LIU Post held its 60th commencement on the university’s Brookville campus Friday.
Number of graduates
898 bachelor’s degrees, 1,058 master’s, four dual bachelor’s/master’s, 40 doctorates, 180 advanced certificates.
Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment — which manages and controls the Brooklyn Nets, Barclays Center and NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum — was presented with an honorary doctorate of business. “It is so vital to set milestones for yourself, and to appreciate every single rung up that ladder. And always remember that every job, no matter how seemingly small, is another opportunity to work your way up,” Yormark said. “As each of you go through the next few days, celebrate your achievements, but don’t get caught up in what’s behind you. Decide what your future will look like. You may pivot in search of it, but if you work hard, and commit to finding it, you’ll get there.”
“I’m really happy, it’s a really big honor,” Kristina Dolan, 21, of Williston Park said of being co-valedictorian. Dolan graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and a minor in digital arts and design. “It’s something that I never thought I could do, but I’ve worked through the four years and done my best, so it’s great to be honored for that.”
Co-salutatorian Veronica Nguyen, 22, of Fort Worth, Texas, kicked off the ceremony singing the national anthem. “I’ve had a lot of really great opportunities here,” said Nguyen, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music in vocal performance. “It’s a small school, small department, but if you are given the tools that you need to create something out of very little, then you can learn a lot from that.”
Erica Laporte, 23, criminal justice
“It took me five years, so I’m truly excited to be done,” said Laport of Westbury. Her advice to future classes: “Always keep your head up. Always be strong and never give up, no matter what your GPA is, it could be a 1 or a 2, keep going. I started bad. I went upstate and I had a bad GPA, and I came here, and now I’m a 3.8, so you never know.”
Mark Raghunandan, 22, finance
“It’s a really good feeling,” said Raghunandan of Long Beach. “I’m working for Chase full time right after school. I’m going to be a personal banker, so it’s a really exciting feeling just getting a job right outside of college, and LIU really prepared me for that.”
Lukess Joseph, 23, criminal justice
“You gotta be a survivor. You gotta to be able to hustle and grind. You gotta wake up early, sleep late sometimes, but it’s all worth it in the end,” said Joseph of Brooklyn. At first his grades were low, but he was able to persevere. “I made it. I saw the bigger picture. I had a great support system at LIU Post. Without that support system, I wouldn’t be here.”
Jennifer Mather, 21, criminal justice
“I’m very thankful I got to join my sorority, Alpha Xi Delta, and I got to be a part of student government association as well,” said Mather of Pelham. “When I joined my sorority, I was in a very tough patch in my life, my grandfather had just died.” The sorority was “one of the steppingstones to creating the woman I am now, and I’m very thankful for that,” she said. “I got more confidence. I was so much better about being in my own body and my own skin.”