Adelphi University held its 120th commencement Sunday at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater.

Number of graduates

Total number of graduates, 2,322: undergraduate 1,353; graduate 948; doctoral 21

Commencement speaker

Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund, urged graduates to use their talents to improve the lives of children. “The greatest threat to America’s national and economic security does not wrest from any external enemy. It’s our failure to invest in healthy, educated children who have to become our future workforce in this country . . . Any nation that fails to prepare most of its children for productive work and life must correct course now. And all of us must be a part of the solution . . . We have got to have a new movement and it has to be about giving every child a healthy and safe and educated passage to adulthood.”

Student speakers

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Karla Hernandez, 22 of Queens Village, who is the Class of 2016 president who earned a bachelor’s degree in English and psychology, said: “My hope for us all is to remember that throughout the challenges that will come with our future plans, we are still able to see the world for all its beauty and the significance of our place within it.”

Ryan Sobeck, 24, of Bayside, who earned a master’s degree in fiction writing, said: “We are about to go out into the world where every opportunity is made by our own hands. And the hope is after four or more years of getting opportunities presented, we’d be able to recognize one when it’s in front of us.”

Student reactions

Peter J. Hraniotis, 21, English

“I’m ready to be extraordinary in the world . . . Adelphi has prepared me for that,” said Hraniotis of upstate Montgomery.

Sophia King, 22, chemistry

“I’m going to get my PhD in chemistry. Then I plan on going into academia,” said King of Brooklyn. At Adelphi, she said, “I got to do a lot of things that I could only dream of as a kid.”

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Taylor Groth, 21, psychology

“It’s just the next step for me,” Groth, of Setauket, said of graduating. “Today is really just to show what I worked for and where I’m going.”

Zachary Naglieri, 20, economics

“It’s been very special,” Naglieri, of Garden City, said of his college career. “It’s really special to have smaller class and have a good relationship with professors.”