Farmingdale State College held its 100th commencement Tuesday night at Nold Athletic Complex on campus.
Number of graduates
922 bachelor’s, 10 master’s and 119 associate degrees, and 15 certificates.
SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson addressed the graduates, speaking about integrity and commitment to community and the importance of kindness. She recounted how she cared for her mother, who had suffered a stroke, and the lessons she learned from spending that valuable time with her. "Graduates, keep your promises to the people you care about, even when it appears to cost you something. … My point to you is that you don't need to run a nation to have an impact, or even a state, or a huge organization like SUNY … Each of us can make a difference within our own arm span by deciding to do the right thing every day."
Valedictorian Jamie Jones, 24, of Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, England, played on the college golf team and majored in Architectural Engineering Technology. He spoke about how Farmingdale helped grow his confidence and independence and that many graduates also have gained valuable experiences in their time there. "My message to you is to use this experience as a catalyst for your future, to continue to remain committed, to work hard, to push yourselves and to strive for perfection," he said. "Farmingdale State College sets the perfect example of how to develop, to grow, and to always seek improvement. This school has grown from a small agricultural college when it was founded just over a century ago, into SUNY’s largest college of applied sciences, with over 10,000 undergraduate students, and it’s still growing. This development has been clearly evident to me during my four years here, and it has left a lasting impression on my attitude toward my future."
Nighat Malik, 44, Dix Hills, Science, Technology and Society
"I actually came back to school to finish this after 23 years," said Malik. "So this is for me a long time coming. I was working full-time, going to school full-time … I have my family, my kids here — everyone is here, so it's awesome."
Chelsea Paul, 23, Brooklyn, Electrical Engineering Technology
"I feel pretty awesome. It's been a while. I transferred twice, and this was the second school I transferred to, and I've really enjoyed my time here at Farmingdale," said Paul. Now, she said, she will be looking for a job and "hopefully start working on my master's."
Mario Mejia, 22, Hempstead, Science, Technology and Society
"I feel accomplished, and I owe it all to my parents, " said Mejia. "I aspire to many other things down the road, but I’m very excited to be here and have this opportunity to be in the 100th graduating class of the students of Farmingdale College."
Michael Duffy, 23, Lindenhurst, Science, Technology and Society
"I’m one of the first on my mom’s side to graduate, and I’m pretty happy about that," said Duffy. "I’m going to Touro College for physical therapy, and I start in September."