The most memorable moments of the 2020-2021 academic year, as viewed on Instagram.

The most "liked" images in our Instagram grid stand as a visual record of the academic year's most memorable moments—from the joyous to the serious. Here are the top 21 posts that stood out to our audiences, arranged chronologically for 2020-2021. 


September 12, 2020

A person wearing a mask walks on a NYC sidewalk near NYU buildings

"For this generation of students—already grappling with the pressing challenges of inequality, inequities in our criminal justice system, the legacy of racism, political divisiveness, climate change—COVID-19 is a particularly tough test. Nevertheless, when I look at NYU’s students—young people who study hard, focus on their goals, build impressive records of achievement, apply themselves to problems, push for social justice and change—I see precisely the kind of perseverance and self-discipline that earlier generations have summoned to confront the difficulties of their time. I believe our students today are no less capable than previous generations of rising to what is being asked of them." —President Hamilton wrote in a letter to the NYU community at the start of the fall semester.


September 18, 2020

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was awarded an NYU honorary degree in 1994, spoke with professor Kenji Yoshino at an event at @nyulaw in 2018. As part of that conversation on diversity, inclusion, and belonging, she said—as she often did: "People have asked me when will there be enough [women on the Court] and my answer is, 'When there are nine.'"


November 2, 2020

A pumpkin carving of Avatar: The Last Airbender

CONGRATS to Shannon Louie (@NYUStern '22) who won our first Pumpkin Carving Contest! 🎃🏆 A special thanks to everyone who participated by sending in their photos and voting. 💜 The 34 entries received a total of more than 1,500 votes!


November 30, 2020

Janet Yellen receives an honorary degree on stage at NYU's commencement ceremony.

Janet Yellen, who has just been nominated by President-Elect Joe Biden for Secretary of the Treasury, received an honorary Doctor of Commercial Science degree from President John Sexton during NYU's 2014 Commencement ceremony at Yankee Stadium. In her address to that year's graduating class, she spoke about the importance of grit and having the courage to take a stand: "One aspect of grit that I think is particularly important is the willingness to take a stand when circumstances demand it. Such circumstances may not be all that frequent, but in every life, there will be crucial moments when having the courage to stand up for what you believe will be immensely important." Photo credit: ©Gallo: Courtesy of NYU Photo Bureau.


December 7, 2020

Akash Nagapurkar

When Akash Nagapurkar (@NYUTandon '23) took a course in advanced writing for engineers last year, he relished the chance to interview Dr. Adam Ratner—an NYU professor of pediatrics and microbiology, and an expert in pediatric infectious diseases—about his latest research. Being on a pre-med track and having always imagined working with children, @akash_n2 was especially drawn to Ratner’s findings. Click the photo to read more.


December 13, 2020

Shadows of people walking

As this unprecedented semester draws to a close, we wanted to give a special shoutout to our first-year students, who have had the unusual experience of starting college during a pandemic. But their circumstances aren't the only thing that makes them unique: Members of the Class of 2024 were chosen from among over 80,000 of the world's most qualified applicants, making this the most selective and one of the most diverse classes in NYU's history. They hail from 82 countries and 49 states, and 18% are the first in their families to attend college. (Swipe for even more stats.) We 💜 you, #NYU2024, we're proud of you, and we know your future is bright.


December 23, 2020

Two people walk in a snowy Washington Square Park.

'Tis the season for festive Zoom backgrounds! ✨ Turn your virtual holiday party into a winter wonderland with these scenes from NYU winters past. ❄️


December 24, 2020

A person walks toward a lit tree in Brooklyn during winter.

A 🎄 grows in Brooklyn. 💜


January 6, 2021

Two NYU flags hang on the outside of a building.

