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August 2018

A New Venue for an Old Tradition


Photographs by Michael J. Leahy


Wall Street’s bulls and bears had retired for the evening from Lower Manhattan by the time Scholarship Plus students, alums and supporters gathered downtown for an evening of seeing old friends and making new ones. Current scholars gathered from internships around the city. Alumni arrived from across the boroughs and even New Haven to exchange news of jobs and academic plans, and offered some advice to the first-year students who were about to head to their campuses for the first time.

As the evening went on, current students posed against a skyscraper-decorated wall for portraits taken by Autumn Von Plinsky, a graphic designer and artist — and member of the Associate Board — who is preparing an interactive feature for the group's annual social for young professionals. The photo shoots drew camera-phone equipped friends of the subjects for extra perspectives and sharing. 

A bit later, dance music materialized, with new scholar Michael as the DJ. Mike, who will be studying dance and social work at Skidmore, joined with Anijah, who is in a dance program at U.S.C., to offer impromptu dance instruction.

Here are some of bits of advice offered to the new freshmen from older students and alumni:

       “Always ask for resources in college. It doesn’t hurt to ask.”

       “Professors are your friends. They’re super nice, and they are always ready to help you.”

       “Office hours are extremely important.”

        “Reach out to alums.”

       “You tend to do better when you get sleep.” Fair enough.


Sampling an array of Mexican food.

Kate welcomes the group, and asks for some one-line bits of wisdom from older students and alumni.


Shuofei, a Binghamton junior — who was presenting his Rockefeller University internship research the next day — says he wished he had known that “It’s easy to get things done on time.”



From left, Mohammed, a freshman at N.Y.U.’s Tandon School of Engineering; Joselyn, a Dartmouth freshman; Bai Hao, a Lehigh sophomore, and Tasmia, who is entering her second year at N.Y.U. Tandon.



Jane, at left, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing who is now studying for a master’s degree there, with Daphne Lundi, an urban planner for New York City who is a member of the Associate Board.


Zeshan, a Yale senior, with Autumn Von Plinsky, a Yale alumna who is a member of the Associate Board.


Autumn photographs a portrait of Michael.


Photographers at work, with Anijah as subject and Arianna backing up Autumn.


From right: Joselyn poses; Emely, a sophomore at the School of Visual Arts chats with Shuofei, a Binghamton junior; Autumn photographs, and several scholars approve.  

Next: Exploring College Realities