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Farmingdale State College holds 98th commencement

Beatrice Carty, of Queens, raises her hands as

Beatrice Carty, of Queens, raises her hands as graduates walk to their seats during the 98th Farmingdale State College commencement ceremony held at Nold Hall, Saturday, May 20, 2017. Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

Farmingdale State College held its 98th commencement Saturday in the Nold Athletic Complex on the Farmingdale campus.

Number of graduates

950 — 880 bachelor’s degrees, 70 associate degrees

Commencement speakers

Stanley Bergman, chairman and chief executive of Melville-based Henry Schein Inc., told graduates: “You have an important role — your job is to mentor the older generation. We need to understand how to work in an exciting world.”

Leland Melvin, former NASA astronaut and STEM education advocate, said: “Mark Twain said the two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you figure out why. It’s your job now to figure out exactly why you were born.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said: “Garner up the courage and strength to put aside your doubts and take a chance. If you do, it is my hope, my prayer and my confidence you will find true joy and success.”

Student speaker

Valedictorian Brian Muff, 22, of Port Jefferson Station, who earned a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine, encouraged his classmates to continue learning and embrace their education. “While others have recognized your talent, it is much more important for you to confidently recognize it,” he said.


Oluwaseyi Joseph, 23, professional communication

“It hasn’t really hit me yet, but I feel accomplished and proud,” said Joseph, of Far Rockaway, Queens. “I always say Farmingdale picked me. . . . I feel it’s been a really good decision.”

Shaquille Saillant-Givraj, 23, visual communication

“I’m feeling awake, alive. Everything was serendipitous; it fell into place and here I am, now graduating,” said Saillant-Givraj, of Levittown.

Deidra Kearns, 24, visual communication

“I got accepted into the EOP [Educational Opportunity Program] and it’s been a smooth ride to graduation,” said Kearns, of Smithtown. “I’m really taking what Farmingdale has taught and I’m going to merge it into my career.”

Marissa Sarro, 21, science, technology and society

“I’m excited and a little nervous and mostly proud,” said Sarro, of Massapequa. “I didn’t really want to go away and it was the best choice.”

— Laura Blasey

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