Director Poggi's Messages to the Community
March 25, 2020
This has been an unnerving and turbulent week for people all over the world. It has reminded us of how interconnected we are, and how concerned we are about the well-being of our relatives, friends, and colleagues, many of whom are in far flung places. At NYU, we continue to put your health and well-being first, and to try to keep your academic progress moving forward in ways that are consistent with everyone's safety.
We have just learned from President Andy Hamilton that NYU's May 20, 2020 Commencement in Yankee Stadium has been postponed. This was a decision many of you must have predicted. It is not legally possible at this time to host large gatherings in New York, and much international travel is restricted or prohibited. Nor would it be responsible to ask students, parents, and friends to gather for a crowded event given the current Covid-19 crisis in New York. The same holds true for the ceremony that was to take place on May 19, 2020 for Institute of Fine Arts graduates. We will hold an in-person celebration of your achievements and degrees at some point in the future, once we are on the other side of this, and can begin planning for it. I am personally very much looking forward to planning a wonderful celebration for our 2020 graduates, who will have earned their degrees under extraordinary circumstances.
At the same time, we will mark the graduation of those of you who will earn your MA or PhD in Art HIstory, or your MA/MS in Art Conservation, this May. We plan to have a lively, virtual presentation that I hope all of you will contribute to. Please send me and/or Edward Sullivan your ideas for what we can do on May 19 to honor your work and make it a festive occasion, even if virtually.
At the moment, we are thinking of creating a virtual graduation program with a set of images devoted to each student. What follows is still in a tentative stage. We look forward to hearing from you about the proposal you see here, and what more we might do.
The first page of each student's profile would have the student's photo, name, title of thesis or dissertation, and advisor's name. Then we would have several pages with images of the student and their friends and classmates involved in various activities at the Institute, at a museum, at an excavation, or other site. These could be photos of the student giving a paper, working on a project in the conservation lab, or installing an exhibition at the house. We will also gather photographs of events such as the Great Hall Exhibition and Duke House Series openings, the Halloween Party, some of the workshops and forums organized by students, etc. There could be a special page at the end, in which the student thanks their family, friends, and others who helped them achieve their goals.
I know many of the first year MA students are wondering about summer travel. I hope to have news about that some time next week. Thank you for your patience!
Many of you are experiencing not only the stress of online classes, and postponed or cancelled opportunities, but also financial stress. NYU has created an Emergency Fund, which will operate at the University level. Although we are asking our donors and alumni to contribute, the funds go to NYU, which will distribute them on an equitable basis across the schools. To apply, please fill out the form online.
Now that our buildings are closed, and we are dispersed, let's stay in touch with each other. I will try to answer your questions. We can't solve every problem, but we are listening. There will be a set of "staying connected" sessions for various groups of students next week. I'll send information on those soon.
WIth all best wishes,
Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director