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Five Towns College holds 2016 commencement

Graduates celebrate after just receiving their diplomas at

Graduates celebrate after just receiving their diplomas at Five Towns College graduation at Half Hollow Hills High School East, May 21, 2016. Credit: Johnny Milano

Five Towns College held its 42nd commencement Saturday at Half Hollow Hills High School East in Dix Hills.

Number of graduates

166: 15 associate degrees, 142 bachelor’s degrees, seven master’s degrees, two doctorates.

Commencement speaker

News 12 Long Island anchor Danielle Campbell talked about how she was changed by her experiences in journalism, including covering the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, when she trailed a team of Long Island medical professionals to the Caribbean nation. “I had the privilege and honor of documenting and watching them work unending hours and putting back together arms and legs, and their lives,” she said. “And it was a story that I will never forget.” Campbell told the graduates they each have a purpose. “Just remember, success is more than money, celebrity, fancy cars — despite what reality TV tells us,” she said. “All of you are capable of much more than that.”

Student speakers

Valedictorian Melanie Magri, who earned a bachelor’s degree in jazz and commercial music, said: “Becoming someone’s hero doesn’t necessarily mean they’re praising you for what you accomplished. It doesn’t necessarily mean they want to be you or want what you have. It means they saw all of your hard work as an accomplishment in itself.”

Salutatorian Michael Makowski, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business management, said: “Many exciting experiences await us in this chapter. Experiences that will mold us into new people and test us in ways we have never been tested before.”

Student reactions

Maurice Narvaez, 21, bachelor’s in business management and audio engineering. “I love music. My father had his own CD store, so I grew up around it,” said Narvaez, of Hempstead.

Alex Mingo, 21, bachelor’s in business management. “It’s bittersweet. You make friends, you build close relationships, and now we’re going out into the world,” said Mingo, of Uniondale.

Kristin Bestler, 23, master’s in music composition. “I feel knowing music theory will help me to teach others. Education is my passion,” said Bestler, of Williston Park.

Bobby Alam, 27, bachelor’s in business management and audio recording technology. “I’ve been doing this for a long time. Graduating is a huge lift off my shoulders,” said Alam, of Astoria, Queens.

Katie Tuohy, 21, bachelor’s in film and video production. “I guess because it just happened, it doesn’t feel like it’s over. I’m looking to get some sort of internship. I’d really like to get into screenwriting,” said Tuohy, of North Massapequa.

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