Class of 2022 to be Honored at NYU Abu Dhabi's Ninth Commencement Ceremony

Some 350 students from 85 countries will graduate at the in-person commencement ceremony, the first since the onset of the global pandemic in the spring of 2020.

NYU Abu Dhabi will honor the Class of 2022 – its largest graduating class to date – with some 350 students representing 85 countries, during the University’s ninth Commencement ceremony, which will be held fully in-person for the first time since the onset of the global pandemic in the spring of 2020.

Chair of the NYU Board of Trustees William R. Berkley, NYU President Andrew Hamilton, and NYUAD Vice Chancellor Mariët Westermann will officiate the ceremony.

“This will be a very special commencement, as after two years our community will finally be able to come together in-person to honor our remarkable graduating class. They will hear from a wonderful group of esteemed speakers whose words and experiences in the arts, sciences, and university life are certain to inspire,” Westermann said.

The graduating class will hear remarks from two keynote speakers: Ellen Stofan, PhD,  Under Secretary for Science and Research at the Smithsonian Institution, and internationally renowned sculptor Sir Anish Kapoor, CBE.

Stofan oversees the science museums and science research centers as well as the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives, Office of International Relations, Smithsonian Scholarly Press and Scientific Diving Program. Stofan previously was the John and Adrienne Mars Director of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.  As the former Chief Scientist of NASA, Stofan served as the principal advisor to the Administrator on science programs and strategic planning. Stofan held senior scientist positions at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Currently, she is on the science team of the NASA Dragonfly mission to Titan. Stofan holds master’s and doctorate degrees in geological sciences from Brown University, and a bachelor’s degree from the College of William & Mary. 

Kapoor was born in Mumbai in 1954 and lives and works in London. He studied sculpture at Hornsey College of Art  followed by postgraduate studies at Chelsea School of Art, London. He represented Britain at the 44th Venice Biennale, for which he was awarded the Premio Duemila and won the Turner Prize in 1991. Recent solo exhibitions include: Gallerie dell’Accademia and Palazzo Manfrin, Venice, Italy, , Modern Art Oxford, UK, Houghton Hall, Norfolk, UK, ‘HOWL’, Rotunda, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany; CAFA Art Museum / Imperial Ancestral Temple, Beijing; CorpArtes, Santiago; Serralves, Museu de Arte Contemorânea, Porto; Parque de la Memoria, Buenos Aires; Museo d'Arte Contemporanea di Roma (MACRO), Rome; Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC), Mexico City; Château de Versailles, France. Permanent commissions include Cloud Gate in Millennium Park in Chicago; Orbit, Queen Elizabeth Park, London and Ark Nova, the world’s first inflatable mobile concert hall, Japan.

Furthermore, NYUAD Associate Professor of Literature and outgoing Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Development Bryan Waterman will deliver a valedictory speech. Class of 2022 student Yusril Nurhidayat will speak on behalf of the graduating class. Originally from Indonesia, Nurhidayat majored in Social Research and Public Policy with a minor in Theater. Emirati student Hessa AlAbbas will also offer brief welcome remarks.

The ceremony will feature a video tribute to the Class of 2022, in addition to awards and accolades including NYUAD’s Piano Prize, the Global Leadership Award, and the Distinguished Alumni Award, as well as the Ceremony of the Torch. Commencement 2022 will also be live-streamed in English and Arabic on NYUAD’s official Commencement page.