploma is a treasure your diploma like my luggage symbolizes york city college education the tools and the resources that got you through hard times and those who were you'll use to achieve your aspirations though most of you will not pursue a career in social justice or in a social justice field you can pursue social justice every day it can guide you on how you treat your colleagues and work and how you treat those in the community that do not have the privileges that you enjoy for all of the classroom lessons and the real-life experience of the past few years we can never be the same we cannot go backwards to the days when we deny the universal harm of inequality we cannot go back today's when he we denied that sexual violence was a part of our culture and that it has injured every one of us as members class of 2018 friends family supporters all of you who have helped us to get to this day everyone in the City College community I submit that we cannot go backwards that the only way is forward and I asked you I asked you to join me with an unwavering and unbound 'less commitment to a more just and inclusive society for today and forever and I asked you to continue to support this 2018 class as the greatest generation of of the 21st century thank you very much [Applause] Thank You Fraser Hill president Boudreau candidates for degrees and coursework will now be presented to you by Provost O'Neal Asst Provost –less candidates for graduate and undergraduate degrees in the Bernard and spitzer School of Architecture will be presented by interim dean Gordon Gabbard candidates for graduate degrees please rise candidates for undergraduate degrees please rise president Boudreau the Barnard and and Spitzer school of architecture educates professionals who design and build our city we are proud that these candidates will be joining forces with hundreds of alumni to design to shape to build to restore and to create our cities we are confident that with their degrees in hand they have the potential to change the world to solve the problems of how we live in the world of today and of tomorrow and I trust they will make our world a much better place to live so it is with great honor that I present these candidates to you for the degree of Master of Architecture master of Landscape Architecture master of urban planning and for the degrees Bachelor of architecture and Bachelor of Science in architecture now candidates candidates go forth and create design and build [Applause] [Applause] candidates please be seated is that my line oh sorry that was my line um just before we did you see what just happened there they stood up kind of quiet and then I get this tell them to sit down and they lost their moment to make noise so understand this when you're called to stand up that's your moment not what I tell you to sit down don't let it pass candidates for graduate and undergraduate degrees in the Groves School of Engineering will be presented by Dean yoga therapy no I don't believe I told you to stand up yet candidates please rise candidates for master's degree please rise and for undergraduate degrees please rise president Boudreau The Grove School of Engineering The Grove School of Engineering Engineers a better future by breaking down barriers building bridges and reimagining the world around us from our highest achieving students to our world-renowned faculty we are disruptors innovators first they're never settling for status quo today I present more than 700 engineers and computer scientists for graduation who don't look like anyone else problem solvers who think differently visionaries who impact society they are the innovators who will engineer the future of tomorrow it is my very distinct honor to present the sixth cohort of doctoral students to graduate from the City College of New York and its 172 year history I also have the honor of presenting the candidates for the degrees master of engineering Master of Science additionally I would like to present the candidates for the degrees Bachelor of engineering and Bachelor of Science and computer science Thank You Dean Berube no candidates please be seated candidates for graduate and undergraduate degrees in the School of Education will be presented will be presented by the Dean of the School of Education Mary Erina Driscoll candidates please remain standing president Boudreau a high quality education is the birthright of every child in America regardless of where they were born the graduates of the School of Education are prepared and committed to improving the life chances of children and youth everywhere but especially in this great global City through thoughtful and innovative preparation they have developed the knowledge skills and dispositions to provide rigorous and engaging learning opportunities for all children as well as an understanding and respect for linguistic and ethnic diversity the communities that they will serve as teachers and school leaders and okay and the role the public education must play in advancing social justice in our democratic nation it's almost as if they were prepared for this I have the honor to present the candidates for the degree of Master of Arts and Master of Science and education the candidates for advanced certificates in school building leader district leader mathematics education science education Spanish education English education social studies education early childhood education and educational theatre as well as the candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Education Thank You Dean Driscoll candidates please be seated [Applause] candidates for degrees and undergraduate and undergraduate degrees in the colon Powell School for Civic [Applause] which includes the department's of anthropology Gender Studies and International Studies economics and business political science psychology and sociology will