2018 Convocation Highlights

Congratulations to the Class of 2018!

Convocation is a rich, time-honored tradition at the NYU School of Professional Studies, during which we celebrate the accomplishments of our students. The Convocation ceremonies provide an opportunity for those graduating, their family members, administrators, and faculty members to come together and acknowledge their impressive achievements, and to applaud the hard work and sacrifices they have made to enrich their lives and advance their careers through education.

Browse through our photo and video highlights galleries of the School’s Graduate and Undergraduate Convocation ceremonies as well as of NYU’s Commencement. Below you will find the full bios of the keynote and student class speakers.

Convocation Speakers

Graduate Speaker: Ann Compton

Graduate Speaker: Ann Compton

Former ABC News White House Correspondent (1973-2014)

Ann Compton has always been a pioneer. As the first woman assigned to cover the White House on network television and with 41 years on the air for ABC News, her longevity and impact are unparalleled. After retiring from daily coverage in 2014, Compton reignited her legendary career by returning to ABC to cover the 2016 political conventions, as well as accepting a fellowship at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government focusing on media coverage of the 2016 election. She now combines her personal experiences on the White House beat with fresh scholarship from the prestigious Miller Center for presidential studies in Virginia.

Compton’s career at ABC News spanned seven presidents and 10 presidential campaigns. Assigned to the White House in 1974, she reported for ABC News broadcasts from Washington and around the globe, traveling with presidents, vice presidents, and first ladies. President Barack Obama announced her retirement when calling on her at a West Wing news conference saying, “Ann Compton, everybody here knows, is not only the consummate professional but is also just a pleasure to get to know.”

Compton was traveling with President George W. Bush on September 11, 2001, and was the only broadcast reporter to remain on Air Force One to report on behalf of all the press during the chaotic hours following the terrorist attacks, when the president was unable to return directly to Washington. For that coverage, which she considers the most significant story of her career, Compton received special recognition in the awards bestowed on ABC’s coverage, including an Emmy, a Peabody, and the Silver Baton from the DuPont awards at Columbia University.

Her colleagues elected Compton as president of the White House Correspondents’ Association for 2007–2008. She was chairman of the Radio-Television Correspondents’ Association on Capitol Hill in 1987-1988. The Commission on Presidential Debates selected Compton to serve as a debate panelist in 1988 and 1992. Additionally, she has been inducted into six halls of fame and has received five honorary university degrees.

Compton is married to Dr. William Hughes, a physician in Washington, DC, and they are the parents of three sons and a daughter, and the proud grandparents of three granddaughters. Compton says her most valued award is a golden statuette bestowed by the National Mothers’ Day committee naming her a “Mother of the Year” in 1988.

Undergraduate Speaker: Bill Bradley

Undergraduate Speaker: Bill Bradley

Former US Senator, New Jersey
Managing Director, Allen & Company LLC
Olympic Gold Medalist, NBA Hall of Famer, Best-Selling Author

Senator Bill Bradley is a managing director of Allen & Company LLC. From 2001–2004, he acted as chief outside advisor to McKinsey & Company’s nonprofit practice. He was a senior advisor and vice chairman of the International Council of JP Morgan & Co. from 1997-1999. During that time, he also worked as an essayist for CBS Evening News and was a visiting professor at Stanford University, University of Notre Dame, and the University of Maryland.

Bradley served in the US Senate from 1979–1997, representing the state of New Jersey. In 2000, he was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States.

Prior to serving in the Senate, he was an Olympic gold medalist in 1964 and a professional basketball player with the New York Knicks from 1967–1977, during which time they won two NBA championships.

In 1982, he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Bradley holds a bachelor of arts degree in American history from Princeton University and a master of arts degree from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

He has authored seven books on American politics, culture, and economy, including his latest book We Can All Do Better. Currently, Bradley hosts American Voices, a weekly show on Sirius XM Satellite Radio that highlights the remarkable accomplishments of Americans both famous and unknown.


Student Convocation Speakers

Graduate Speaker: Jeremy Reese

Graduate Speaker: Jeremy Reese
MS in Project Management Division of Programs in Business

New Orleans native Jeremy Reese has an established career with Equinox Fitness Clubs, where he is the general manager of Equinox East 74th Street. He started out at the company as regional manager of the Equinox Kids’ Club in New York City in 2011. During his tenure, the kids’ club program saw a 105 percent yearon- year growth in revenue and a 23 percent drop in attrition. Due to his performance, he quickly moved up the ranks of the organization to his current position, overseeing the seventhlargest revenue producer in the company out of 96 clubs, and spearheading an extensive $4 million renovation in 2017–2018.

