Tony Bennett to be Honored on June 29th at Art & Design High School Graduation Ceremony

Singer Tony Bennett will be awarded an honorary diploma at the High School of Art and Design graduation ceremony on Wednesday, June 29th. The ceremony will take place at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, and will begin promptly at 12:00pm. Mr. Bennett is scheduled to arrive on stage at 12:15pm to receive his diploma. The presentation will be made by principal John Lachky and alumni president Yvonne Fitzner, who lobbied for the award to be bestowed.

Mr. Bennett, who is also an accomplished painter, attended the High School of Art and Design when it was known as the School of Industrial Art. He would have graduated in 1945 but left the school to support his family by working as a singing waiter.

Tony Bennett has often spoken with great appreciation about his former high school in his interviews and in his autobiography, The Good Life. In a 2001 interview with writer Mira Tweti, he stated, "I had a wonderful experience. They taught you the basics and techniques of all the art genres and I soon knew this was the real deal for becoming an artist. I owe my singing career to my music teacher, Mr. Jesse Sonberg. At the time I was torn between my two passions of singing and painting, and he encouraged me to stick with the singing, so I did. But I have been fortunate enough to continue painting and it has become a wonderful second career for me as well."

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