Jun 2, 2010 — More than 600 students from Yeshiva University’s undergraduate schools were presented with their degrees at YU’s 79th commencement exercises at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, May 26.
Among the graduates, eight students were selected for special distinction as valedictorians for their exceptional academic achievements.
Fay Burekhovich, the valedictorian of both the Stern College for Women general studies program and the Rebecca Ivry Jewish Studies Program, capitalized on both intellectual and leadership opportunities as an honors student, double majoring in biology and Jewish studies and as the co-founder and president of the Autism Awareness Club.
“The courses I took at Stern allowed me to stretch my creative, intellectual and critical abilities in ways I never imagined,” said Burekhovich, who also delivered the commencement valedictory address. “Additionally, my involvement in the Autism Awareness Club and the Stern College chesed [kindness] club, iGive, granted me numerous opportunities to step up and contribute my unique talents in various ways to help people.”
The other valedictorians included Willie Roth, Yeshiva College; Gail Klinger and David Weiss of Sy Syms School of Business; Isaac Kuyunov, James Striar School of General Jewish Studies; Jonathen Solaimanzadeh, Isaac Breuer College of Hebraic Studies; Aryeh Green, Irving I. Stone Beit Midrash Program; and Avi Harari, Yeshiva Program/Mazer School of Talmudic Studies.
“During my time at Yeshiva University, I learned how to live as an Orthodox Jew in today’s world,” said Green, who majored in business and management. “Through the Torah I learned from my rabbis and under the tutelage of my Syms professors, like Drs. Lisa Rosh and Steven Nissenfeld, I was transformed from a student into a professional able to thrive in the business world as a G-d-fearing person.”
But students are moving on with more than just a quality education. For example, Klinger, an accounting major, landed a coveted position in a very competitive job market with the support of the University’s Career Development Center.
“I attended a career fair hosted by YU, which enabled me to secure an internship at KPMG,” said Klinger, who will be working full-time in the renowned accounting firm’s auditing department in October.
Reflecting on his time at YU, Roth, a Jewish studies major, highlighted the friendships he made as having the biggest impact on his YU experience. “My fellow students share a passion for Torah and academic excellence, but above all are always concerned with the well-being and success of their neighbors,” he said. “Living amongst such a community has been a truly formative experience.”