NUMBER OF GRADUATES

13 associate degrees; 182 bachelor's; 14 master's; two doctorates

STUDENT SPEAKERS

Kaitlin Marie Carr, bachelor's in professional studies, was among those who addressed the class. "Our days of exams and papers, and the all-nighters we had to pull to complete them, are for the most part behind us. . . . This is definitely a time to rejoice in the fact that our time as students -- something we have been for the majority of our lives -- is officially over. But we should also remember that our days as students will never truly be finished because life is a constant learning experience."

COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER

Richard Hayman, conductor and composer. He received an honorary doctorate in music.

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"This is a great honor to be here and be in your presence . . . I wish I had gone to school, but I was too busy roaming the earth exploring all the places around for years and years . . . just having fun."

STUDENTS' REACTIONS

Geovanny Santamaria, 24, of Mineola; bachelor's, music education

"Now I feel accomplished. I feel like I am ready to compete and be a professional out there."

Daniel Pfeifer, 26, of Port Jefferson Station, the school valedictorian; bachelor's, film/video

"Go for your dreams, no matter what you want to do in life."

Camille Shannon, 23, of Deer Park, originally from Bridgeport, Conn.; bachelor's, music theater

"I'm feeling good, accomplished and educated."

Danielle DiFronzo, 24, of Hicksville; master's, childhood education

"I'm looking to get a full-time teaching position -- on the Island, preferably."