Reese describes his Equinox career as “kismet.” Previously, he had worked as an actor after attending Ithaca College’s very competitive conservatory program through which he earned a bachelor of fine arts in musical theater. As he recounts, he had gone to Equinox to inquire about a membership, and while there, he met the club’s national manager whose daughter had also attended Ithaca and whose show he had recently seen. “Since then, I have never looked back,” he says. “I love what I do because I am able to be a leader, a revenue driver, a confidante to members—and best of all, a key player in the growth and development of my team.”

Seeking to rise to even higher levels in his career and also to acquire skill sets that would help him to manage on a day-today basis, Reese decided to pursue graduate study. In light of his professional responsibilities and long work hours, he required a program with flexible course schedules. He enrolled in the MS in project management offered by the NYU School of Professional Studies Division of Programs in Business to help him hone his skills while learning from professors with the real-world experience he valued. Throughout his studies, he has been able to take what he has learned in the area of project management, and apply it to numerous facets of his job—managing operations, meetings, communications, and diverse personnel.

Despite his full work load and his intense study schedule (he maintains a 4.0 grade point average), Reese has found time to participate in many school activities. He is president of the Project Management Student Network. Under his leadership, this NYUSPS club has grown from 66 members to 138. He also is an active participant on the NYUSPS Graduate Student Council. “I thrive on working hard and on continuing to challenge myself no matter how busy I am,” he acknowledges.

His next big challenge immediately after graduation is training to run the New York Marathon for a second consecutive year. Inspired by his exceptional professors at NYUSPS, he also hopes to return to teach in the project management program. “I have learned so much here and want to give back,” he explains. As far as his career goes, armed with his newly acquired skills, the sky is the limit with an incredibly bright future ahead.

Undergraduate Speaker: Shirley Lu

Undergraduate Speaker: Shirley Lu
BS in Hospitality and Tourism Management Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism

The child of immigrant parents from mainland China, Shirley Lu grew up in Arcadia, California. For as long as she can remember, however, she yearned to dwell in New York City, where she was born. “It’s always been my dream to live in this city—the business center of the world,” she admits. “NYC fosters a sense of entrepreneurial spirit, and there are so many opportunities here for those who work hard.”

Lu excelled in high school in California, earning high grades while taking AP classes, gaining admittance into the National Honor Society, writing for the school newspaper, and participating on the school debate team. She credits her mother, who took on several jobs to support the family (both before and after her parents divorced), for her own strong work ethic.

Seeking to enter the field of hospitality because she loves to travel, Lu applied to the NYU School of Professional Studies Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism. “Hospitality is such a global industry, but New York has so many hotels and travel-related products and services that I knew it was the best place for me to learn,” she declares.

For a hardworking young woman with limited financial means, Lu has benefited from a variety of University- and School-based resources. She has been on the Dean’s List throughout her college years, and is the recipient of the NYU 1831 Fund Scholarship, the NYUSPS Scholarship, the NYUSPS Futures Scholarship, and the George Lee Family Scholarship. With the help of her industry connected professors, she has built a deep network of professional contacts that will serve her now and in the future.

Thanks to the NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development at NYUSPS, she has participated in several internships, including serving as a front-office intern at the Broome, a boutique hotel in SoHo, and working at sbe (Morgans Hotel Group), a global hotel lifestyle brand, where she is currently a junior revenue analyst.

Interested in a career in revenue management, Lu asserts, “The revenue discipline experience that I gained at sbe will help to advance me in my career.” It already has paid off. After graduation, she will embark on a professional path as a revenue analyst for Standard Hotels.

While at NYUSPS, Lu also has taken advantage of a study-away semester at NYU Paris, an educational and life experience that she found liberating, because it allowed her to rely on her own selfsufficiency in an international setting.

She has given back to the School community as well. Lu is the president of the NYUSPS Hospitality Business Society, a student-run club, through which she mentors fellow students, serves as a role model, and plans a variety of professionally focused events.

Her message to her fellow graduates: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. The education we received here at NYUSPS has been the preparation; now we have to seek out the opportunities.”