NYC Campus: Lubin School of Business | Undergraduate
Hello, Pace University. This is Senator Chuck Schumer and it's my honor to address the faculty and staff, the families and friends of the graduates but most of all, you, the Class of 2021. Congratulations. Now I'm really sorry I can't join you in person as I do almost every year, but I'm grateful that modern technology allows us to still be connected on this graduation day.
You are special and I wouldn't wanna miss congratulating you COVID or not. First, a quick word to the parents, as a parent myself I know how hard it is to raise kids these days and how much you've invested in but it all pays off as you watch your son or daughter received their diploma and becoming an adult before your very eyes. Congratulations to the moms and dads. Now to the Class of 2021, you know, everyone says your senior year in college will be the most memorable and for many of you it probably has been but certainly not in the way you'd expect.
With COVID effecting our nation's health, our nation's economy and your senior year, these have been unusual and difficult times. The challenges of this moment are truly unique but so has been our collective response. The fact that we're still celebrating this graduation and not letting COVID stand in the way even if we're celebrating differently, just goes to show you that New Yorkers won't let anything stop us from honoring what is so important in life and nothing, nothing can take away from the fact that you've earned a degree from such a fine institution of higher learning. We have a long way to go, but for the first time in more than a year we can start thinking about what it will be like to return to normal. We're beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel thanks to safe and highly effective vaccines.
There are nothing short of a medical miracle and I'm proud to have helped lead the way in Congress by prioritizing vaccine research, production and most of all distribution so that everyone who wants a vaccine can now get one. And as Senate Majority Leader, the first ever from New York, I worked hard to pass the American Rescue Plan which is putting money in the pockets of people and small businesses who have been hurt by this crisis and helping our society recover in so many different ways. Now I'm pushing President Biden to forgive $50,000 in student loans, a crushing burden for millions of college students around the nation. With a flick of the pin, he could wipe this debt clean and create a brighter future for so many people, including many of you. So Class of 2021 my message to you is simple, right now it may feel like the future's uncertain. Many of you may not be sure of what's going to happen next but what has been true throughout history is just as true today, that even in times of difficulty there are always new opportunities, new ways of thinking, of doing things a better way.
It's natural to fear the unknown, I'm sure many of you do right now but don't let the harshness of this past year prevent you from seizing new opportunities. They're out there, you just have to keep your eyes open to them. Don't forget you have incredible assets, a college degree from a great institution and loving families will have your back through thick and thin. Our nation is overcoming this pandemic and we need your help and your courage to rebuild our country even stronger than it was before. This past year has revealed the injustices and prejudices that persist in our society and we just can't go back to the way things used to be.
We must make our society better and we know we will because you are our future leaders and because we have faith in you. And so to Pace University Class of 2021, I say once again congratulations. Good luck. God speed.
Pace University welcomes you to the Lubin School of Business Class of 2021 virtual commencement ceremony. Please welcome your host and President of Pace University, Marvin Krislov. Hello and welcome to Pace University's 2021 Commencement Ceremony. I'm sorry we can't be together in person today, but we are all very excited to celebrate your tremendous achievements in this virtual ceremony. Class of 2021, today is a momentous day.
It is a chance for you to celebrate with your family, your friends, and your Pace family. And it is an opportunity to reflect on everything you have done to reach this milestone, especially through this past year. Like everyone watching and supporting you today, I am inspired by your hard work, your commitment, your discipline, and your resilience.
So let's get things rolling. First, I'd like to introduce Amari Perez, from the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences to sing our National Anthem. ♪ O say can you see ♪ ♪ By the dawn's early light ♪ ♪ What so proudly we hail'd ♪ ♪ At the twilight's last gleaming ♪ ♪ Whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪ ♪ Through the perilous fight ♪ ♪ O'er the ramparts we watch'd ♪ ♪ Were so gallantly streaming ♪ ♪ And the rocket's red glare ♪ ♪ The bombs bursting in air ♪ ♪ Gave proof through the night ♪ ♪ That our flag was still there ♪ ♪ O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave ♪ ♪ O'er the land of the free ♪ ♪ And the home of the brave ♪ Thank you, Amari for that beautiful performance. It is now time to confer the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters upon your commencement speaker, the Honorable Leticia James, Attorney General of the State of New York.
