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Taylor Swift: How to watch the singer’s NYU commencement speech

The 11-time Grammy-winning artist is receiving an honorary doctorate of fine arts

Tom Murray
Wednesday 18 May 2022 15:23 BST
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Taylor Swift is delivering the commencement speech for the graduates of New York University’s class of 2022 today (18 May).

The 11-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter is herself receiving an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree at the ceremony held in the Yankee Stadium.

According to John Beckman, senior vice president for public affairs at NYU, recipients of honorary degrees are chosen for distinction or achievement in fields taught and researched by the school, including science, social sciences, humanities, the arts, law, medicine, and business.

“We select honorees whose talents, achievements and actions will serve as examples for our graduates,” Beckman, wrote in a statement sent to The New York Times.

Past recipients have included Aretha Franklin, Ang Lee, Bill Clinton, Janet Yellen, Billy Crystal and Justin Trudeau.

Gates will open for the commencement ceremony of the class of 2022 at 9am EST (2pm BST). The ceremony will then begin at 11am (4pm BST) at which point Swift will deliver her address to the graduates.

The commencement is being livestreamed on NYU’s website, Facebook profile and YouTube page. Watch below.

The announcement of Swift’s speech caused a stir among her fan base with some students claiming they’d been offered up to $500 (£403) for their tickets to the ceremony.

“A girl said she would be my ‘biggest fan’ with a megaphone and cheering me on during the ceremony if I gave her a ticket,” NYU student Sean Nesmith told The New York Post.

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Graduates, who receive two tickets to the commencement ceremony, are prohibited from selling or auctioning their tickets and may risk losing their diplomas for doing so, the college stated.

Beckman reminded fans in his statement that Swift would be speaking, not singing at the event: “Folks should know that Ms Swift, whom we are very honored to have as one of our honorary degree recipients this year, will be speaking, not giving a performance.

“Of course, her fans are very avid, so I’m not sure even that awareness will curb their ardour.”

Wednesday marks an unprecedented doubleheader for the university as the classes of 2020 and 2021 — whose celebrations were postponed due to pandemic-related restrictions — will also be honoured in a subsequent evening ceremony.

Swift will not be in attendance for the second batch of graduates, whose commencement speech will be delivered by disability rights advocate Judith Heumann.

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