By Ivie Li
With her purple graduation gown, black velvet cap and classic red lipstick, Dr. Taylor Swift swept the stage on the morning of May 18 with her first-ever commencement speech at Yankee Stadium. The 11-time Grammy winner and pop star of songs such as “Shake It Off” and “All Too Well” received an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from New York University for being a “trailblazing and influential advocate for artists’ rights” and “one of the most prolific and celebrated artists of her generation.”
Source by Guneet Hanjra
Taylor Swift adds an honorary doctorate degree from NYU to her long list of accomplishments.
The news of Swift receiving an honorary degree and giving a speech for NYU’s class of 2022 was announced back in March and was met with mixed reactions. Some were annoyed, claiming that Swift never had to experience the struggles that non-celebrities had to face to achieve this degree and therefore did not deserve it. Others were so ecstatic that they tried to buy tickets to the ceremony from graduating students.
“She was very popular when I was in third grade, so I wanted to see what she was about, and she got me into pop music. I started listening to many of her albums. One of my favorite songs is ‘Call It What You Want,’” senior Miranda Lin said.
“I’ve been a fan of her basically my whole life just from hearing her songs on the radio, and I became an even bigger fan in the recent years since she’s been releasing Taylor’s versions of her old albums,” senior Allison Corcoran said.
Even a course on Swift was announced to be offered in the spring 2022 semester at NYU. Taught by Brittany Spanos, the course takes a deep dive into Swift’s career, from the rise of her fame to her influence on younger artists such as Olivia Rodrigo and Billie Eilish.
“I would definitely take this course just because the topic is interesting in itself. Honestly, the more niche or specific classes always seem super cool,” senior Desmari Miller said.
Swift began her speech by joking about how she is “90% sure the main reason [she’s] here is because [she] has a song called ‘22’.” She described how she did not have a normal college experience either, having to do homeschool work in airport terminals after leaving high school in 10th grade. Swift went on to give three “life hacks”: learning to let things go, living alongside cringe and never being ashamed of trying.
“I really like her advice and think it’s super valuable. Instead of just being super optimistic and trying to make it seem like life will be perfect, she was more realistic and focused on assuring listeners that things will be okay, even when life doesn’t go the way they want it to go,” Corcoran said.
Swift reassured the graduates that being on their own is a good thing and to keep breathing. With a smile on her face, she closed off her speech by saying “We’re doing this together. So let’s just keep dancing like we’re…the class of ‘22.”