NYU Shanghai’s Inaugural Class is approaching the finish line: the university’s first ever commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 28. To begin the countdown, the Class of 2017 celebrated Thursday, Mar. 2 at the 88 Shanghai kickoff party, marking 88 days until commencement. Exclusive to the senior class, the event featured a photo booth, live performances, a “museum” of photos and memories, and a toast to the Inaugural Class and all they accomplished at NYU Shanghai.
The countdown event, 88 Shanghai, draws its name from the Chinese pronunciation of the numbers 88–ba ba, which sounds like bye-bye. Eight is also a very lucky number in Chinese legend. Run by a combination of NYU Shanghai seniors and staff, there will be eight events counting down to commencement.
“It was touching to see many of my classmates together again in one room,” said Tyler Rhorick, the Chair of the Commencement Committee. Rhorick acted as the emcee of the kickoff event, leading the toast and making sure everything was going smoothly. In addition to Rhorick, Events Coordinator Meizhi Ng, Commencement Coordinator Gu Sheng and Alumni Coordinator Mike Chen helped ensure that the event was memorable for seniors.
The kickoff party also served to unite the senior class after their mandatory semester abroad, with some students taking up to three semesters in other parts of the NYU Global Network. “We haven’t had an opportunity [to gather together] since we returned from study abroad, so it meant a lot for me personally and also my classmates,” Rhorick added.
The kickoff celebration also was emotional for senior Roxanne Roman. “It felt unbelievably sweet to be around my classmates,” Roman said. “We have all grown so much and changed over the years and it wasn’t clear how much until we were all gathered together again and sharing stories of what we’ve been up to and what’s coming next.”
Roman is part of the 2013 Fund, which raises money for the senior class gift. The seniors decided to give to the school money for scholarships, which will be awarded to incoming freshman to “pass on the NYU Shanghai experience,” affirms Roman. The 2013 Fund represents the lasting impact the Class of 2017 has on NYU Shanghai, even after their commencement.
Future 88 Shanghai events include Karaoke Night, a day at Disneyland Shanghai, and Amethyst Spring Formal, concluding with commencement at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center. Bye-bye and thank you, Class of 2017.
This article was written by Savannah Billman. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.
Photo Credit: Wenqian Hu