U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor came home to the Bronx Wednesday for NYU's commencement ceremony at Yankee Stadium, marveling at the circumstances leading to her return.
"This is awesome," Sotomayor told the 8,000 graduates in purple robes cheering from the stands behind home plate.
Sotomayor, who grew up in a housing project not far from the stadium, said that receiving their degrees there might not be so meaningful for students who are not from New York — or for "misguided" Mets fans like New York Times columnist David Brooks, a fellow honoree.
"Nothing in my childhood hinted to me that I would be in a position someday to stand on this field and speak to such a large crowd," Sotomayor said. "As a child I only saw the stadium on television when I watched baseball games next to my dad on the sofa."
Sotomayor and other dignitaries sat in a tent behind second base. She spoke after receiving an honorary Doctor of Laws degree; Brooks received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
Sotomayor, the third woman and the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court, told the graduates that she loves New York City and all it has given her.
"I hope that you will always carry with you the excitement of your student days in the city," she said.
She concluded, "dream big and achieve much."
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