I ask Horace Anderson, Dean of the Elisabeth Haub School of Law, to present Attorney General James as a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa. Thank you, President Krislov. And, from One Pace Plaza, hello, graduates.
Attorney General Letitia James is a proud New Yorker, an accomplished activist, and a powerful force for good in our communities. Born in Brooklyn and educated at Lehman College, James began her career at the Legal Aid Society, serving New York's neediest as a public defender. In her 10 year career on the New York City Council, she forced landlords to improve living conditions in the city's worst buildings, uncovered corruption in city government, and pushed through a revolutionary new recycling program. In five years as the New York City Public Advocate, she passed more legislation than all previous public advocates combined, she fought for children in foster care and children with disabilities, and took on the gun industry by pushing the city's largest pension fund to divest from gun makers.
In 2018, she was elected the 67th New York State Attorney General. She is the first woman to be elected to that office, and the first woman of color to hold statewide office in New York. She continues to advocate for those in need, and she continues to stand up to the powerful. She took on the National Rifle Association. She is fighting public and private corruption. And she keeps looking out for the most vulnerable among us.
For her tireless advocacy, her uncompromising devotion to the people of New York, and her steadfast dedication to a career in public service, Pace University is proud to confer upon New York Attorney General Letitia James the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereunto. Congratulations, Madam Attorney General. Thank you, Dean Anderson. As authorized by the Board of Trustees of Pace University, I confer upon you, Attorney General Letitia James, the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereunto. The Attorney General will accept her degree and address our graduates from her office in New York City. I have spent my entire career working on behalf of others.
So thank you President Krislov and the entire Pace University community for this honor. Dean Anderson, distinguished faculty, alumni, friends, family, parents and loved ones, today is a joyous, momentous occasion. And to the graduates, the class of 2021, a very heartfelt congratulations.
I'm so grateful for the privilege of being with you, albeit virtually on this day. Today is but one moment in a lifetime of moments that will help shape and define your life, and while you may be disappointed that today's ceremony is virtual, the traditional pomp and circumstance of graduation ceremony is not what makes today so special. What truly makes this day and this milestone special is the grit and hard work that got you here. Today represents the culmination of so many moments that occurred over hundreds of days spanning many years.
Each moment represents a choice you made at some discreet time along the way. For some of you it was a path riddled with adversity. For others it perhaps took unexpected twists and turns, and maybe took longer than you anticipated, but you did it. You arrived here, at your intended destination, and today with a degree in your hand. And behind each of the roughly 1300 degrees being given today is a success story.
Each degree represents a journey as unique as the person receiving it, and every one of you has a profound potential for doing good and for being an agent of positive change. As I talk to you today I am reminded of my own educational journey, and how it prepared me to lead a life pursuing justice for those who need it most. Like many of you my path was not one of privilege and ease, in fact, at times along the way my journey felt riddled with insurmountable challenges and long odds.
I knew what it was to struggle. I am a woman of humble beginnings, but my upbringing was rich in lessons on what mattered most, compassion, hard work, integrity, honesty and justice. All the struggles, all the sacrifices, and all the hard moments led me to this point, just as your struggles have led you all to this momentous day.
Our struggles are what help us to discover what we're made of. Our struggles tell the story. They help us discover our voices. They help us discover our true selves.
Struggle builds character, and this graduating class is truly remarkable because you're moving onto the next chapter during one of the most vulnerable times our nation has seen in generations, a time when this nation needs you most. We need individuals who are passionate about working in their communities and uplifting those who need an extra hand. The problems facing this city, this state, this country and this world are wide ranging and seemingly endless, but so too are the solutions. In each of you represents a solution.
You are all uniquely qualified to take all of the challenges our communities are facing every day, because your institution is deliberate in its approach to education. Not too many schools require their students to take a vested interest in community involvement. All of you graduating today took a course that peeled back the layers of what it means to be an active community member. Whether it was one of the myriad classes on civic engagement or community planning, this institution made it a priority for you to take an applied interest in becoming part of a collective.