be presented by interim dean Kevin Foster [Applause] president Boudreau as you will know in the colon Powell School for civic and global leadership we study and analyze the social world how people think behave and interact as individuals and organizations and across whole sciences societies we study power wealth cognition culture and our connections to one another our candidates are poised to have significant impact on domestic and international policy law Business and Finance individual and organizational psychological well-being they have been called to be leaders in service to our city our country and the world and we expect great things from them [Applause] it is my honor to present to you the candidates for the degrees Master of Arts Master of Public Administration Master of International Affairs and Master of Science and candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science Thank You Dean Foster candidates please be seated [Applause] candidates from the division of humanities in the arts which includes the department's of art English classical and modern languages and literature history median communication art music philosophy and theatre and programs in Asian Studies Black Studies and Jewish Studies will now be recognized dean erich koch will present the candidates for degrees president Boudreau the division of humanities in the arts represents a wide range of vital disciplines we study in value language literature art philosophy history music we create and value music theater poetry narrative film and visual art we build together innovatively on a 2,000 year old tradition that helps us to develop an understanding of an appreciation for critical thought human creativity and culture our students are our students [Applause] our students are here our students [Applause] our students are prepared to become leaders in every field of endeavor as well as to enjoy the personal fulfillment of lifelong humanistic learning and creative activity I have the honor and the pleasure to present these candidates for the degrees of Master of Arts Master of Fine Arts Master of Professional Studies Bachelor of Arts Bachelor of music and Bachelor of Fine Arts in the division of humanities and the arts Thank You Dean cuts candidates please be seated [Applause] candidates from the division of science which includes the departments [Applause] which includes the department's of biology chemistry and biochemistry Earth and Atmospheric Sciences mathematics and physics will be presented by interim dean Parameshwara naiyeer the science division is proud to award 18 PhD degrees 46 Masters of Science degrees and 385 bachelor science degree division of science students continued to win high academic accolades – division of science students Kevin Gonzalez and Annan Kazi won the prestigious soft or scholarship recognizing exceptional students who plan careers in medicine and the biological sciences one division of science student Stanley Koch from EAS has earned the prominent NSF graduate fellowship for 2018 students in the division of science have learned to analyze and appreciate patterns of biodiversity analyze the molecular basis of enzyme actions confronted the problems of climate change played with the esoterics of number theory and tackle the nuances of nanophotonics they take inspiration not only from their faculty but also from the ten Nobel laureates who studied science at City College before them and from their student from their student peers I am honored to present all of these candidates to you Thank You Dean their candidates please be seated candidates for graduate and undergraduate degrees from the division of interdisciplinary studies at the Center for open education will be presented by Dean Juan Carlos Mercado [Applause] president Boudreau you know very well that the transformative power of higher education belongs not just to our youth it is also a rich and deep experience for those who can bring the real war experience to the enterprise the candidates for Bachelor and Master of Arts in the division of interplay studies at the Center for work education have returned to school as adults the college studies are informed by very life experience and a keen desire to learn I am honored to present them to you Thank You Dean Mercado candidates please be seated [Applause] candidates from the soapy Davis undergraduate program and biomedical education in the CUNY School of Medicine will be presented by Dean Mauricio Travis our president Boudreaux very few my very good and I'm sure that by unit students are the loudest of the other Bunch as dean of the CUNY School of Medicine I have the honor to present the candidates from the Sophie Davies undergraduate program in biomedical Education president Boudreau there is a dire need for physicians to care for those who are medically underserved and to recruit more underrepresented populations into the medical professions our school is building upon a 44 year tradition of helping address both of these issues it's a great honor to present to you the Sophie Davis candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Science who have already demonstrated their commitment to civic engagement social justice and community based patients set community-based patient-centered care Thank You Dean Travis on candidates please be seated those who have worked toward their Master of Science degree through the sustainability in the urban environment program will be recognized by Hilary Brown director of sustainability in the urban environment Master of Science program of the City College of New York students in the sustainability program please rise [Applause] President Woodrow we are most we are most privileged and proud to commend to your attention the students in the sustainability in the urban environment program who have earned their Master of Science degrees through