In a somewhat head-turning announcement, Stern School of Business Dean Raghu Sundaram announced Thursday that current Governor of New York State Andrew Cuomo would be given an honorary doctorate of business administration this May while speaking at Stern’s 2021 Commencement.
“We at Stern often look to global luminaries that play pivotal roles in society for our commencement speakers,” Sundaram said in a statement Thursday. “Over the past 12 months, Gov. Cuomo has proven himself a true leader in the fight against Covid-19. His entrance onto the national political stage has been a shining example to our students, and his reputation has remained untarnished under the bright lights of the media microscope.”
Sundaram, who made the announcement at a press conference in Albany this morning, was interrupted at one point by a member of the Stern administration whispering in his ear inaudibly. Sundaram reportedly responded, “Wait, what? Really? Good lord. Well, look, it’s too late to change it now, the wheels are in motion. Ugh.”
The Dean then returned to the podium and told reporters, “Like I said. Great leader, no issues at all. Anyways, I have a bus to catch, thanks everyone!”
Cuomo, who has served as Governor of New York since January 2011, became a darling of the political left for his straightforward daily press conferences during the pandemic last year. Disseminating information with a frank, no-nonsense style, Cuomo was seen as a rational counterweight to President Donald Trump, who often had to be reminded there was a deadly virus rapidly spreading throughout the country.
In recent months, Cuomo has come under no fire for how his administration handled the pandemic in its early stages or for his personal behavior. Nosirree Bob. Everything is cool, cool, cool. No way this choice reflects poorly on the school for its selection and timing.
“I am honored to be asked to speak at Stern’s commencement this Spring,” Cuomo said, Thursday. “I cannot wait to impart the valuable lessons I’ve learned in decades of public leadership, and I look forward to sharing the dais with so many impressive young men and, hopefully, women. At a time like this it’s important to groom women in the business world so they have the same opportunities as their male colleagues. I am particularly excited about the strides those young women at Stern are making, and would relish the chance to mentor any that are interested in putting their MBA toward a career in public service. I plan to make sure each of them has my support and my personal cell number.”
Governor Cuomo then smiled and told the gathered reporters, “You can move closer if I’m talking too quietly. Social distancing is overrated anyway.”
The announcement was met with mixed emotions from Stern’s graduating MBAs. While many found Cuomo’s guidance invaluable as New York navigated Covid’s earliest days, others were worried a commencement speaker so central to that challenging time would only dredge up difficult memories of the past year.
“Honestly, on a day when I am completing this amazing achievement, I’m not sure I want to think about how difficult Covid has been,” graduating student Oliver Baechle told The Oppy. “All I really want is to celebrate with family and friends. I just wish my grandmother could have been here to see it, too. She would have been so proud.”
Disclaimer: This article is part of our April Fool’s issue and does not have any truth to it. Its purpose is not to cause offense but to bring some laughs,or at least an eyeroll, during these weird times.
Photo credit: https://cnycentral.com/news/local/sources-new-york-democrats-discussing-bill-to-remove-gov-cuomos-emergency-powers