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Touro’s Lander Colleges Celebrate 41st Commencement

Touro College celebrated its 41st annual Commencement exercises at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center.

Date: June 04, 2015

New York, NY—Touro College celebrated its 41st annual Commencement exercises at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center on Sunday, May 31, awarding a total of 647 baccalaureate and associate degrees to graduates from Lander College for Men in Kew Gardens Hills (LCM); Lander College for Women-The Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten School in Manhattan (LCW); Lander College of Arts & Sciences-Flatbush (LAS Men’s and Women’s divisions); the School for Lifelong Education in Brooklyn; and Machon L’Parnasa-Institute for Professional Studies.

In his message to the graduates, Touro College President Dr. Alan Kadish discussed the concept of daring to take chances in one’s professional life: “Whether you’ll be entering the field of business, law, or healthcare, the ability to innovate, and not be afraid of failure, is a marker of success in the modern economy.”

“Our responsibility is not to be afraid of the negative outcomes of the future—the outcome is dependent on Hashem, on serendipity—but to worry about whether we’re making the right choices. If you make choices that are right personally, right hashkafically, and right economically, then the end result, even if it takes a couple of shots, will be positive.”

President Kadish conferred honorary doctorates upon Alan Schoor, Touro College’s senior vice president for operations, and Jay Sexter, Touro College provost for osteopathic medicine and pharmacy education. Schoor was recently named CEO of The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty and Sexter has retired after a long and distinguished career in higher education. Dr. Mark Hasten, chairman of the board of trustees of Touro College, awarded a Gold Medal of Achievement to Dean Robert Goldschmidt for “his stalwart navigation” of the recent Middle States Accreditation process, which earned Touro College an exemplary report.

‌‌The program included addresses from the four Touro College valedictorians: Moshe Jacob of LAS men’s division, Naomi Broker of LAS women’s division, Aliza Meissner of LCW; and Simcha Himmel of LCM.  In her remarks, LAS-Women’s valedictorian Naomi Broker left a thoughtful parting reminder to her fellow graduates.

“Today, we receive our diplomas. Tomorrow, we decide what to do going forward. But don't ever mistake what you do for who you are. Who are you going to be? What will you value? How will you treat those around you? Will you do the right thing, even when it’s hard?  What are your intentions?” The answers to these questions, she argued, are far more significant than any response to the oft-asked “What do you do?” query to young professionals.

‌‌At the conclusion of the 2015 commencement season, the Touro College and University System is expected to have awarded approximately 6,500 doctor of philosophy, doctor of osteopathic medicine, doctor of pharmacy, juris doctor, master’s, baccalaureate and associate degrees to students from 32 schools and colleges located in the U.S. and around the world.

The Lander Colleges were established to provide accessible, world-class educational opportunities to the observant community. Within a supportive and Torah-rich environment, the Lander Colleges offer a challenging academic program to equip students with a superb education, and to expand and deepen their knowledge of Torah. Rather than elevating one at the expense of the other, the schools teach the immeasurable value of both scholarship and a commitment to Torah and mitzvot. Students can choose from a wide range of disciplines—from the classic liberal arts and sciences to highly focused pre-professional programs.

Over the last several years, graduating seniors have continued their education at some of the most prestigious graduate schools in the country, including Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University and the University of Chicago.