Good news provides boost for CCNY community
BY Laura Taveras
First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver the commencement address to CCNY’s class of 2016 on Friday, June 3! That news has spread like wildfire this week. The news received a lot of coverage on social media. CCNY’s Facebook announcement has gotten over 2.6k likes, over 2,000 shares, and over 300 comments (at this writing).
Graduating students are ecstatic, alums are jealous, and the Class of 2017 wonders how the school can possibly top this year’s guest speaker.
USG vice president Andre Desir understands the importance of this year’s special guest. “This changes the nature of the environment,” says Desir, 27, a graduating political science major. “It adds a level of importance, and it adds a level of honor to our graduation.”
Obama is more than a First Lady, Desir adds: “She stands on her merits.”
Chemical Engineer, Devinra Ramadhar, 21, agrees. “She’s an independent woman, very successful in her industry,” Ramadhar says. “She was the successful one until Barack became senator.”
Hilimani Gupta thinks Obama’s appearance helps validate all her hard work. “This makes every thesis, project and assignment worth it!” comments Gupta. “Cheers to the Class of 2016. CANNOT wait to graduate.”
Not surprisingly, non-graduating students are already going to great lengths to attend the ceremony. Michelle Obama fan Michael Sanchez, a 21-year-old junior, is desperate for a seat at commencement. “I need to make graduating friends, and get a ticket,” says Sanchez, an international studies major. “I am so jelly…I can volunteer, hold the mic for her or do anything you know.”
Jose Porretti, a junior poli sci major, also feels envious. He’s already thinking about his own commencement in 2017. “It’s going to up the standards for next year,” he says.
Faculty worries about the operations of the event. Political science lecturer Richard Bernstein is happy that a prominent figure will give this year’s speech, but will avoid the hassles involved in attending. “I am thrilled she’s here, but it’d going to be a security nightmare,” he says. “I am okay with watching it from my office.”
Alumni Elisa Cavaliere says she’s proud. “This is amazing,” she states. “So glad to hear such a phenomenal woman is coming to speak at City College.”
As part of her Reach Higher initiative Michelle Obama has made it her mission to travel to schools throughout the U.S, and give commencement speeches. But CCNY’s speech marks her last address under her husband’s presidency. This makes the event not only memorable for CCNY’s 2016 graduating class, but also for the First Lady.