2023 Commencement to make improvements and feature guest speakers


The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center from the 2022 Commencement Ceremony. © Pace University Photography | Marketing and Communications.

Lilah McCormack, Copy Editor

This year’s Pace University Commencement Ceremony will once again hail from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Monday, May 15 and an array of influential speakers will be present to celebrate the graduating Class of 2023.

“There will be some tweaks from last year,” said Jesse Oxfeld, a member of the Executive Commencement Committee.

Last spring was the first time the university held the ceremony at the Tennis Center.

“Now that we have more experience with the venue,” Oxfeld said, “things like more time between the ceremonies, more food vendors on the Tennis Center grounds, processionals for students and faculty at the start of each ceremony, all are things to make the events even more celebratory.”

The commencement’s headlining speaker is a Pace University alumnus and fashion designer Telfar Clemens, who Oxfeld says is “committed to inclusivity and representation” in the fashion industry.

“We’re excited by his success. We’re excited that students are excited about him, and we’re excited that he represents Pace’s values,” said Oxfeld. “I can tell you that we had a call with him last week, and he’s really looking forward to this.”

Telfar will also be presented with an honorary doctorate.

Aldrin Enis, President of One Hundred Black Men of New York, will be receiving the Opportunitas In Action award.

Oxfeld said that “the Opportunitas In Action winner [is] for people who serve the community in the spirit of our motto [Opportunitas].”

Pace has worked alongside the non-profit organization, which launched in 1963, and per its website, is comprised of “like-minded leaders who meet to advocate for improvement in conditions in their communities.”

Ivan Seidenberg, a retired CEO of the Verizon Corporation, will be representing his namesake, the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.

Dean Jonathan Hill of the Seidenberg School described him as a “contemporary of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates,” leading the way for the transformation of the telecom industry.”

Coming from a humble background, Seidenberg worked his way through school, and with his many accomplishments, was able to create a scholarship for Pace students.

“And as a result, we have an incredibly diverse student body and we have a commitment to making sure that there are great opportunities for smart, aspiring students,” said Hill.

Elizabeth Warren, the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, will be addressing the Elisabeth Haub School of Law.

Warren, along with her husband Bruce H. Mann, a Harvard Law School professor, will both receive honorary degrees.

The 2023 Pace University Commencement Ceremony will be held on May 15. The main ceremony takes place from 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

You can find more information about this year’s ceremony on the Pace University website.