Pictured: Student speaker Nilkanth Savaliya addresses attendees as members of New York Tech’s leadership team and others look on from the stage at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
On November 15, family and friends gathered at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre to celebrate New York Tech-Vancouver’s Class of 2021.
The commencement ceremony, postponed from June 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, also celebrated the Classes of 2019 and 2020. The ceremony was live-streamed for those who were unable to attend in person. Graduates who were not in attendance had their name and photo along with a quote featured in a slide presentation.
In her address, Irene Young, Ed.D., executive director and campus dean for Vancouver, congratulated the newest alumni and acknowledged their success despite the pandemic. “We all had to learn very quickly how to carry on communicating, working, teaching, and learning through virtual technology,” she said. “We can’t change the past, and yes, COVID-19 is still with us. But you have succeeded despite the obstacles, and we are here on this important day to acknowledge your great success.”
New York Tech President Hank Foley, Ph.D., delivered remarks remotely, and Junius Gonzales, M.D., M.B.A., provost and vice president for academic affairs, was on hand to confer the degrees to the 325 graduates.
“A New York Tech degree helps to ensure that your future will be defined by great opportunities and gratifying rewards,” said President Foley. “I know that because of the degree you’ve earned you are indeed prepared for the jobs of today and of the future.”
Student speakers Vidushi Rajput (M.B.A. ’21) and Nilkanth Savaliya (M.S. ’21), whose major was energy management, congratulated their classmates and offered encouraging words for what lies ahead.
“If there is anything that 2021 has taught us it is this: we, the class of 2021, have faced extraordinary challenges like never before and successfully conquered them,” said Savaliya. “We, the class of 2021, have adapted to life during a global pandemic unlike anything before and have grown stronger together. We, the class of 2021, have proven that no matter how tough the challenge is, no matter how difficult the obstacles, no matter how demanding the environment, we will overcome them and succeed. Because we are strong and resilient.”
Students in Vancouver represent more than 20 nations, and many international graduates find work in Canada. The night after commencement, more than 75 new graduates, alumni, faculty, and staff attended an alumni event at New York Tech’s Broadway Tech Centre location. Patrick Minson, M.B.A., M.P.A., vice president for development and alumni relations, addressed the guests virtually.
“As graduates of New York Tech, you have been given the necessary tools and skills to change the world and reinvent the future,” said Minson. “Consequently, much of what the public will read, hear, think, and believe about your alma mater, will largely be based upon the actions and good deeds of graduates like you.”