Commencement DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science Frank G. Zarb School of Business Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Peter S. Kalikow School of Government, Public Policy and International Affairs School of Education School of Health Professions and Human Services School of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Student Life Top Stories

Spring Commencement May 20

Fresh off winning the Pulitzer Prize, investigative journalist Ronan Farrow will serving as a commencement speaker at Hofstra University. He joins a distinguished roster of honorees including astronaut, author and television personality Mike Massimino; former White House economic adviser Alan Krueger; and the Honorable Janet DiFiore, chief judge of the Court of Appeals and of the state of New York.

Approximately 2,000 Hofstra University students will take part in the spring commencement activities on Sunday and Monday, May 20-21, 2018.  All ceremonies will take place at the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex, located on Hofstra’s North Campus. There will also be live webcasts of each of the ceremonies

The schedule is as follows:

Sunday, May 20

9 a.m. Undergraduate Ceremony for Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Health Professions and Human Services featuring Mike Massimino, PhD, former NASA astronaut and the first person to tweet from space. He is a professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia University and the senior advisor for space programs at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. His book, Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe, is a New York Times Bestseller. He had a recurring role as himself on The Big Bang Theory and is featured in the National Geographic Television series One Strange Rock.

1 p.m. Undergraduate Ceremony for Frank G. Zarb School of Business, Lawrence Herbert School of Communication and the Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science, Ronan Farrow, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist. His series of stories on sexual assault and harassment for The New Yorker were culture-shifting. He has been an anchor and reporter at MSNBC and NBC News, and his writing has appeared in publications including The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. He is also a former State Department official who worked in Afghanistan and Pakistan and reported to the Secretary of State as the United States’ senior official focused on youth uprisings. He is the author of War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence.

5 p.m. Graduate Ceremony (all schools), Alan Krueger, PhD, Princeton University professor of economics and public affairs and former chairman of President Barack Obama’s White House Council of Economic Advisers. He served as a member of President Obama’s Cabinet from 2011-2013 and is among the 50 highest-ranked economists in the world, according to Research Papers in Economics. He also served as served as assistant secretary for economic policy and chief economist of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and as chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor.

Monday, May 21

7 p.m. Maurice A. Deane School of Law Ceremony, featuring The Honorable Janet DiFiore, chief judge of the Court of Appeals and of the state of New York. In 1998 she was elected a judge of the Westchester County Court, presiding over criminal and civil matters and sitting by designation in the Family Court, Surrogate’s Court, and Supreme Court. She served as a County Court judge until 2002, when she was elected a justice of the New York State Supreme Court. As a Supreme Court justice, Chief Judge DiFiore served as supervising judge of the Criminal Courts of the 9th Judicial District. In 2005, she resigned from the bench and was elected Westchester County district attorney, serving in this position for a decade. On December 1, 2015, Governor Andrew Cuomo nominated her to the position of chief judge of the Court of Appeals and the state of New York. On January 21, 2016, her nomination was confirmed by the New York State Senate.

More about the honorees

Janet DiFiore, chief judge of the Court of Appeals and of the state of New York, served as an assistant district attorney in the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office from 1981 to 1987, and as chief of the office’s Narcotics Bureau from 1994 to 1998. From 1987 to 1993, Chief Judge DiFiore practiced law with the firm Goodrich & Bendish. In 1998, she was elected a judge of the Westchester County Court, presiding over criminal and civil matters and sitting by designation in the Family Court, Surrogate’s Court, and Supreme Court. She served as a County Court judge until 2002, when she was elected a justice of the New York State Supreme Court.

As a Supreme Court justice, Chief Judge DiFiore served as supervising judge of the Criminal Courts of the 9th Judicial District. In 2005, she resigned from the bench and was elected Westchester County district attorney, serving in this position from 2006 to 2016. On December 1, 2015, Governor Andrew Cuomo nominated her to the position of chief judge of the Court of Appeals and the state of New York. On January 21, 2016, her nomination was confirmed by the New York State Senate.


