Meet Chris Hearn, Commencement Student Speaker

NYU Steinhardt News

Meet Chris Hearn, Commencement Student Speaker

While earning a baccalaureate in Music Business, Christopher Hearn served as the director of diversity for Student Government, vice president of the Gentleman of Quality group, and co-chair of the NYU Diversity Committee.

Did you receive any scholarships?
The Martin Luther King Jr. scholarship is the reason I was able to attend NYU. It gave me purpose before I even came to campus. To be thought of in the same light as Martin Luther King Jr. and be part of his legacy is an honor that means so much to me. It’s in my mind and in my heart as I make decisions, and it helps me remember what legacy I’m trying to leave.

What was your favorite NYU moment?
It was in my first year when my friends and I attended the Violet 100 concert and got to see Chance the Rapper perform. It was one of the most entertaining and inspiring shows I have seen. It meant a lot to me as a music artist to be so young and see someone who would go on to become one of the biggest hip-hop artists today. It’s come full circle because now I’ll be the opening act for the Violet 100 performance this year.

What is your proudest NYU accomplishment?
I’m most proud of getting into NYU and the person I’ve become throughout this experience. I never expected to get in. And when I first arrived, there were times I seriously considered whether NYU was too challenging or above my capabilities. I decided to stay and not only found a way to survive, but I thrived here. I took on leadership positions that are impactful for this university over the long term. I’m proud because I know what that means for people like me, who came from environments where people were never encouraged to strive for top-tier universities. My greatest accomplishment is showing that not only is a person like me beneficial in this space, but I’m providing a perspective and a presence that’s necessary here. I hope that functions as a beacon of light for people who might have been hesitant to jump into spaces like this.

Watch Christopher's Commencement Speech:

Photo: Kate Lord