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Hofstra University holds commencement

Ronan Farrow speaks at Hofstra University's commencement on

Ronan Farrow speaks at Hofstra University's commencement on Sunday. Photo Credit: Heather Walsh

Hofstra University held its commencement ceremonies Sunday in David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex on the Hempstead campus.

Number of graduates

1,118 bachelor’s degrees, 589 master’s degrees, 24 doctorates, 166 juris doctorate degrees.

Commencement speakers

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Ronan Farrow told the graduates his career was “on the rocks,” before he broke the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault story, with people doubting it and even threatening him. “I didn’t stop. Because I knew I’d never be able to live with myself if I didn’t honor the risks those women had taken to expose this,” he said. Farrow urged graduates to listen to and trust their inner voice. “Because if enough of you listen to that voice — if enough of you prove that this generation isn’t going to make the same mistakes as the one before — then doing the right thing won’t seem as rare, or as hard, or as special.”

Mike Massimino, a former NASA astronaut and the first person to tweet from space, told students it wasn’t until his fourth time applying for NASA that his dream came true. “People are going to tell you ‘no’ from time to time and just think of it as well, maybe I can’t do that right now, but maybe that means ‘no, maybe later,’ ” Massimo said. “As long as you don’t give up, there’s always a chance.”

Graduates

Gina Barbara, 38, rhetorical studies

“I’m excited to finally graduate. I’ve been here for five years,” said Barbara, of Wantagh, who has cerebral palsy and is an advocate for people with disabilities. She had to take a medical leave, which she said, delayed her studies, “but it’s OK. I’m here now. I’m finally doing it.”

Chase Bridgers, 21, journalism

“I just finished my internship at ‘CBS This Morning.’ I’m turning 22 this week, and graduation is finally here,” said Bridgers, of West Orange, New Jersey. “I’ve had a lot of growing up to do in the past couple of days, but it’s been a great time.”

Dhakenia Maxime, 22, community health

“I’ve gotten to take on different leadership roles, and I think that really brought me out of my comfort zone, because I was super shy coming out of high school,” said Maxime, of Roosevelt, who is going to medical school at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Hofstra kind of like opened me up and showed me my potential.”

Myles Marinez, 21, psychology

“This is absolutely electric. Looking around seeing all these people. I knew a lot of these guys freshman year and going through the past four years with them, I’ve made a lot of great memories,” said Marinez of Connecticut. “It’s just, it’s unreal.”

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