Ronan Farrow is an investigative journalist who writes for The New Yorker – which published his culture-shifting series of stories on sexual assault and harassment – and makes documentaries for HBO. He has been an anchor and reporter at MSNBC and NBC News, and his writing has appeared in publications including The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. He is also a former State Department official who worked in Afghanistan and Pakistan and reported to the Secretary of State as the United States’ senior official focused on youth uprisings. He is the author of War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence (from W.W. Norton, April 24, 2018). He is the winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, a 2018 George Polk Award, and has been nominated for the National Magazine Award, among other commendations. Named one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People of 2018,” his speeches have been selected among NPR’s “Greatest Commencement Speeches Ever” and Huffington Post’s Top 10 Speeches of the Year.


One of the nation’s most respected voices on the economy, Alan Krueger, PhD, is the Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University. He served as chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) and was a member of the President’s Cabinet. He is the founding director of the Princeton University Survey Research Center. From 2009-2010 he served as Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy and Chief Economist of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and in 1994-95 he served as Chief Economist of the U.S. Department of Labor. He is the only economist to have served as Chief Economist of both the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Labor. He is among the 50 highest-ranked economists in the world, according to Research Papers in Economics.

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Former NASA astronaut Mike Massimino, PhD, is a professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia University and the senior advisor for space programs at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. After working as an engineer at IBM, NASA, and McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, along with academic appointments at both Rice University and the Georgia Institute of Technology, Professor Massimino was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in 1996, and is the veteran of two space flights, the fourth and fifth Hubble Space Telescope servicing missions in 2002 and 2009. Massimino has a team record for the number of hours spacewalking in a single space shuttle mission, and is also the first person to tweet from space. During his NASA career, he received two NASA Space Flight Medals, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the American Astronautical Society’s Flight Achievement Award, and the Star of Italian Solidarity (Italian knighthood).

Massimino’s book, Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe, has received rave reviews and is a New York Times best-seller. He has made numerous television appearances, including a six-time recurring role as himself on the CBS hit comedy The Big Bang Theory. He has hosted Science Channel’s The Planets and its special Great American Eclipse. He is featured in National Geographic Channel’s series One Strange Rock and is the host for Science Channel’s series The Planets and Beyond.


Ticketing for Spring 2018 Commencement Ceremonies:

Undergraduate Ceremonies:  Seating for the undergraduate ceremonies is limited due to the size of the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex. Each spring undergraduate receives 6 assigned seat tickets. Requests for additional tickets can be obtained by placing your name on a lottery list during robe distribution, on Wednesday or Thursday, May 16 and May 17, 2018, between the hours of 10 a.m.-8 p.m. in the lower level of the Bookstore at the Mack Student Center.

Undergraduates may request as many additional tickets as desired BUT when the lottery is conducted, each recipient will only be awarded 2 tickets. Once everyone on the list has been accommodated, if additional tickets remain, then the lottery will be conducted again using the same method.

Lottery winners will be notified via their pride account beginning Friday, May 18, 2018 at 10 a.m.

Lottery winners must either respond to the email that they will take the extra tickets. If there is no response within 2 hours, the tickets will be awarded to the next person on the lottery list.  All tickets must be picked up by the requesting student at the reception desk located in the David S. Mack Student Center, room 112 by 5 p.m. on Friday, May 18, 2018

Graduate and Law Ceremonies:  There are no tickets.


Directions to the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex

Meadowbrook Parkway to Exit M4 – Route 24 West (Hempstead Turnpike). Stay on 24W for about one mile. Pass Nassau Coliseum and travel under the first overhead walk way. Once you pass the first overhead walk way you will make your first right turn onto campus at the traffic light. Go to your second stop sign and make a right turn. The Mack Sports Complex will be a ¼ of a mile on your right hand side.

There are assigned parking areas for the two Undergraduate Ceremonies. There will be signage and Hofstra Public Safety officers directing traffic.

There are no parking restrictions for the Graduate and Law ceremonies.


For additional information on commencement activities, such as eligibility, robing and diplomas, please visit hofstra.edu/commencement    or call the Commencement office at (516) 463-4346. In the event of a severe weather event, please call the weather hotline (516) 463-SNOW regarding the status of the ceremony.

For information on media coverage, please call the office of University Relations at (516) 463-6819.

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