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Celebrating Commencement 2022 | Pace University New York

On Monday, May 16, Pace will hold the largest Commencement ceremony in our history to celebrate the classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York.

This will be our first full-fledged Commencement ceremony in three years, and the new venue will give us the opportunity to create a truly memorable event for our entire community. We will begin the day with a formal, high-profile ceremony for all graduating students, followed by school- and college-based ceremonies that will include the calling of names and presentation of degrees. Between the events, we’ll use the expansive Tennis Center grounds for a celebration of our graduates, complete with food vendors and plenty of time and space for photos and gatherings.

Schedule of events

Main Ceremony
Arthur Ashe Stadium
10:15 am–11:30 am

School Ceremonies
School ceremonies begin at 12:00 pm and continue throughout the afternoon. To see the time and location for your school ceremony, visit the Commencement Schedule page.

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In this expanded venue, each graduating student can receive up to four full-day tickets for family and guests to attend both the main ceremony and the school and college ceremonies. Graduating students can receive up to two additional tickets for the school and college ceremonies. Tickets will be shared digitally with graduates to the email address they used while registering for Commencement, so keep your eyes peeled to your inbox. For questions related to ticketing, please email studentcommencement@pace.edu.

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Food, Photography, and More

The USTA’s Grounds and Food Village will be open from 11:30 am–3:30 pm Options will include snacks (think sodas, popcorn, pretzels) and heartier fare like burgers, pizza, hotdogs, and chicken fingers. Or, bring something from home—graduation picnic? Yes, please. Additionally, in the periods between ceremonies, graduates and their families are invited to take photos and videos in the front of our specially designed photo backdrops. Be on the lookout for our professional photographers—we’ll be sharing images of Commencement online later that week. Before you head home for the day, be sure to stop by our Alumni Relations table and our Career Services table. Don’t forget to share your pictures on social using #PaceGrad.

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Student Award Winners

2022 Trustees Award

The Trustees Award is presented to the graduating student or students whose positive contributions to University life and whose academic accomplishments exemplify the highest level of achievement attainable for an undergraduate.

Maria Elisa Escobar | New York City Campus
She will graduate pace as one of its premier student leaders. Throughout her undergraduate career, she has consistently demonstrated an exemplary dedication toward improving the Pace Community for the better. Maria Elisa has devoted much of her undergraduate career to the anti-trafficking movement. After volunteering with World Without Exploitation, she co-founded the WorldWE Youth Coalition, a national youth-led network that uses advocacy, educational, and awareness raising initiatives to end sexual exploitation and human trafficking. In her two years since co-founding the Youth Coalition, Maria Elisa has had the experience of two virtual summits that mobilized over 1,000 young people across the country.

Naya J. Rivera | Pleasantville Campus
Earning a combined degree–a bachelor’s in adolescent education and biology alongside a master’s in special education–Naya was able to balance her exceptional academic pedigree with a steadfast commitment to leadership service outside the classroom. Rivera, a captain of Pace’s women’s basketball team, led the team to a deep run in the NCAA tournament, winning the East Regional title en route to only the third Elite 8 appearance in program history. During the pandemic, she was one of the first students to volunteer for a pilot program to provide online tutoring to students at a school in Ossining, NY. Based on her exceptional performance, she was hired during her senior year as a technology teacher for the middle school–a role she was able to thrive in alongside her many other obligations. When it comes to volunteering for events on campus, Naya has often lent a helping hand, such as spearheading an implicit bias in the classroom workshop for Pace’s annual Social Justice Week.

2022 Community Service Award

The Community Service Award is presented to the graduating student or students whose active contributions to the life of the University community and to the endeavors of our neighbors in the surrounding community most admirably embody an appreciation for the value of social responsibility.

Alexandra Marie Kennedy | New York City Campus
Through her academic interests, Alexandra Marie Kennedy has been able to link her curricular and cocurricular involvements around tenets of social responsibility and justice. Perhaps Alex’s most profound impact has been her role in co-founding Fare Trade, a sustainable mutual aid initiative addressing food in security on the New York City Campus. She was a Vote Everywhere Volunteer during the 2020–2021 school year with the Center of Community Action and Research, receiving training in voter education and supported her peers in exercising the right to vote during the November 2020 general election and spring 2021 NYC primaries. She’s also involved in the NAACP student organization chapter at Pace and Circle K, a student group focused on organizing community service and leadership opportunities for fellow Pace students. Through her many engagements, Alex has modeled what social responsibility looks like to both her peers as well as professionals on campus.

Irach’e “Shea” Teague | Pleasantville Campus
Irach’e “Shea” Teague has impressively balanced her academics with a wide range of extracurricular achievements–demonstrating that a well-rounded Pace education is not only confined to the classroom. As the vice president of the Student Government Association, Shea has personally made sure there is an organization for everyone, guiding individuals through the process of proposing and implementing new student organizations such as Active Minds, a new student group focused on student mental health. She has also continued to advocate for students as a Resident Assistant, where she has striven to create a safe and vibrant community for residents through targeted programming to increase student competencies in areas ranging from multicultural understanding to personal finance and academic success. Additionally, Shea has consistently shown a strong penchant for being an impactful community leader. For example, she was instrumental in helping make Pleasantville’s DJ Henry mural possible—which honors the life of DJ Henry, a Pace student who was killed by a Pleasantville police officer in 2010.

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Honorary Degree Recipients

  • NYC Mayor Eric Adams | Main ceremony
  • US Representative Grace Meng | Haub Law ceremony
  • Baroness Ariane de Rothschild ’88, MBA ’90 | Lubin ceremony

Learn more about this year’s speakers on our Commencement site.

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Venue Address and Directions

USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Flushing Meadow Corona Park
Flushing NY 11368

Mass Transit

  • Subway: The 7 train provides service from Grand Central Terminal to Mets-Willets Point Station, including connections for all Metro-North Trains from Westchester and Connecticut. Service is also available from the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
  • Long Island Rail Road: LIRR provides easy service to Mets-Willets Point Station from Woodside, and convenient connections from Penn Station for New Jersey Transit customers. For guests with disabilities, get off the LIRR train at 61st Street-Woodside Station and transfer to the 7 train. Take the 7 train to Mets-Willets Point Station.

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You’ve got questions and we’ve got answers. Head over to the Commencement website FAQ for info on transportation to-and-from Pace’s campuses, parking, ticketing, diplomas, live-streaming, and so much more. We’re expanding the FAQ regularly, so check back often. If you’ve got questions that aren’t addressed in the FAQ, please email studentcommencement@pace.edu.

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