There's never a dull moment at NYU, but this has been an especially momentous year in the life of the University. Here are just few of the changes, announcements, and accomplishments that made 2016 one to remember.
NYU welcomed our 16th president, Andy Hamilton, who started work on January 1 and was officially installed during an Inauguration Celebration Week in September. Katherine Fleming, formerly NYU's Deputy Provost and Vice Chancellor for Europe, was named provost and began her new role on September 1. We also bid a sad farewell to NYU's 13th president, 11-term Indiana Congressman John Brademas, who passed away in July.
Under President Hamilton's leadership and with the guidance of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Advisory Task Force, the University undertook several specific actions to ensure that all members of our community feel like they belong at NYU, including beginning a search for a Chief Diversity Offer, embarking on a campus climate study, establishing a bias response hotline, and increasing funding in the Center for Multicultural Education and Programs.
President Hamilton and the Affordability Steering Community and Working Group also announced some first steps toward lessening the financial burden of getting an education at NYU, including setting the lowest year-to-year increase in cost-of-attendance in 20 years, freezing housing and meal plan costs on our New York campuses for 2016-17, piloting an intergenerational homestay option to reduce housing costs, partnering with the Scholly app to help students find additional scholarships, and reducing meal plan requirements for freshmen. In March, President Hamilton also announced plans to raise the minimum wage for all student workers to $15/hour over the next three school years.
In April, the College of Nursing received a $30 million gift (the largest ever gift to an established nursing school) from Howard and Rose-Marie "Rory" Meyers, becoming the Rory Meyers College of Nursing.
For Memorial Day, the University announced that it was tripling the "Yellow Ribbon" grant award for students pursuing an undergraduate education here. On Veterans Day we installed a memorial in honor of all those in the University community who have served in the Armed Forces since NYU's founding in 1831, and profiled 12 currently enrolled student veterans.
In December, the University released architectural renderings and floor plans for 181 Mercer Street, a new multipurpose building that will be home to 58 classrooms, state-of-the art performing arts spaces, an air-conditioned gym, student and faculty housing, and more.
Three students—Dubai Abulhoul and Guillaume Sylvain of NYU Abu Dhabi and Melissa Godin of Global Liberal Studies in New York—were named 2017 Rhodes Scholars. NYU students also competed in the Olympics, performed with Shakespeare in the Park, won the Food Network's Chopped College Edition, reported on the 2016 presidential election returns in a live Election Night broadcast, invented erasable tattoo ink, were selected in the MLB draft, made Glamour magazine's 2016 College Women of the Year, and raised $403,132 for The Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation, which provides financial assistance to families with children fighting cancer.
Professors Subhash Khot and Julia Wolfe and alumnus Branden Jacobs-Jenkins all won MacArthur "genius grants." Distinguished writer in residence James McBride received a National Humanities Medal. NYU faculty and alumni were well-represented (as always) among this year's Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony winners, as well as on Forbes "30 Under 30" and New York Times notable books lists. President Hamilton made City & State's list of 50 influential Manhattanites.
The University itself also earned honors and accolades, coming in at no. 1 among U.S. universities on the Times Higher Education rankings of graduate employability, and ranking no. 27—up from no. 34 last year—on the U.S. News & World Report's Best Global Universities. We topped Playbill's list of colleges with alumni currently on Broadway (of course) and were named a rising star by the Nature Index for research articles published in high-quality science journals. Individual schools and departments got plenty of nods, too. The Princeton Review put NYU's video game design programs in the top 10 for both graduates and undergraduates. NYU Langone made the U.S. News Top 10 Best Hospitals 2016-17 Honor Roll. College Magazine called us the no. 2 dance school in the nation. Both Steinhardt's music business program and Tisch's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music made Billboard's list of 12 elite business schools shaping the industry's future.
NYU scholars made headlines with research on the microbes living on ATM keypads, noise pollution in New York City, building a real-life holodeck (and a tractor beam), how our brains categorize race, the genius of Prince, carbon monoxide in hookah bars, the economics of "ethnic" cuisine, and the finding that students prefer teachers of color,
Ford Foundation President Darren Walker, scientist Emmanuelle Charpentier, actor and director Billy Crystal, Congressman and Civil Rights Leader John Lewis, and Judge Margaret Marshall received honorary degrees at the 2016 Commencement. The year also brought more than its share of famous faces to campus, including Vice President Joe Biden, Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Mayor Bill De Blasio, Hamilton star Javier Muñoz, and Pussy Riot's Nadya Tolokonnikova, as well as Pharell, Seal, Questlove, Spike Lee, Janet Mock, Rebel Wilson, and Billy Eichner.
It was quite a year.