studies under the division of science the School of Architecture School of Engineering and the school for global and civic leadership these individuals have brought a vital diversity of perspectives to City College by capitalizing on each other's knowledge and skills and by adopting more holistic and connective ways of thinking they are well poised to confront the 21st century sustainability challenges they understand that their globalizing urbanizing world is as dr. Martin Luther King foresaw and as our honoree also noted an inescapable network of mutuality a web linking not only all humanity but importantly binding humanity's fate to that of nature's we look to them with hope and offer our encouragement as they strive for better urban futures cities more ecologically robust more economically resilient and socially just Thank You professor Brown candidates please be seated those who have worked toward their degrees through the seek program will be recognized by professor marina Zone interim director of seek seek students please rise [Applause] president Boudreaux for more than 50 years seat has supported students in their search for education elevation and knowledge for our 2018 graduates this phase of that search has been successfully completed it is therefore with great pleasure and even greater sense of pride that I commend to your special attention students in the seek program who have earned their backyard degrees through all the divisions and the schools of the college congratulations speakers Thank You professor new zone candidates please be seated as representatives of their classmates will tomorrow reef president of the undergraduate student government Cyril G King chair of the Graduate Student Council yes mean Al Gore valedictorian and Zhi Zhu salya Torian please come forward and stand by president Boudreau [Applause] president Boudreau all of the candidates for degrees have been presented to you will all candidates for doctorate master and advance certificate and baccalaureate degrees please rise that's all of you [Applause] president Boudreaux I present to you the candidate for doctoral degrees the candidates for master's degrees the candidates for advanced certificates and candidates for baccalaureate degrees from the City College of New York these candidates have fulfilled all requirements for their respective degrees on behalf of the faculty I recommend that they be awarded these degrees Thank You Provost lists so here we are everybody I've counted I have to say 50 words and then hit this piece of wood with this gavel and then you graduate this is the moment this is the exact moment when it's gonna happen 50 words [Applause] I can't hear you say louder no your even yours don't you got you got all right so now I lost my train of thought was I was gonna do something I forget what it was say the word it's okay ladies and gentlemen candidates family buying the authority vested in me by the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York I hereby confer your degrees upon you with all the rights the privileges and the responsibilities thereto appertaining please move your tassels to the left side of your caps we welcome you into the company of scholars [Applause] congratulations class of 2018 and best wishes to each and every one of you [Applause] [Applause] congratulations graduates will all graduates now please stand if you're not already standing while Aldo Lea president of the City College Alumni Association leads you in the reciting of the effect both the words to the oath are on page three of your program good morning what a great crowd I wish to add my congratulations to the 2018 graduating class on behalf of the Alumni Association the oath that you are about to take to leave your city better and more beautiful than it was when it was handed to you has been taken by generations of City College students beginning in 1853 today we are handing you the city please recite each line of the oath after me we men and women graduating from the City College of New York do this day after the manner of the Athenian youths of old about to enter public life take this oath of devotion to the city of New York we will never bring disgrace to our city by any act of dishonesty or cowardice nor ever desert our suffering comrades in the ranks we will fight for the ideals and sacred things of the city both alone and with many we will Revere and obey the city's laws and do our best to incite a light respect and reverence in those about us who are prone to annul them and set them straight we will strive unceasingly to quicken the public sense of civic duty and thus in all these ways we will strive to transmit this city and not only not less but greater better and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us congratulations again [Applause] now all please join in singing the college's alma mater lavender my lavender the words to the alma mater can be found on the back cover of the program and after that we ask that graduates and guests please stay in place until the platform party and faculty have left the area sturdy sons Assyrtiko hood trusty horns and mighty my ties that not kind server yeah we are daughter Sparrow City College we are my ties that class of 2018 the City College of New York [Applause] [Applause] ladies and gentlemen if you could just stay where you are until the platform party has had a chance to leave and after the platform has exited for all those attending after commencement ceremonies today please find your way there graduates of the Barnard and and Spitzer School of Architecture please go to the gallery in the Spitzer school and the ceremony there will begin at noon graduates of the sustainability program please proceed to the Amsterdam room in the north academic center the ceremony will begin there at noon

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