NYU Shanghai to Hold Fifth Undergraduate Commencement in Person May 25

May 24 2021

After a year-long absence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, NYU Shanghai will return to the Shanghai Oriental Art Center to celebrate the achievements of the nearly 300 members of the Class of 2021 in an in-person commencement ceremony on Tuesday, May 25. About 100 members of NYU’s Class of 2021 who are participating in the university’s “Go-Local” program have also been invited to walk in the commencement. 

A separate convocation for NYU Shanghai graduate students will be held on campus on May 30.

Each senior will be allowed to invite a maximum of two guests to attend the live ceremony, which will be livestreamed at 10 a.m. China Standard Time for students  unable to return to China and for friends and family members around the world. All graduates, faculty, staff, and audience members attending the ceremony will be required to wear masks when seated in the audience. 

“I am looking forward to celebrating an extraordinary class who have bravely completed their studies in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Chancellor Tong Shijun, who will be attending his first commencement since becoming the chancellor of the university last June. “It will be heartening to shake each hand and express my best wishes to them in person, as we cautiously return to pre-pandemic normal.”

Dr. Zhang Wenhong, the infectious disease expert who has been helping to lead Shanghai's successful response to COVID-19, will address the Class of 2021 at the ceremony. Chancellors Tong and Lehman will present him with the NYU Shanghai Chancellor’s Medal of Honor after as a token of our university’s thanks for his extraordinary contributions to the ongoing fight against the virus.

“I’m honored and delighted to be able to congratulate the members of NYU Shanghai’s Class of 2021 later this year,” Zhang said earlier this year. “As we all know, defeating this unprecedented pandemic will depend on the cooperation across borders and cultures -- and I hope our Chinese and international graduates will find ways to contribute to this work.”

Many familiar NYU Shanghai commencement rituals will return to the live ceremony, including an academic procession featuring graduates, faculty representatives, and university leadership, as well as the passing of the NYU Shanghai torch from the graduating class to the rising senior class. On the evening of May 25, the Oriental Pearl Tower will be lit up in purple in honor of NYU Shanghai’s graduates. NYU President Andrew Hamilton, Chair of NYU Board of Trustees William Berkley ’66, and one of the student speakers, Taylah Bland ’21, an Australian who has been unable to return to China, will appear in recorded videos. The other senior speaker, Zhang Qilin ’21, will address his peers in person. 

The ceremony will conclude with a live rendition by the NYU Shanghai Chorale of the Alma Mater, Lights of NYU Shanghai.

NYU Shanghai's Second Graduate Convocation on May 30 in the university auditorium will celebrate the graduation of 105 students from the NYU Shanghai-NYU Stern joint master's programs in Data Analytics & Business Computing and in Quantitative Finance, and the NYU Shanghai-NYU Steinhardt joint master's program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). NYU Shanghai will also hold a separate graduation celebration for the “Go-Local” graduate students on May 21.