On stage at the Javits Center stands Ben with 3 other honored undergrads behind faculty illuminati during NYU’s College of Arts and Sciences graduation. 1,800 classmates cheer him on from the floor as he is introduced recipient of the Borgman-Phi Beta Kappa prize for most outstanding undergrad honors thesis: ‘Functional Data Analysis of Economic Bubbles: Creating a Coherent Shape of Inflationary Phenomena’.
As Ben crosses the stage with his diploma in Economics (highest honors) and Journalism (magna cum laude), President John Sexton reaches for a heartfelt hug. Ben says, ‘Thank you, John’. John replies, ‘Thank you, Ben’. Kleenex please.
Next day, Violets in Yankee Stadium? A sea of purple stands. Joe’s smilin’. No, not joltin’ Joe. He’s there too with E.A. and Ellis. Bill Clinton emerges from the dugout right in front of Ben & Co. Bill’s speech had that politically charged Clintonesque touch of pure inspiration. Best of all, no purple rain.