Remarks from Anthony Bracco, Undergraduate Student Representative
Class of 2014 Convocation
Good afternoon family, friends, faculty, administration, and, of course, class of 2014. My name is Anthony Bracco, and it is my privilege to speak on behalf of the undergraduate student body of NYU Silver. While it seems impossible to believe that this marks the end of an invaluable four-year journey, I am ecstatic to emerge from the Silver School with each and every one of you.
I would like to begin by offering one piece of advice to my fellow graduates—Stay persistent in your passions.
And as I say this, I vividly recall a quote from my freshman year professor, which still resonates with me to this day. He said that, unlike other fields of work, we do not choose the field of social work so much as the profession chooses us. I wholeheartedly believe that this is, and will continue to be, true.
Now, there is no doubt that these past four years have been stressful, and at times more work than we had hoped to take on. We’ve pulled too many all-nighters in the lower levels of Bobst Library, and in the process, taken with us an involuntary love for coffee. At our field placements, we’ve committed ourselves to not only meet the rigorous expectations of our field supervisors, but also worked to fulfill and address the needs of our clients. And, in class, we’ve shared mixed feelings of rage, excitement, and hope as we discussed the state of the world that we live in. Somewhere in between, we found time to return to our apartments or dorm rooms to complete the endless assignments and readings that we were given. More times than not, this proved to be emotionally exhausting. But, we’ve remained motivated.
It was during these days of endless responsibilities that we have recognized our passion and undoubted commitment to this field. In the process, we have grown as clinicians, counselors, educators, advocates, and leaders that are persistent to enact a much-needed change in this society. While some of us may be moving on to continued education or the “professional world,” we all leave here with a strong connection to humanity and each other, ready to face the world with our heads held high.
But we could not have done this alone.
To our family, friends, and loved ones, we owe you an immense thank you. You’ve shown us unconditional love and support, and have been our number one cheerleaders during the best and worst of times. You’ve given us confidence to fearlessly explore ourselves and the world around us during the four years we’ve called this corner of the city our home. And, it’s more than likely that your bank account has suffered ever since—we promise, it was a good investment.
To our faculty and administration—especially Dean Videka, Juan Iturralde, Assistant Dean Courtney O’Mealley, Lesley Heffel, and Lecia Ductan. You are the ones that have made our goals at NYU nothing less than reality, and supported us down a path of personal and professional expansion. More importantly, all five of you have fallen victim to my anxious 3 AM student government e-mail rants. I recognize these likely made you want to quit your job at some point. Thanks for being so patient with me.
To our assistant dean, Dr. Dina Rosenfeld, you have seamlessly transitioned us from students to confident, prepared leaders in this field. Your nearly two decades of dedication to this school is evident in the student body, and is more appreciated than you will know.
And most importantly, to my fellow graduates—I am continually in awe of each and every one of you. Getting to know each of you—both inside and outside of the classroom—has been a privilege. Your ambition, persistence, and larger-than-life personalities will undoubtedly benefit you in your future endeavors. I could not be more honored to call each of you my colleagues. So don’t stress, and take this moment, now, to celebrate your accomplishments and successes, it is more than well deserved. Congratulations, Class of 2014!
It is now my pleasure to introduce Dr. Dina Rosenfeld, assistant dean and director of the undergraduate social work program.