As anyone who has ever strolled down West Fourth Street, climbed the Kimmel steps, or tried to find an empty study carrel at Bobst during finals week knows, there's rarely a dull moment in the life of an NYUer. But for the University, too, 2015 seemed to be an especially full year—packed with big news for the institution and major accomplishments by our faculty, students, staff, and alumni.
We named a 16th president—Andrew Hamilton, a noted chemist and vice chancellor of the University of Oxford—who will officially assume his duties on January 1, 2016, and bid a fond farewell to our 15th, John Sexton, who was awarded the prestigious TIAA-CREF Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence this year. Gallatin grad Zachary Fine and NYU Abu Dhabi senior Farah Shamout each won 2016 Rhodes Scholarships. A $100 million gift from Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon heralded the renamed NYU Tandon School of Engineering. The Steinhardt school celebrated its 125th anniversary, while Tisch feted its 50th. And we fielded a varsity baseball team for the first time in 41 years.
Those are just a few highlights from a remarkable year. As we toast to a new chapter in 2016, here’s more fodder for a 2015 page in the annals of NYU history:
NYU created a new Faculty of Health, which is made up of a new College of Global Public Health, a newly stand-alone College of Nursing, and the College of Dentistry.
Thanks in part to the more than 13,000 students who performed over 1.3 million hours of service in a single year, NYU was awarded the Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in recognition of our strong commitment to civic engagement as central to university life.
Following a university-wide town hall, Provost David W. McLaughlin announced several steps—including increased staffing in the Center for Multicultural Education and Programs and the creation of an ad hoc committee of the University Senate to address issues of race, tolerance, and diversity—toward making the university stronger, fairer, more welcoming, and inclusive.
The Langone Medical Center completed the most comprehensive face transplant ever performed, and the first of its kind in New York State.
2015 brought its share of famous faces to campus, from TV legend Norman Lear and NBA commissioner David Stern to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton, Paraguayan president Horacio Cartes, and Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif. Pharrell Williams became an artist in residence at Tisch. Lin-Manuel Miranda (of Hamilton fame) talked with Sonia Manzano (aka Maria from Sesame Street) and columnist Juan González in a King Juan Carlos of Spain panel discussion on Latino performing artists and their communities. NAACP Legal Defense Fund leader Sherrilyn Ifill spoke at the 2015 Commencement. Billy Crystal presided over the renaming of Tisch's 111 Second Avenue in honor of his father, jazz impresario Jack Crystal. The Beastie Boys signed a deal to allow Clive Davis Institute students to produce music in their legendary Oscilloscope recording studio.
It was a big year for rankings, too. NYU came in at no. 30 on the Times Higher Education World University rankings, up from 60 in 2010. We were no. 32 among the U.S. News and World Report best national universities and no. 34 on its best global university ranking. The Center for World University Rankings put us at no. 18 internationally.
And our talented faculty and alumni garnered almost too many accolades to count. They earned Emmy, GRAMMY, Oscar, Tony, Golden Globe, and Drama Desk nods, not to mention Guggenheim fellowships, MacArthur "genius" grants, and NSF CAREER awards. With Princeton's John Nash, Courant mathematician Louis Nirenberg was awarded an Abel Prize, NYU's fourth in 10 years. Steinhardt's Julia Wolfe won the Pulitzer Prize for music for her multimedia oratorio Anthracite Fields, and Creative Writing Program alumnus Gregory Pardlo won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. History professor Greg Grandin won a Bancroft Prize for his book Empire of Necessity, New York Institute of Humanities fellow Ta-Nehisi Coates won a National Book Award for Between the World and Me, and Tisch's Spike Lee won an honorary Oscar.
Among students, CAS's Krystal McLeod was named a 2015 Truman Scholar, and Gallatin's Robert Clinton was selected as a 2016 Marshall Scholar. Mansi Prakash (CAS ’16) was named one of the "Top 10 College Women" for 2015 by Glamour magazine. NYU Abu Dhabi's Arfa Rehman and Hamel Al Qubaisi were selected as 2015 Rhodes Scholars.
Meanwhile, American Pharoah, managed by 2015 grad Justin Zayat, galloped his way to a Triple Crown, athletics' Kim Wyant became the only female head coach of a men's team in all of NCAA soccer, and NYU researchers (finally) calculated how many licks it takes to get to the center of a lollipop.
You could say it's been busy around here.