The moment when we send our graduates out into the world on Commencement Day is always a bittersweet one—a time for not only wishing them well, but also reflecting on where we've been, where we're headed, and what we'll most remember from the past academic year. In 2017-18 we celebrated the remarkable achievements of our accomplished students, faculty, and staff—from MacArthur research grants to historic Golden Globes and Academy Awards nominations. As part of our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, we undertook an ambitious university-wide effort to assess how all students, faculty, administrators, and staff experience NYU. This school year also brought some important new faces to campus, including leaders of our diversity and sustainability initiatives and the first female dean of our engineering school. Under President Hamilton's leadership, the University took concrete steps to reaffirm some of our core values, including the importance of evidence-based research, the free and global exchange of ideas, and the university as an agent of positive social change. We're looking forward to the fall, when we'll meet the Class of 2022, the most selective and most diverse class in our history. But before we get too carried away with summer projects and daydreams, here's a month-by-month look back at some recent milestones.
- NYU jumped six positions to crack the top 30 on the U.S. News and World Report best national universities list.
- NYU moved up five positions—to no. 27—on the Times Higher Education World Universities rankings.
- NYU welcomed Lisa M. Coleman, former chief diversity officer and special assistant to the president at Harvard, as our our first-ever chief diversity officer and senior vice president for global inclusion, diversity, and strategic innovation.
- President Hamilton wrote to President Trump to urge him to preserve DACA, and, once the program was rescinded, vowed to press members of Congress to develop a solution for students covered by it.
- NYU welcomed Madame Liu Yandong, vice premier of the People’s Republic of China, to celebrate U.S.-China collaboration and innovation. She gave an address and received the NYU Presidential Medal from President Hamilton.
- NYU alumni won a total of 18 Emmy Awards in major categories including Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor, and Outstanding Directing.
- NYU announced Professional Edge, a plan to give undergraduates industry-specific skills that support their future professional goals by allowing juniors and seniors to take non-credit courses cost-free in our School of Professional Studies.
- NYU's Prison Education Program celebrated its first graduation for five men who earned NYU Associate of Arts Degrees in Liberal Studies.
- Two Tisch students were awarded gold medals in the 2017 Student Academy Awards.
- Two NYU alumni—playwright Annie Baker (Tisch '03) and immunologist Gabriel Victora (GSAS '11)—were named 2017 MacArthur Fellows.
- At the recommendation of NYU's Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, the University invited students, faculty, staff, and administrators to participate in the first-ever University-wide campus climate study to evaluate the living, learning, and working environment at NYU.
- NYU launched the AI Now Institute, the first research center of its kind dedicated to the study of the social implications of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and algorithmic accountability.
- The University announced that for the Spring 2018 semester, NYU would admit and cover tuition, housing, and a meal plan for a special cohort of undergraduate students currently enrolled in Puerto Rican colleges whose education was disrupted by Hurricane Maria and other storms.
- Two NYU Abu Dhabi seniors—Maitha Salem AlMemari (UAE) and Chaimaa Fadil (Morocco)—were selected as 2018 UAE Rhodes Scholars.
- Students and faculty briefed members of the European Parliament in NYU's third conference on Race, Racism, and Xenophobia in a Global Context—held in Brussels at the invitation of Italian Member of the European Parliament Cécile Kyenge.
- NYU Tandon launched the Veterans Future Lab, New York's first business incubator for military veterans.
- NYU launched the NYU Veterans and Military Resource Center, an additional space on campus offering services, assistance, and connections for NYU veterans.
- According to the annual “Open Doors” study released by the Institute of International Education (IIE), NYU ranked no. 1 in both the number of international students studying at NYU and the number of NYU students studying abroad—a distinction we've held since 2014.
- The National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development survey ranked NYU at 23 for total research expenditures, up from 55 just seven years ago.
- NYU's Center for Urban Science and Progress became the first resident of 370 Jay Street, NYU's newly renovated 530,000 square-foot Brooklyn hub for art, tech, and media.
- President Hamilton wrote to members of Congress about provisions of the proposed tax plan that are harmful to higher education.
- NYU alumni received 14 Golden Globe Awards nominations.
- Three NYU alumni—Fei Peng (Stern '17), Nofar, Mandy Tan (NYU Abu Dhabi '15), and Anthony Wang (Stern '15)—and one NYU student, Hamrany (Shanghai '18), were named 2019 Schwarzman scholars.
