The highlight of the two-hour ceremony: Lillias White belting out the gospel hymn His Eye Is on the Sparrow. The Tony Award winning singer-actress and CCNY alum received an honorary doctorate. Even better: in the audience watching on, was her bestie Phylicia Rashad who clapped, snapped photos and cried as her friend sang. Actress Tyne Daley was also on hand to support White. And as always Senator Charles Schumer stopped by to deliver his usually remarks to graduates, family and friends.

Credit: All photos by Ellis Simon. Check out the full gallery on CCNY’s Facebook page.