We do not exist in silos. We are each a smaller part of the larger mosaic that makes up the human community. Pace University values real world understanding and experience, led by professors who are leaders in their field. Getting your undergraduate degree in New York City, one of the greatest cities in the world, has no doubt enhanced your experience in many ways. This institution attracts some of the most diverse student communities, many of which are first generation scholars from low-income backgrounds. The mark of a successful university can be measured by the post graduate success of its alumni.
Pace has a proven track record, of not just driving its graduates into successful lives, but it also is rated the number one school for driving economic mobility for those who are seeking their better and more fulfilling life. This can of course be defined in many ways. And as you have seen especially throughout the last year, re-imagining the role we play in our society is one of the most pressing issues we face at this moment in time.
We must collectively understand how best to rebuild our communities and ensure that we are exercising compassionate and human solutions to today's most pressing problems. We're taking steps towards a better future because of the work of generations upon generations of people who stand on each other's shoulders to bend the arc of the moral universe towards justice. Justice, which has come at a heavy price, but whose presence must not be ignored. Class of 2021, it is now your turn to take your place on the shoulders of your predecessors. And bravo, many of you have already started.
If you took a sign and peacefully protested, knocked on doors for candidates, if you voted, if you made a decision to support a local business, you have indeed begun your journey. All of this matters because how you take your place in the circle of life will dictate the future for many generations to come. We do not choose the life circumstances into which we are born, but we do have the power to choose what we do with the life we are given.
You're ready for this next chapter. You're ready step into the unknown to fulfill your duty, whatever that may be. Go forth and make every second, every moment, and every decision count.
Go forth and know that however you seek to better the world, that we, that you, your parents, all of those who supported you are rooting for you because we believe that the future is bright for our state and nation because you are all in it. So once again, congratulations Class of 2021, enjoy this moment, you've earned it. Now go out and crush it. Congratulations. Thank you, Attorney General James, for that powerful reminder to make every moment, and every decision count.
I'm sure our graduates will do just that. I will now present our Opportunitas in Action Award. This award recognizes a leader who has made innovative, positive contributions to the community in the spirit of Pace's motto, Opportunitas. I'm very pleased to present this year's Opportunitas in Action Award to a Dyson College alumnus and previous Doctor of Humane Letters recipient, José Luis Castro. Mr. Castro is an expert on today's most pressing area, global public health.
He is the president and CEO of Vital Strategies, which partners with governments and civil society groups around the world to help countries confront the most pressing public health problems. Over the past year, his organization has provided technical support to more than 50 countries in their COVID-19 response This is Mr. Castro's life's work. As an immigrant to the United States from Cuba, and a 1988 Pace graduate, Mr. Castro has worked with the government of India on the world's largest tuberculosis control program, led the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, and served as the first president of the NCD Alliance, a network dedicated to combating the global non-communicable disease epidemic. At Vital Strategies, he oversees work in 73 countries to tackle the world's leading killers, primarily in low and middle income countries. His organization has touched the lives of more than 2 billion people.
In a year when the crucial importance of effective public health has been so clearly demonstrated, we recognize that José Luis Castro has exemplified the ideals of Opportunitas, and we are so very pleased to honor him with our Opportunitas in Action Award. Mr. Castro will accept the award from his office in Paris. Gracias Krislov, honored guest, graduates, and friends of Pace University. Thank for the Opportunitas in Action Award, I am humbled and honored to receive this recognition during this ceremonies.
And congratulations to the graduates, you have made it, and I wish you success in your careers. I believe that Pace University is about opportunities, and I want to thank the faculty at Pace, who taught me and helped me build the foundations of my career. Before coming to pace, I was a shy young man deficient in confidence, totally lacking understanding of how things worked in the world, and processing a stutter that would have made it impossible to speak in any events like this, but I arrived with a passion for my major, political science and international affairs. The four years that I studied at Pace, changed my life and I overcame most of those deficiencies that I mentioned.
I learned how to think on my feet. I learned that everyone's point of view is important. I learned about the arts of consensus building, persuasion, leadership, and collaboration. I graduated from Pace thinking that my accomplishments were completing my academic work, leading the Model United Nations team to win national competitions, and gaining admission to select the graduate school programs. But it wasn't until years later that I realized how much more I accomplished.
