It's been another busy school year for NYU Stories. We baked a pie with the president and did yoga with a lawyer, tallied up the funniest alumni to appear on Saturday Night Live and debated whether shame can be used for good.

Then, to top it all off, we got a bunch of professors to sing (yep, sing!), karaoke-style, an '80s-pop farewell to this year's batch of graduating students. (You might consider it our final gift to the class of 2015.)

But if all that's not enough, here's a list of 15 more stories to remind you of all that's weird and wonderful about this place—a multimedia memento from the 2014-15 school year and a tribute to the kind of stuff that happens only at NYU.


collage: archival photo of Albert Gallatin superimposed on a city skyline

"He came, he gave, and he didn't take anything for himself. He gave a lot more to America than he got from America."

Meet Albert Gallatin, NYU's Founding Father




Sex. Race. Age. Emotional State. Personality. These are just some of the characteristics the human brain gleans about another person through split-second visual perceptions—a process studied extensively at NYU's Social Cognitive & Neural Sciences Lab.

Judge Someone in an Instant? Who, Me?


photo: NYC street scene viewed through a chain-link fence

"New Yorkers don’t mean to be rude; they’re just impatient. Time is highly valued here, so we show others respect by making an effort not to waste theirs."

Why Do New Yorkers Seem So Rude?




Gallatin professor Louise Harpman is the co-owner (with Scott Specht) of the world's largest collection of independently patented disposable coffee lids.

Peel, Pucker, Pinch, or Puncture? Coffee Lids, Explored


collage: archival photo of Abraham Lincoln, black map of the United States with red, white, and blue tears falling down

"Lincoln’s death was for many living in 1865 what 9/11 was for us, or the JFK assassination was a generation ago—a startling national tragedy that seared the mundane details of an otherwise ordinary day into permanent memory." 

How Americans Mourned Lincoln—or Didn't




Each year, a group of NYU students, alumni, and staff travel to the New York State capitol to advocate for the expansion of state financial aid.

Dear Albany: I Stand for Student Aid


photo: A Library of Congress C-1 cassette playback machine and several cassettes are pictured. The titles are Dykes Loving Dykes, How to Stay Out of the Gynecologist's Office, and Lesbian Path.

"Blind people, like any readers, could hardly live on a diet of classics alone. There was a growing demand for recordings of works that—whether politically radical or sexually explicit—the Library of Congress deemed inappropriate or unworthy of recording."

Beyond Braille: A History of Reading By Ear




Speaking from New York City’s Union Square Greemarket at the height of the fall harvest, Steinhardt’s Carolyn Dimitri discusses how vouchers for produce can help improve the diets of the economically disadvantaged.

Farm-Fresh Veggies for All


archival photo: apartment buildings in the South Bronx

"Every block had an 'auntie'—the person who looked out for everybody, the eyes and ears of the block who knew which kids were misbehaving."

How the Bronx Nurtured the Man Who'd Nurture the City



photo: latte in a paper cup on a copper table

"There is by nature a basic conflict in the life of an academic between a social life and academic life. I think that a café is a nice bridge between the two. I really feel that some of the cafés in the world are intellectual environments not less than Harvard."

A Clean, Well-Lighted, Well-Caffeinated Place




From 1910 to 1939, Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, was home to the Eugenics Record Office, a center for genetic research aimed at preserving a “pure” American hereditary ideal by ridding the nation of the “unfit” and “degenerate."

When Long Island Was the Eugenics Capital of the World


photo: Public Safety Officer Dennis Kroner in the basement of the Brown building, with a closeup of his badge

"I know the building is haunted, because you can feel it."

Traces of an American Tragedy: Inside the Former Triangle Shirtwaist Factory



collage: black and white brain on a paper background

"Contrary to popular belief, positive thinking might actually hinder us by feigning goal attainment and creating a feeling of satisfaction that consequently drains us of motivational energy. In dreaming it, you undercut the energy you need to do it."

The Downside of Positive Thinking




"Reports of the death of the book have been greatly exaggerated," says Max Schumann, channeling Mark Twain in this video sneak peek at 80WSE's exhibit Learn to Read Art: A Surviving History of Printed Matter.

The Death of Print Has Been Greatly Exaggerated


collage: male and female anatomical diagrams and Venus and Mars symbols

"A century after modern sex education started, its dilemmas remained largely the same: whose values were right for children and adolescents, who would decide, and why."

Let's (Not?) Talk About Sex?