Commencement is my absolute favorite event of the year, and what a pleasure it was to return to Radio City Music Hall for the ceremonies this year. With its gorgeous art deco interior and sweeping scale, it is as elegant—and appropriate—a venue for these milestone celebrations as one can imagine. FIT last conducted commencement ceremonies here in 2010. At that time, we held one exercise only for the entire graduating class, and because of the space limitations, the number of guests per graduate was limited, and the graduates were not able to walk across the stage. Despite all that, because of its elegant ambiance, we would have happily returned each year, but Radio City began renting its space to Circque du Soleil in 2011 and remained unavailable to us until now.
And so here we are, eight years later, back at Radio City, and because we have a larger graduating class and more students choose to participate, we conduct two ceremonies. Two ceremonies means that students can have additional guests. Our students always wanted to walk across the stage and have their names announced—and who can blame them? It is one of the great rites of graduation. So, with two ceremonies we can accommodate that request.
At commencement, everyone is happy—it is a wonderful, festive occasion. Bouquets of flowers abound, the audience is filled with cheering smiling families and friends. The graduates are excited and applaud at key moments, even at the exchange of colors, that unique FIT ritual at which the graduating class turns over the flags of the United States, the State of New York, the City of New York and FIT to next year’s class. That ritual is a reminder of the significance of the occasion—a significance that is not lost on anyone. And that would be true no matter where commencement is held. But to me, being in this beautiful, quintessential New York environment, elevated the spirits even more. I am pleased to share with you some images from Commencement 2018.