I went out into the world and a career in global health, in which my success and failure will be determined by the very same things that I learned at Pace. I worked to build and lead Viral Strategies, a global health organization that is tackling the most pressing public health problems in the world. I work to encourage nations to sign the world's only global health treaty to reduce tobacco use. And during 20 years, I worked with real United Nations on important global health issues.
Most of you have been students at Pace for about four years, and graduation is a major milestone in your life. After today, when you become a Pace alumni, you will have many opportunities to extend your connections to Pace and the friendships that you develop here. And I hope that you continue to engage with and support the university as I have done. How beautiful and how rewarding it is to be able to support the school that helped you become who you became.
You never know what your college experience will give you, or what you may give the world as a result of what you have received from Pace. Keep your eyes open for the moment, for the opportunity that might change your life and don't let it pass you by when it comes. Thank you and congratulations to all the graduates. Congratulations, José, and thank you for the life-saving work that you're doing.
I am now very happy to introduce today's valedictorian speaker, Tyler Edward Cavataro. Tyler is graduating from the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences with a degree in criminal justice, and he is being honored as one of several students graduating today with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Tyler, it's your time to address the candidates.
Hello, I would like to thank President Krislov, the Board of Trustees, and the faculty for inviting me to give this speech today. And welcome family and friends of the Pace University Class of 2021. My name is Tyler Cavataro. I wrote this speech in my childhood bedroom sitting at a desk I outgrew in middle school. Like everyone else, I didn't think I would be back there.
I was expecting more "New York City" moments such as accidentally taking a subway into Queens on orientation day. When quarantine hit, my parents welcomed me back with open arms. They re-converted my bedroom back from the new office. They even tolerated me explaining the story behind drivers license. It's this love triangle about Olivia Rodrigo tearfully...
I'm sorry now is not the time. And my parents fully supported me on this virtual college experience. I would like to talk about support, both giving it and accepting it, lending a hand and receiving a favor. We would not be at this university without the support of our family, have not succeeded without our professors, and will not thrive in the future without friends. Mutual support is human nature. It's how our ancestors built great cities like New York.
Lending a hand is a lesson I learned and honored during my time at Pace. I volunteered at Westchester County Jail to fulfill major requirements. There, I witnessed first-hand what support can mean to a person, and how the absence of that can plague them.
On campus, reaching out to a new person in the cafeteria or on a crowded elevator could spark a new friendship. I grew up in Westchester County but elected to study at the New York City campus for its energy. There's a push and pull between the downtown campus and the vibrant city that surrounds it. A short walk or subway trip from One Pace Plaza can transport you to the Oculus, Rockefeller Park, Jersey City, Broadway or Central Park.
But the energy and support on campus and within our close-knit community offered me something special to return to after each time I ventured out. I dove into criminal justice classes in the morning, political debates in the cafeteria during lunch, and school clubs at night. One of my professors volunteered throughout her life and encouraged me to use further education to support communities in need. A classmate opened my eyes to differing opinions in subjects ranging from law to the best downtown deli. The Criminal Justice Society that I joined introduced me to a new group of people doing something outside of classwork. Before the pandemic, giving support felt simple.
It was donating a winter jacket, holding a door open, saying a bless you without fear of contagion, attending my professor's office hours and receiving help from a librarian. When the pandemic hit, it became a greater challenge. It might only be a wave through a window, a direct message over Zoom, or really asking if someone is doing alright. As we hopefully enter a post-pandemic period, support will be easier to offer and even more necessary.
There will be an awkward period. I suggest a hug if possible, an invitation to a fun event, or even just a smile, now revealed without a mask. Standing here today, we long for a run around Battery Park, an afternoon break at South Street Seaport, a study session in the fishbowl, or a midnight breakfast at the cafe. But being alone over this pandemic year, without our caring and funny classmates, we have a greater appreciation for the effect one person can have on another. As Emily Dickinson wrote, "They might not need me; but they might.
I'll let my head be just in sight." So out in the world, with diplomas in hand, we should give that support back. Back to each other, back to our exhausted parents, to a widowed grandparent, or an unemployed neighbor. Starting today, do what you can to help, so we can thrive, together, hand in hand.