- The inaugural Being@NYU Assessment of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion concluded on Dec. 15, with 22,020 students, faculty, administrators, and staff—or 31.96% of our community—participating in the effort.
- NYU Steinhardt's Global TIES for Children Center was announced as the research partner in a $100 million MacArthur Foundation-funded project to educate young children displaced by conflict and persecution in the Middle East.
- Rangarajan “Raghu” Sundaram—a faculty member for more than two decades—was appointed the new Dean of the Stern School of Business.
- In keeping with our commitments to building a greener campus and a greener planet, NYU welcomed Cecil Scheib as our first assistant vice president for sustainability.
- For the 12th year in a row, NYU broke admissions records, with 75,037 students applying for first year admission—an increase of 12% over last year.
- Six NYU alumni won Golden Globe Awards, including Sterling K. Brown (TSOA ’01), the first African-American actor to win for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama, and Aziz Ansari (Stern '04), the first Asian-American actor to win Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy.
- President Hamilton wrote to all 29 members of the New York congressional delegation urging Congress to permanently protect students—known as Dreamers—who had been covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
- Tisch celebrated its 25th year at the Sundance Film Festival.
- Seven NYUers earned Oscar nominations, including Rachel Morrison (TSOA ’00), the first woman to be nominated for Best Cinematography, and Dee Rees (TSOA ’07), the first African-American woman to be nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.
- Five NYU faculty and alumni won Grammy Awards.
- A team of four NYU MBA students won the 8th Annual Deloitte MBA National Case Competition. It was the first time that Stern—which beat out Sloan (MIT), Tuck (Dartmouth), and Fuqua (Duke)—took the top honors.
- Four NYU faculty were awarded Sloan Foundation Research Fellowships, given to early-career scientists and scholars “whose achievements mark them as among the very best scientific minds working today.”
- Two NYU studies were chosen by STAT News for its STAT Madness 2018—a virtual tournament of science in which the public votes for which studies they like best in a bracketed format.
- Three NYU schools—the Steinhardt School, the School of Medicine, and the Wagner School—moved into the U.S. News and World Report graduate school rankings Top 10 at no. 6, no. 3, and no. 9 respectively.
- NYU alumnus Mark Bridges (TSOA '87) won an Oscar for Best Costume Design—plus a ride on a jet ski with Helen Mirren.
- NYU's Prison Education Program received a $1 million, three-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
- In keeping with his wishes, a ceremony was held in Kimmel to celebrate the life of Christopher "Tripp" Zanetis (CAS '03), an FDNY fire marshal and Air National Guard pilot who died at age 37 in an American military helicopter crash along the Iraq-Syria border on March 15.
- 2017-18 Distinguished Teaching Awards went to: David E. Kirkland, associate professor of education, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development; Michael Knox, industry professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Tandon School of Engineering; Sara Murphy, clinical associate professor, Gallatin School of Individualized Study; Charlie Rubin, associate professor, Rita and Burton Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing, Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television, Tisch School of the Arts; Stephen Small, professor of biology, Faculty of Arts and Science; and Kim Taylor-Thompson, professor of clinical law, School of Law.
- NYU admitted the most selective and most diverse class in its history, with an acceptance rate of 19 percent (down from 28 percent from last year), and a 33 percent increase in African American students accepted and a 14 percent increase in Latinx students accepted.
- NYU athlete Kaitlyn Read (CAS ’17, SPS ’19) received the Jostens Trophy, which is awarded annually to one male and one female Division III basketball player for excellence in academics, athletics, and service.
- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was announced as the speaker for NYU's 2018 Commencement at Yankee Stadium. (See the other honorary degree recipients here.)
- CAS junior Amanda Lawson was named a 2018 Truman Scholar.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked NYU no. 3 in research-and-development spending in the humanities among private universities.
- President Hamilton joined students, faculty, and staff in Washington Square Park for the second annual March for Science, a rally and teach-in in support of science and evidence-based public policy.
- Jelena Kovačević—head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and professor of biomedical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University—has been named dean of NYU Tandon. She is the first woman to hold the position in the 164-year history of the school.
- H. Austin Booth, Vice Provost for University Libraries at the University at Buffalo, was appointed as the new Dean of Libraries.
- NYU's co-ed table tennis team won the college national championship.
- Preliminary results from the Being@NYU Assessment of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion were presented to the NYU community on April 24, with a detailed report to come this summer.