Macaulay Honors College Class of 2017 Commencement Highlights

(l-r) William Macaulay, Garry Trudeau, Dean Mary C. Pearl and alumni speaker Ayodele Oti

The Class of 2017 proudly celebrated the end of their years of scholarship at Macaulay Honors College at The City University of New York on June 12, 2017. A highlight of their commencement was the keynote speaker Garry Trudeau, creator of the Doonesbury comic strip and the first such artist to win a Pulitzer Prize. Trudeau also received a Honorary Doctor of Letters degree following his address.

Said Macaulay Dean Mary C. Pearl, Ph.D.: “With a keen eye and sharp sense of humor, Trudeau has tackled difficult subjects ranging from mental health to military intervention to the battle lines of personal and political conflict that have challenged our society over the past five decades. His thoughtful approach, his sensitivity, and his deep civic engagement exemplify Macaulay’s highest ideals.”

Among the other noteworthy speakers was William Thompson, the new Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York; student speakers Stephin Jose (City College) and Aissatou Diallo (Hunter College); and alumna Ayodele Oti ’12 (City College).

Macaulay’s commencement this year took place at the United Palace Theater in Upper Manhattan and accommodated hundreds of graduates and their families. Performers and music for the ceremony included the Lehman College Wind Ensemble and The Macaulet Triplets singing group. Macaulay seniors also were selected as valedictorians and salutatorians at their home campus, including:


Ellianna Schwab (City College)

Palwasha Syar (CSI)

Daniela Mikhaylov and Rina Schiller (Hunter)

Caitlin Larsen (Baruch College)

Michael Franco (Brooklyn)

Naomi Gaggi and Vincent Jost (CSI)

About Macaulay Honors College

Macaulay Honors College at The City University of New York offers exceptional students a uniquely personalized education with access to the vast resources of the nation’s largest urban university and the largest city, New York City. Selected for their top high school records and leadership potential, Macaulay students receive a full tuition scholarship*, a laptop and technology support, and exclusive access to apply for grants from a Macaulay fund to pursue global learning, research and service opportunities. Macaulay students enroll in one of eight CUNY senior colleges: Baruch, Brooklyn, City, Hunter, John Jay, Lehman, and Queens Colleges and the College of Staten Island. For more information, see

*Students must meet CUNY NYS residency requirements for in-state tuition to receive the Macaulay tuition scholarship.