From NYU President Andrew Hamilton's statement on the events of January 6 in Washington: "On this unnerving day, I console myself with four thoughts. First, that notwithstanding its January date, I will consider this one of the final incidents of 2020 rather than one of the opening events of 2021. Second, I hope — indeed, I believe — that the Constitutional traditions and democratic institutions that drew me to American citizenship will, along with common sense, reassert themselves, and that this episode will — by casting the stakes in such sharp relief — prove to be the death knell for this destructive brand of politics, as the Army-McCarthy hearings were in their time. Third, that regardless of today’s awfulness, there will be a peaceful transition of presidential power two weeks hence. And fourth, that I am lucky to pass the coming period of reflection and correction in the company of a community of scholars and learners committed to truth, peace, mutual respect, inclusion, and true justice." Click the photo to read more.


January 13, 2021

People walking in Washington Square Park with Bobst in the background.

📣 NYU received 100,131 applications for undergraduate admission to #NYU2025—marking a 20% increase over last year's applications, and the 14th record-breaking year in a row.


February 2, 2021

People play in the snow in Washington Square Park.

First snow day(s) of 2021 ✔️ Thanks to the NYUers who captured these wintry NYC scenes! ❄️ Click the photo for more. 📷: Cayden (@NYUTandon '23)


February 7, 2021

People play in the snow in Washington Square Park with Bobst library in the background

❄️ More winter magic ❄️


February 16, 2021

Collage of NYU-related images and text that reads: Welcome, #NYU2025!

Congratulations to the brand new members of #NYU2025 who are receiving Early Decision II acceptances today! Welcome home. 💜


February 19, 2021

People walking in the snow near NYU's NYC campus

heading into the weekend like ❄️🤩💜️⛄️


February 24, 2021

An NYU flag on a building and snow on bushes

“Yesterday, the Mayor announced new efforts to combat anti-Asian bigotry and called on all New Yorkers to fight this expanding wrong. It is a call we should all heed," wrote NYU President Andy Hamilton in a statement today. Click the photo to read more.


March 10, 2021

NYU College of Arts and Science banner on the outside of a building.

Many of our students are choosing their majors today as part of @NYUCAS's Declaration Day. (Congrats to all! 🎉) This decision represents a significant milestone in the life any college student. Which course of study did YOU choose—and why? 🤓


March 16, 2021

A person installs NYU Returns posters on a window.

Spotted in the windows around our Washington Square campus: newly installed reminders to stay the course, because COVID isn't over—at least not quite yet. A little extra perseverance now will pay off in the long run. So we're asking our community to keep wearing masks, avoiding indoor gatherings, and looking forward to the day when we can all talk about something else! 😅 ©️Miller: Courtesy of NYU Photo Bureau


March 31, 2021

Image of the Empire State Building with text overlay that reads: Congratulations, #NYU2025

Congratulations to the new members of #NYU2025 who are receiving Regular Decision acceptances today! Welcome home 💜 Share your favorite video and tag @nyuniversity to be featured.


April 19, 2021

People walking in a crosswalk near NYU's NYC campus.

NYU intends to require vaccinations for all students returning to campus in NYC and other US sites for the fall semester, while accommodating medical and religious exemptions. We expect that this requirement will also extend to students who are planning on studying away this fall. Click the photo to read more.


April 25, 2021

Chloe Zhao holding her Oscar.

Verified Congratulations to Chloé Zhao (@NYUTisch), who won Best Director at the #Oscars for @nomadlandfilm! She is first woman of color and second woman in history to win the @TheAcademy Award in this category. #Nomadland also won the award for Best Picture. #VioletPride 💜🤩 “I have always found goodness in the people I met everywhere I went in the world. So this is for anyone who has the faith and the courage to hold on to the goodness in themselves and to hold on to the goodness in each other no matter how difficult it is to do that,” Zhao said in her acceptance speech. 📷: Getty Images


May 1, 2021

A yellow taxi and the Washington Square Arch.

Happy #CollegeSigningDay and WELCOME HOME to #NYU2025! 🎉 Tell us ⬇️: Why did YOU choose NYU? 💜 Tag @nyuniversity and @meetnyu in your celebratory posts, and swipe through ➡️ for some impressive stats about our newly admitted class—exceptional in terms of both academic excellence and diversity.