May 19, 2023

Yankee Stadium during commencement

On Wednesday, May 17, NYU’s class of 2023 became the newest NYU alumni as President Andrew Hamilton presided over his last All-University Commencement on a picturesque day at Yankee Stadium. With nearly 30,000 in attendance, Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of Finland, addressed the graduates on behalf of the honorary degree recipients, including Carolyn Bertozzi, Nobel-Winning Chemist; Misty Copeland, Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre; and Freeman A. Hrabowski, Science Education Innovator and University of Maryland Baltimore County President Emeritus. Members of NYU’s 50th anniversary class, the Class of 1973, were also in attendance and were recognized by Willian Berkley (STERN ’66), Chair of the Board of Trustees. 

Sanna Marin

©Miller: Courtesy of NYU Photo Bureau

"When you walk out of this stadium today, I want you to remember these three things. You have to want things to change. It is your turn to take over. And most importantly: Don’t be afraid. You are enough. You are capable. Together, with others, you can do anything. And you must. Because there is no one else to do it but you." –Sanna Marin

Attendees also heard from the graduates themselves, including several student performers; Ron Hall (CAS ’23), Chair, Student Government, who made a special presentation to President Hamilton on behalf of his classmates; and student speaker Donovan Dior Dixon (CAS ’23).

"The torch is more than a logo… it represents light in the darkness, but more than that, it represents us, and the power we have, individually, and collectively to fan the flames of transformation through community and empowerment." –Donovan Dior Dixon (CAS ’23)


As President Hamilton addressed the class just before the conferral of degrees, he noted the connection between himself, at the conclusion of his eight-year tenure as president, and the 20,000-plus members of the Class of 2023, at a moment of major transition. Together, he reminded them they persevered through challenging and unprecedented times, including the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The path is not always straight. But contained in those ups and downs, those twists and turns, are possibilities one might never have anticipated… Contained in those setbacks, contained in those struggles, may be the seed of something unexpected and great… So as you step out into the world, I want you to remember what compels us here at NYU—Your curiosity, your imagination, your ingenuity, your quest for discovery and impact, and your search for common ground among differences. Let these carry you through whatever path your journey takes you on."  –President Andrew Hamilton
President Andrew Hamilton

photo credit: @nyuniversity on Instagram

Throughout the two-plus hour ceremony, the stadium was filled with cheers, abundant smiles, and some teary eyes as the Class of 2023 soaked in their final moments of this important chapter in their lives. In case you missed it, watch the ceremony here.

Welcome to the NYU alumni community, NYU 2023!