But just make sure to sanitize first. Thank you. Please welcome the provost of Pace University, Dr.Vanya Quinones.
Thank you, Tyler. We are all so proud of your great academic achievements. And now I have the privilege of announcing the winners of our Trustees Award and Community Service Award.
The Trustees Award is presented to the graduating student whose academic accomplishments and positive contributions to University life exemplify the highest level of achievement attainable for an undergrad. I am pleased to present Pace University's 2021 Trustees Award to Michaiyla Carmichael. Michaiyla has proven herself to be a committed scholar, who specialized research projects include South African apartheid history, and the U.S. prison-industrial complex. She is an integral part of our campus community, working as a teaching assistant and with Residential Life and the Office of Multicultural Affairs. She's also an inclusive activist who helped build coalitions and create social justice events not just among her peers but with New York City high school students and historically underrepresented populations.
And she also launched her own fashion line at the 2018 New York Fashion Week. The Community Service Award, is presented to the graduating student whose contributions to the university community and our surrounding community most admirably embody the value of social responsibility. Today I am pleased to present Pace University's 2021 Community Service Award to Emily Oberlender.
Who is deeply engaged in the Pace community and the wider community. At Pace, she has served as a mentor and peer educator, and worked with the Office of Sexual and Interpersonal Wellness in the fight against sexual violence. Across the city, she has has volunteered with Meals on Wheels, Self Help Community Services, the Gay Men Health Crisis, and the Clinton Housing Development Company. Emily's goal is to represent New York City in Congress, and she says that's just her short-term goal. I'm looking forward to seeing what she does in the long term. Congratulations, Michaiyla and Emily, for your impressive accomplishments.
And to all of our graduates today, congratulations. Now I have the pleasure of once again introducing President Marvin Krislov. Provost Quinones, thank you. Tyler, what a wonderful valedictorian speech. Attorney General James, thank you for your wise words, and congratulations on the honor of your new degree.
José Luis Castro, thank you for your service, and congratulations on your award. And to the Pace University Class of 2021, you did it! This has not been an easy year. The final year of college is never easy. There are papers and problem sets and assignments and exams. There are internships and jobs and research and lab work.
There are friends and families and social lives and community service. Like each year's graduating class, you made it through all of that. But, Class of 2021, you did so much more.
Through what was arguably the hardest year that any of us has ever faced. And now you've made it to Commencement. Congratulations! You have earned your diplomas through intelligence, persistence, determination, and, especially resilience. You've made friends and mentors in this extraordinary community we call Pace University.
I am so happy for all you have achieved, and I am so excited to see the future ahead of you. First I wanna take a moment to congratulate your parents and families. These are the people who have been your biggest boosters for your entire lives.
They have supported you through your time at Pace, and even more than any of us would have expected through this last year. Parents and families, thank you for entrusting us with these graduates. Today marks your accomplishment too. I also want to acknowledge our dedicated faculty and staff, who kept working through their own challenges to continue supporting your education. Faculty and staff, thank you for all you do to ensure that our students succeed.
Finally, I want to acknowledge that while we have all been affected by the pandemic, some of you have been affected profoundly. Some of you faced illness, some hardship, and some have suffered the loss of family or friends. If you have suffered a loss, we grieve with you. And I ask that everyone join me in a moment of silence. Thank you.
As tough as these last months have been, I also know that this period should not and will not define your time with us. You spent several years here at Pace, and you learned so much both inside and outside the classroom. You mastered your areas of study, and you grew as people.
When you look back at your time at Pace, I hope you will remember the totality of your experience, not only this strange last year. Still, today I want to talk about this tough time and the lessons we can draw from it. First, we learned, once again, just how small the world is in ways both good and not so good.
The world economy and the world's health flow together. Diseases travel but so do good people, good will, kindness, and humanity, let's preserve that connection. Second, we have learned that technology can keep us together.
All of us, right now, are a little bit Zoom fatigued, but we know that Zoom is part of how we've been able to be here today. Technology is how school continued, how work continued, how life continued. The triumph of this technology is an opportunity for you, the next generation of our leaders to find a new way forward.
