President Sexton described NYU as the “first ecumenical university, located in the world’s first ecumenical city.” Describing NYC as a “community of communities,” composed of individuals from around the world with neighborhoods reflecting nearly every country across the globe, he argued that New York embodies the virtues of ecumenism – embracing others and ourselves through a new world view and celebrating our differences. NYU, he argued, is deeply intertwined with New York City itself and by virtue of its founding vision – Albert Gallatin’s idea of being “In and of the City” – is similarly committed to ecumenical ideals: welcoming and supporting diversity.
He also shared a few pieces of advice with students:
- Don’t be afraid to travel outside of your comfort zone. “Play another octave of the piano,” he urged.
- Find the right life partner
- Insist on being better and making the world better every day