Back to Brooklyn Again

When observers refer to the Barclays Center as an “excitement factory” or “the centerpiece of how the borough, and the city, will be seen for generations to come,” they are likely thinking of the sold-out concerts by megastars like Jay-Z and Barbra Streisand, or the on-the-court action of the home team Brooklyn Nets. At Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly), however, a different type of event has been causing the most buzz: on May 23, 2013, NYU-Poly’s 158th commencement ceremony was held at the venue, bringing the celebration back to Brooklyn for the first time in years. And while some may admire the stadium’s dramatic metal façade and massive chandeliers, here at NYU-Poly we were most thrilled by seeing scenes of campus life flashing on the four-sided three-story-tall center-display and the illuminated ribbon running the perimeter of the massive space touting the NYU-Poly commitment to i2e -- invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

As the Barclays Center passes the one-year mark, journalists are reporting that it is now the number one concert venue in the country—and the number-two venue, in terms of revenue earned, in the entire world. The 18,200 seat arena has already generated an estimated $14 million in tax revenue to the city and total economic activity (which includes visitor expenses like hotels, transportation and restaurants) of more than $250 million. The venue has also created almost 2,000 jobs, many of them going to Brooklyn residents. These are all undeniably impressive figures, but at NYU-Poly a different set of numbers was foremost in our minds last year.

While other universities parceled out a set number of tickets to graduates—typically two each, maybe four if their commencement venues were particularly roomy—NYU-Poly was able to tell the Class of 2013 to bring as many friends and family members as they liked. The thousands of seats at the Barclays Center meant that they could even bring everyone on their block if they had wanted.

All told, almost 1,000 grads attended last May 23, bringing with them some 5,000 parents, siblings, extended family members, and friends. (For many of those celebrating the graduation of international students, this marked the first time they had ever visited the U.S.) More than 700 worldwide viewers also watched the event on-line as it was live-streamed.

It was one of the biggest parties NYU-Poly has ever thrown, and we’re getting ready to do it again on May 23, 2014, so mark your calendars!

For more information, keep an eye on our dedicated commencement website and Facebook page.

And if celebrating at the Barclays Center isn’t enough for you, NYU-Poly grads are also eligible to attend the all-NYU ceremony on May 21 at Yankee Stadium—our first time participating as an official school of NYU! The ceremony will include a presidential address, a student speaker, the awarding of honorary degrees to a number of distinguished individuals, and the conferring of degrees and certificates by the president of the University after all classes have been recognized by their deans, and the ceremonial passing of the University torch. For more information, click here