LIU Post's 56th annual commencement was held Friday under a tent on the Great Lawn on the school's Brookville campus. The ceremony also included students from LIU Brentwood and LIU Riverhead.
Number of graduates
1,060 bachelor's, 1,194 master's, 42 doctoral degrees
Kimberly Cline, who delivered her first commencement speech as the new president of Long Island University, told graduates to stay in touch and create a legacy that makes the university proud. "Education is a never-ending journey. There are no finish lines, only opportunities to learn, to grow and to gain wisdom."
Petter Holmsen, valedictorian and a film major from Norway, recognized the shared challenges he and other graduates face as they leave college. "I am scared. I am terrified. I don't know what is waiting for me. And that, I think, is what we all have in common."
Sarabeth Levine, renowned pastry chef and founder of Sarabeth's restaurants and preserves, earned her bachelor's degree in sociology from LIU Post in 1964. She spoke about the support she got from family and friends as she became an entrepreneur. "None of us is self-made," she said.
Maria Varricchio, 24, of Massapequa; M.A. in literacy
"I'd like to be an elementary school teacher or reading specialist," she said. "I struggled with reading when I was younger so I want to help others in this way."
Anthony Pastecchi, 21, of Hicksville; B.S. in business management
"It feels great to get to this point and graduate," he said. "I'm going into publishing, and I've been working at a trade magazine part time while going to school. They offered me a full-time job so I'm very happy. I start next week -- can't waste any time."
Kyle Hardy, 23, of Matawan, N.J.; B.S. in criminal justice
"I plan to take the New Jersey state trooper test this summer and we'll see," he said. "I have a lot of family and friends in law enforcement so I grew up always wanting to protect and serve my community."
Holly Maddock, 22, of Medford; B.F.A. in dance studies
"I'm going to move into the city and audition for some dance companies," she said. "I'm not doing it for fame or anything. I just love to create movement. Ten years from now, I'd love to be a choreographer for a contemporary ballet company."