You can take this technology join in with a strong sense of mission, and help tackle some of the world's most pressing problems. Finally, we learned how vulnerable we all are, and how much we can accomplish together. We've all been deeply challenged, and we've also rediscovered our common humanity. We relearned the values of empathy, kindness, and community.
I encourage you to use the good we've seen to help tackle the bad. The remarkable and speedy development of the vaccines and their swift rollout across the United States, reminds us once again of the great things we can accomplish when we work together. Remember how we've all worked together in ways big and small, and use that, as you carry on, to further the greater good. No doubt you've drawn other lessons from this experience. I am sure you will continue to ruminate on what it has meant. Ultimately, that is the purpose of education, to push us to ask questions and to seek answers to the deepest and most difficult problems.
Some of you will do that in business, marketing, or finance. Some in science, health, or tech. Some in law and justice.
Others in the arts, humanities, and education. Whatever you do, you will take what you've learned at Pace, you will take what you've learned through this pandemic, and you will keep those lessons with you through out your lives and your work. I know this might feel like a scary time to be launching a career, but I believe that it's a moment of incredible opportunity.
Thanks to these remarkable vaccines, our country is starting to open up and our economy is roaring back. Career Services tells me that thousands of jobs have been posted in recent months, from hundreds of different employers. It's true the world has changed, and that might mean that job opportunities have changed too, but they are out there. You need to be flexible and adaptable. Be open-minded, try new things, and forge new paths.
This can be your chance to truly make a difference, so perhaps explore careers in nonprofits or social service. Think about what you've learned through this year of pandemic, the resilience and commitment that you drew upon. Use those lessons to find or even to create the new jobs of our post-pandemic world.
I know that all of you in the brave Class of 2021 are going to go out and make your dreams come true. Before we conclude, there are two special graduates I want to recognize today. One is Dean Harriet Feldman.
For the past 28 years, Dean Feldman has ably overseen what was once the Lienhard School of Nursing, and since 2010 has been the College of Health Professions. She is retiring from that role at the end of this academic year. Dean Feldman has been a dedicated leader of this University, a trusted advisor to me since I arrived here, and a proud mentor to several generations of healthcare professionals. Thank you, Harriet, for your service, and thank you for agreeing to stay in the Pace family as a senior advisor. The other is Mark Besca, the chairman of the Pace Board of Trustees, who will shortly confer your degrees. It will be his last time doing so, as he is stepping down as board chair after eight years in the role.
His commitment to his alma mater is total, and his counsel to me, especially through this last year, has been invaluable. Mark, I'm so grateful for our work together, and we're fortunate that you'll remain a trustee. Graduates, I now want to make a final request of you before you leave Pace. When you look back at your time in college, I want you to remember this year, and what you learned.
But I also want you to remember the good times you had at Pace, the friends and mentors you found, the relationships you built, the experiences you treasured. You can and will make a difference in this world, each one of you. You will use your Pace education to create a better and stronger world for all us.
I am so proud of you. We look forward to seeing you in person as soon as we can. Congratulations, good luck, and stay in touch with us your Pace family. And now I ask Provost Vanya Quinones to return to the stage for the conferral of degrees.
It is now time for the main event, the conferral of degrees and your formal graduation. Dean Larry Singleton, will you now present the candidates from the Lubin School of Business? Provost Quinones, University leaders, honored guests, from the Lubin School of Business in New York City, it is my honor and privilege to present the 546 New York City members of the Lubin School Class of 2021 for their degrees. Thank you, Dean Singleton. And now I invite Mark Besca, chairman of the Pace University Board of Trustees, to formally confer upon these candidates their degrees.
Pace University Class of 2021, I'm sorry we're not together in person today. But I'm very excited by what I'm about to say. Graduates, by the authority vested in me by the State of New York, and with the concurrence of the Pace University Board of Trustees, I confer upon each one of you, as approved by the Faculty of your College or School, the appropriate degree in course with all the rights and responsibilities thereunto. You are now officially Pace graduates. Congratulations! Congratulations! You are all now Pace graduates! And you have earned the right to celebrate.
So, let's now head over to Pier 17 at South Street Seaport, and your chance to watch the Class of 2021 walk across the stage and receive their scrolls at their in-person celebrations. Thank you for joining us. And congratulations to the brave and resilient Pace Class of 2021!