Adelphi University held its 118th commencement Monday at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.
Number of degrees
45 doctorates, 1,221 master's degrees, 1,294 bachelor's degrees and 30 associate degrees
President Robert Scott urged graduates to use their "time, talents and treasures in exceptional ways." He added: "Your path to happiness and meaning is yours to make and to find."
Jeh Charles Johnson, secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, received an honorary degree. He told graduates he was "a C and D student" in high school, never imagining he one day would be a member of President Barack Obama's Cabinet. "Go forward. Dare to dream and never accept any limitations," Johnson said.
Class of 2014 president Heena Arora said, "Whatever the future holds for us, despite how well Adelphi has equipped us, the unexpected will happen. So take that risk, and open yourself up to diverse and rich ideas -- and act."
Frances Fan, 21, biology
"I was really fortunate to get an exciting fellowship at the National Institutes of Health studying the aging process," said Fan, of Irvine, California. "I think it would be fascinating to figure it out and see whether we might be able to slow down or reverse the aging process."
Frank Turano, 21, communications
"I look forward to seeing my career evolve," said Turano, of Bellmore, who will start a job as a webmaster at CNN. "I feel like what I'll be doing now is so very different to what I'll be doing 10 years from now."
Silas W. Kelly, 60, master's of social work
"I came into this profession hoping my story would inspire others," said Kelly, who said he suffered physical and mental abuse as a toddler in the New York City foster care system. When he was 3, he was moved to a loving foster family in Amityville, where he lived until adulthood. "I want people to look into themselves and find that there is something inside them of value, and they can't let the failures in life define them."
Steven Lander, 22, business administration
"I plan on staying on Long Island and commuting to work," said Lander, of Levittown, who said he got five job offers and will start a full-time consulting job at IBM. "My father commutes to the city everyday and I've always pictured myself doing that. I really love the Island and what it has to offer."
Chelsea Wollman, 21, nursing
"My grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was seven and she was in and out of hospice care. Seeing what they [nurses] did for her and how they made her comfortable during the end of her life was what truly inspired me to go into nursing," said Wollman, of Northford, Connecticut, who hopes to work in the intensive-care unit in a metropolitan area hospital.