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Hofstra University graduates 2,000

Graduates at Hofstra University in Hempstead during commencement

Graduates at Hofstra University in Hempstead during commencement on Sunday, May 18, 2014. Credit: Johnny Milano

Number of graduates

2,000; 1,190 undergraduate degrees, 550 graduate degrees, 300 law degrees (The school released only approximate figures.)

Commencement speaker

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who replaced scheduled speaker Will Allen, founder and chief executive of Growing Power Inc., told graduates: "The fact that you've gotten this great education here at Hofstra, and the fact that you're the first generation to grow up immersed in all of this new technology, means one thing: If there ever was a time to figure out what your dream is, even if it seems hard to reach, now is the time." He added: "And then reach high. . . . Then, reach deep down inside yourself. See what you're made of, see if you can achieve that dream."

Gary Newman, 22, bachelor's degrees in drama and English creative writing

"It's kind of a weird mix of emotions -- sad to be leaving a lot of really good friends that I've made here the past four years but also really excited to move on and do better things in the future," Newman said. The Jackson, N.J., native plans to start a production company and stage a show in New York City.

Chanelle Ford, 21, bachelor of arts in political science, with a minor in psychology

Ford, a Washington, D.C., native, who will work as a business consultant, said she was "anxious, apprehensive and happy" all at once. "I'm pretty anxious to get started with my life."

Jesse Shusman, 26, bachelor's degree in liberal arts, with a minor in music

Shusman, a singer and songwriter from Sudbury, Mass., said; "I feel relieved. I'm excited because I was able to attain this degree, putting in the hard work, and it's going to enable me to pursue my career and passion with a new standard."

Haley Brennick, 22, bachelor's degree in business administration

Brennick, of Merrimack, N.H., will earn her Series 6 and Series 63 certifications and work in customer service for Fidelity Investments. "It was difficult but it was really rewarding. I know when I graduate I am going to be ready for a job in the financial sector, which is what I am hoping for."

Alex Barkley, 21, bachelor's degree in psychology

"It's a lot of excitement, a lot of nervousness at the same time because it's now taking that full next step after having been here for four years," said Barkley, of upstate Saratoga Springs. "I'm actually attending Stony Brook to get my master's in higher ed administration."

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