The 1,500-member Class of 2023 – the largest graduating high school class in the United States – became our newest alumni at Brooklyn Tech’s Centennial Commencement on Monday, June 26th at the Barclays Center. The arena was filled with 10,000 attendees, including proudly celebrating family and friends, Tech faculty and administrators, Alumni Foundation Board members, elected officials, and New York City Department of Education executives.
Marking his own 50th anniversary of his graduation from Tech, Lanny Smoot ’73, an electrical engineer, inventor, and theatrical technology creator, served as the commencement keynote speaker. With 103 patents and counting, Lanny not only has created a great deal of Disney’s magic but is the entertainment company’s all-time most prolific inventor – and one of the most prolific Black inventors in American history. “Receiving a degree from this school sets you apart from graduates of every high school in this country,” he told the Class of 2023. “You should always remember that. You have a unique pedigree which will distinguish you for the rest of your lives.”
Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso and Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez also addressed the graduating class. DA Gonzalez referenced the school’s century-old tradition of excellence, and told the class of 2023 that he was assured, looking out at them, that they would continue the tradition and would “become the leaders of tomorrow.” BP Reynoso told the graduating seniors to be mindful of who they surround themselves with as they move forward in life,”Dime con quien andas y te diré quien eres,“ he said. “Tell me who you hang with, and I will tell you who you are.”
Student body president Jediah Thomas (Howard ’27), Valedictorian Afifa Tanisa (Columbia ’27), and Salutatorian Robert Quesada (Harvard ’27) were among those addressing the class from the podium. The ceremony concluded with the Tech chorus leading the Alma Mater, the traditional recitation of the Ephebic Oath, and carnation toss.
The Alumni Foundation board and team were on hand to individually welcome all new graduates into the alumni community. We invite '23 alums to return for Recent Alumni Day on Friday, January 5, 2024!
Lanny Smoot '73, Commencement Keynote Speaker
Receiving a degree from this school sets you apart from graduates of every high school in this country. You should always remember that. You have a unique pedigree which will distinguish you for the rest of your lives.”
Lanny Smoot '73
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