Mayor Bloomberg delivered the commencement address at the Cooper Union's 154th Graduation Ceremony yesterday.
During the 18-minute speech, Bloomberg showed that his staff did some research, localizing several references, including: "But it is true also that all of you survived thousands and thousands of slices of Two Bros pizza. I will make a point to stop and have a piece of pizza at Two Bros. I hope it’s really thin. That's the way I like it."
Later, at the 10-minute mark, the Mayor discussed the importance of giving back... and he referenced one of our favorite bars around – the Coal Yard on First Avenue.
"I started working on Wall Street. My first job was working in the cage counting securities in my underwear because it was not air-conditioned in the summer. My first year's bonus was forgiveness of the loan they gave me so that I could afford to go to work there, because they paid a lot less than other firms that had offered me a job.
"But you can always give something. And so I gave $5. That $5 would be about $37, which I'm guessing is probably less than what you’d spend in a night at The Coal Yard.
"Actually, if you spend more than $37 at The Coal Yard, the next morning you'll probably wish you had donated the money."
The joke received some chuckles from the crowd. Points for trying?
As for the big issue at hand with Cooper Union ... students have been occupying President Jamshed Bharucha's office since May 8 to protest the school's plan to charge tuition starting next fall. The New York Times has a recap of the address, and notes that some students were disappointed (but not surprised) "with what they saw as Mr. Bloomberg's evasion of the free education issue."
And you can find the entire address here.