Rounding the Corner to Commencement

Pace seniors are getting ready to walk the walk at this week’s Commencement ceremonies in NYC and PLV. Find out everything you need to know about ceremonies, live webcasts, honorary degree recipients, award winners, and more! >>Read More

Pace is proud to present the next generation of leaders, thinkers, teachers, and innovators as we celebrate Commencement 2011 on our three campuses.

On May 8, we kicked off our Commencement season as the Law School ushered in the next crop of powerhouse attorneys at the 33rd Annual Commencement. Chief State Judge Jonathan Lippman, an influential figure in the New York State judicial system for the past four decades, was awarded a Doctor of Laws.

On May 20, Westchester undergraduates will celebrate Commencement at the Goldstein Fitness Center on the PLV Campus. And both NYC undergraduate students and Westchester and NYC graduate students will celebrate at the iconic Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, located a block from Central Park, on Sunday, May 22. (See dates and times for Commencement here.)

This year’s ceremonies feature some new additions: LCD screens at all ceremonies in NYC and Westchester, video montages of your Pace experience, an overflow viewing area for 1,900 at Damrosch Park (located adjacent to Avery Fisher Hall) simulcasting in real-time in an air-conditioned tent, and other festive ingredients will help make your day a memorable one. T-Bone will also be at all three ceremonies, taking Polaroid snapshots with students and their families, so make sure to give him a high-paw when you see him!

All ceremonies will be webcast live as follows:

Westchester Undergraduate Ceremony, Friday, May 20, beginning at 10:50 a.m.

NYC Undergraduate Ceremony, Sunday, May 22, beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Westchester/NYC Graduate Ceremony, Sunday, May 22, beginning at 4:00 p.m.

Honorary degrees will be awarded at the three ceremonies to individuals who have had a profound impact in the fields of academia, medicine, business, and entertainment, while also contributing to society at large.

Joseph M. Pastore Jr., PhD, Professor Emeritus in Residence at Pace’s Lubin School of Business, will receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at the Westchester Undergraduate Ceremony. Pastore is not only a beloved professor, but also a sought-after expert on business management and a mediator, who was in charge of overseeing the desegregation of Yonkers’ public schools in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education.

At our NYC Undergraduate ceremony, Dr. Jo Ivey Boufford, president of the New York Academy of Medicine, will receive an honorary Doctorate of Science. An influential leader in health care, Boufford is a national authority on public health issues, including health care for minorities and underserved communities, and has been active in local, national, and global health care reform. As “NYC’s doctor,” she leads the charge to protect and advance the health of people through interdisciplinary approaches to policy, leadership, education, community engagement, and innovative research.

Jim Whitaker, chairman and producer of Whitaker Entertainment at Walt Disney Studios, will receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts at the combined NYC and Westchester Graduate Ceremony. Whitaker, who rose from intern to president of motion picture production at Imagine Entertainment, has executive produced Changeling, American Gangster, Friday Night Lights, Cinderella Man, Curious George, 8 Mile, and various other notable films. Most recently, Whitaker founded Project Rebirth, a nonprofit that for the past nine years has used time-lapse photography to chronicle the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site. Rebirth, the powerful feature-length documentary which Whitaker directed and co-produced, premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim and will soon be part of a permanent exhibit at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

A number of Pace students will also be recognized for their academic achievement and community engagement at both ceremonies.

In NYC, the Trustee Award for students who have positively contributed to University life and whose academic accomplishments exemplify the highest level of achievement will be awarded to Ashley M. Hamilton, a member of the Pforzheimer Honors College and multiple honor societies who has also volunteered for Charity: Water, served as the Community Services Coordinator for the Pace University Marketing Association and as a Peer Leader for incoming students, and recently applied for a Fulbright to do research in South Africa on raising awareness of HIV/AIDS.

The Community Service Awards for social responsibility will be given to Lorendra Pinder and Sang Lee. Pinder is also a member of the Pforzheimer Honors College who has served as head delegate for Pace’s Model United Nations team, president of the University’s Stonewall Coalition, editor for the New York City Campus literary magazine Aphros, and orientation leader and tutor for Pace students and has also volunteered with the Center for Community Action and Research, travelled to New Orleans to help rebuild hurricane-ravaged parts of the city, and served as a public policy intern at Gay Men’s Health Crisis and the international relations department for the 92nd Street YM-YWHA. Lee has worked with the Chinese Progressive Association of New York City to teach courses in financial literacy and English to Chinese immigrants, initiated a human sustainability project in collaboration with PepsiCo, worked as a certified tax preparer for Pace’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, volunteered for numerous events to raise funding for breast cancer and multiple sclerosis, and volunteered at Pace’s Open House and Preview weekends, student activities fair, and Career Services events, as well as serving as president of Beta Alpha Psi Honor Society and been the recipient of multiple awards.

In Westchester, the Trustee Awards will be given to Vincent Birkenmeyer and Christopher Racioppo. Birkenmeyer has served as president for multiple student organizations, worked with the Board of Trustees on University-wide initiatives, and given guidance to younger students as a resident assistant, peer leader, and orientation leader. He has been recognized for his work through multiple awards including: Bronze Medal Finalist for the Jefferson Awards, Outstanding Student Leader of the Year, Greek Member of the Year, and Alpha Phi Delta’s Trustee Award. Racioppo has also been an active member of the Pace Community during his time—taking part in Pace’s Computer Society and the Pforzheimer Honors College, volunteering at numerous honors events for underprivileged children, hunger drives, and Relay for Life, and serving as a referee for the Lower Hudson Valley FIRST Lego challenges and helping coordinate the first-ever Tech Expo for the Pace Community.

The Community Service Award will be given to Olivia Drabczyk, a member of the Pforzheimer Honors College and several honor societies who has also served as the editor-in-chief of the Legend Yearbook, the service and social committee chair for Phi Sigma Sigma, a member of the Model United Nations and Philanthropy Committee, and a student ambassador. Drabczyk also volunteers as an on-call counselor for the Pleasantville Cottage School and the Edenwald School and is a “big sister” to an eleven-year-old girl at the Pleasantville Cottage School and the personal assistant to a developmentally challenged woman from a neighboring community.

For more information about each of the honorary degree recipients, view the press release. To read more about each ceremony, visit the Commencement website.