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Farmingdale State College 2012 commencement

Tiernan Nolan, 23, graduated from Farmingdale College. (May

Tiernan Nolan, 23, graduated from Farmingdale College. (May 12, 2012) Credit: Robert Brodsky

Number of graduates: 1,120 bachelor's and 520 associate degrees.

Student speaker: Valedictorian MaryAnn Karageorges received a bachelor's degree in professional communications while taking night, weekend and summer classes for the past six years: "With the coveted college degree we receive today, we have now achieved our minimum. In the spirit of Farmingdale's centennial mission, we must now use our college education to reach our maximum."

Commencement address: Kirk Kordeleski, president and chief executive of Bethpage Federal Credit Union, told the graduates: "Look for a job that gives you the widest possible access to people that work at different levels of companies and who have very different backgrounds. You will learn more at what you want to do, about your life and where you want to take your life."

Clare Valerio, 22, associate degree in dental hygiene

"I can't wait to treat patients and to provide them with the skills I learned at Farmingdale."

Plans to continue toward her bachelor's degree while seeking a job as a dental hygienist.

Leslie Ebright, 29, bachelor's in applied mathematics with a minor in economics

"I am excited about being done with school, but I plan to further my education."

Applying to graduate schools, including Hofstra, Stony Brook and SUNY Downstate.

Tiernan Nolan, 23, bachelor's in professional piloting

"I am ready to experience the world and to have a job that I have been working so hard for."

Leaving this summer for an 18-month deployment in the Air Force.

Branden Fredericks, 21, bachelor's in applied psychology

"It's about helping people and being that vehicle for change that people may need."

Seeking a job as a psychiatric aide at a local community hospital.

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