St. Joseph's College held its 95th annual commencement for students of its Patchogue campus Tuesday at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.
Number of degrees
938 bachelor's degrees, 238 master's degrees
Sister Elizabeth Hill, president of St. Joseph's College, is retiring in June after 17 years as president and serving the school for more than three decades. Hill was thanked for her service and awarded an honorary degree as doctor of Arts and Humane Letters.
"Each one of you needs to figure out why are you here -- the one and only you? The world is in a pretty sorry state right now. . . . It would be easy to be passive and disengaged, but you would only be fooling and cheating yourself because only you -- unique you -- can bring about change. And only if you choose to do something."
Student speaker, Arts & Sciences valedictorian Kristen Marie Roedel, English major
"In the age of social media and I-technology, the world accuses the class of 2014's generation of laziness and lacking interpersonal skills. What they fail to realize is that the hours we spend behind screens do not hinder our ability to interact with others. Rather, we are engaged in the world beyond our local communities."
Andrea Gosik, 21, East Northport, child study and speech communication
"All four years of college have led me up to this point, to where I can now go and teach what I have learned to future generations."
Rosanny Pelaez, 27, Brentwood, child study
"Oh my, it came so quickly. I did it. I accomplished a big step in my life. I'm extremely happy."
Katherine Ossa, 22, Ronkonkoma, child study and speech communication
"It's finally here. [In the future] "I'll be having my own day care and going for my master's in speech pathology."
Cody Lohsen, 21, Centereach, accounting
"It flew by. I can't believe it, and I'm very proud of myself and my fellow classmates."
Philippe Calixte, 22, Amityville, marketing
"I'm excited and ready for the next step. . . . It's kind of overwhelming, but I'm really looking forward to being in the real world."
Matthew Skolnick, 24, East Islip, psychology
"I'm really excited and really proud to be here. I'm thankful for all the people who helped me get to this point. . . . I'm going to Stony Brook University for social work in the fall."