New York University Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Sub Navigation

Secrets from the Keeper of the NYU Torch

Tents? Tassels? The freshly washed hair of the graduating class? John DeSantis, senior director of technical services in NYU's Faculty of Arts and Sciences, is the guy who makes sure none of those things catch fire each year at Commencement.

For 35 years, he's been the keeper of the NYU torch—the person who coaches the lucky student who gets to carry it and who makes sure its yellow flame shines brightly on the big day. Made by Tiffany, the torch was a gift to NYU in 1911, but was retired from use in 1920s—that is, until the 1970s, when DeSantis was called upon to help revive the tradition. He's been keeping watch over the University's precious symbol ever since.

NYU Stories

140 WORDS

MDMA…E…X—whatever you call it, ecstasy remains popular among adolescents despite an overall decline in its use since the late 1990s and early 2000s. 4.4% of high school seniors reported using ecstasy within the last year, with boys at particularly high risk for use...

READ MORE on research by Joseph J. Palamar and Dimitra Kamboukos

 


TEEN SHAKESPEARE ACTORS

SLIDESHOW

So Much Drama: Teen Shakespeare Scholars Take on ‘Twelfth Night’
Read More


toddler story time

VIDEO

For Infants and Toddlers, It's Story Time at Steinhardt
Read More


Notorious R.B.G. T-Shirt

Q&A

Old School? Not Ruth Bader Ginsburg!
Read More


Liberal Studies Dean Fred Schwarzbach

Q&A

Dean Confidential: Diner Breakfasts and HGTV Marathons with Liberal Studies' Fred Schwarzbach
Read More


Antoine Cerfon and Miranda Holmes-Cerfon with their child

Q&A

Married Courant Professors Solve the ‘Two-Body’ Problem
Read More

NYU Footer