Meet MMC’s 2021 Valedictorians: Sarah Haley and Sydney Weiser
About Sarah Haley ’21
B.A. in Business with a concentration in Fashion Marketing
B.A. in Public Relations and Strategic Communications
Minor in Law and Ethics
While visiting her older sister at college in New York, West Coast-native Sarah Haley fell in love with the energy of the City and knew it was where she had to be. “I wanted to attend a small liberal arts school and engage with learning outside the classroom,” she explains. “After visiting MMC, I had a gut feeling it was the right place for me.”
This May, Haley will earn two Bachelor’s degrees: one in Business with a concentration in Fashion Marketing and a second in Public Relations and Strategic Communications, as well as a Law and Ethics minor. Within her first year at MMC, she focused on extending her education beyond the classroom throughout New York City, starting her first internship at Andy-Wolf Eyewear. Soon enough, Haley was interning at Victoria Beckham and Walt Disney-Marvel Entertainment. Just this past summer, she volunteered at CHA in California, a local mutual aid organization aimed at helping her local community with essential needs and dental, medical, and legal resources. Currently, Haley is a corporate communications intern at Louis Vuitton and a tutor at MMC’s Center for Academic Support and Tutoring.
In addition to her dedication to academic excellence, Haley also founded Spunky Designs at the start of 2021, her own design company specializing in earrings and keychains and is the Co-President of MMC’s chapter of Her Campus. “As cheesy as it sounds, attending MMC changed my life, making amazing friends and for the first-time having teachers that really believed in me made me feel valued, seen, and confident in my ability to take on anything. I am grateful for my time at Marymount Manhattan and cannot wait to see everything the future will bring.”
After MMC, Haley is determined to transform the fashion industry into a more sustainable and ethical environment. She is considering attending a joint J.D. and MBA program, as well as obtaining a Ph.D.
About Sydney Weiser ’21
B.F.A. in Musical Theatre
B.A. in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Directing
During her college search, Sydney Weiser found that Marymount Manhattan College’s Daily Dance program and Musical Theatre curriculum were exactly the rigor she needed to grow as a performer. Born and raised in Connecticut, Weiser felt drawn to MMC because, unlike many other theatre programs, the Department of Theatre Arts not only allows but encourages its theatre students to explore other academic programs to help form well-rounded artists. Naturally, MMC’s New York City campus was also a selling point. In her first semester, Weiser joyfully spent an entire day exploring historic theatre landmarks in a scavenger hunt for her Musical Theatre History class and then ended the day at a Queens bakery for her NYC Seminar, New York Saves the World.
Throughout her time at MMC, Weiser served on the Theatre Arts Student Council as a representative and board member, participated in the Leadership Scholars Program, directed three projects, assistant directed a Main Stage production and performed in two, and performed in several directing projects, playwriting projects, and other student productions. In 2020, Sydney presented “What the Lord Did for Me and the Lamb” from her course in Ethics of Performance Reenactment at Honors Day.
Weiser studied and interned with the Jewish Learning Fellowship at NYU’s Bronfman Center where she served as a Welcome Week ambassador and the Vice President of Shabbat and Holidays for the traditional-egalitarian student group. She has also completed a number of internships, including with Let’s Curate and 25 for 25 Podcasts, and she has performed in numerous plays and cabarets outside of MMC—even during the pandemic. In her final semester, Weiser started teaching voice lessons with Music and Arts.
For Sydney, the most valuable component of her time at MMC has been the faculty. “Jill Stevenson, Rob Dutiel, Brooke Haney, Bethany Elkin, and their colleagues are so generous with their knowledge and so supportive of their students’ ambitions,” she says. “The connections I’ve made with my peers will continue as professional collaboration.”
Currently, Sydney is working on a new web series entitled Hey, Professor and a new play The Disappearance of Furguson Bishop: A New Girl Parody Play with current students and recent MMC alumni.
After graduation, Sydney intends to continue coaching private voice lessons while auditioning for professional acting opportunities and establishing herself in the directing world.
All of us at Marymount Manhattan College are deeply inspired by and proud of both of our valedictorians. We look forward to hearing from them at Commencement in May. Until then, our most sincere congratulations to these extraordinary Griffins!