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Molloy College commencement

Molloy College graduates smile as they celebrate the

Molloy College graduates smile as they celebrate the school's commencement ceremony at Nassau Coliseum, on Friday, May 16, 2014. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Molloy College held its 55th commencement last nightat Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.


Number of graduates



Number of degrees

783 bachelor's; 323 master's; 1 doctorate; 37 associates; 12 certifications


Faculty speaker

President Drew Bogner told graduates they are being called upon to act as "agents of transformation," saying they must "leave the world a better place for having been here."


Guest speaker

John D. Cameron, chairman of the Long Island Regional Planning Council and son of a Scottish immigrant school bus driver, told students the world is a competitive place -- hard work and perseverance will be key. "Be a beacon of light in a world that too often appears dark. It will not be easy; it will often be unpopular. But it will be right."


Student speaker

Class of 2014 Valedictorian Ryan Lane, 21, of Levittown; biology and special adolescent education. "I've always felt I had good teachers," he said. "I'm most excited about the chance to inspire students to love learning."


Linwood Pitt, 25, of North Amityville; master's in criminal justice

Pitt wants to work in law enforcement. "I admire their work, the sacrifices they make daily. I want to be part of that family." He doesn't know where his career will start, saying, "I will work wherever I can get my foot in the door."


Gina Kearney, 47, of Baldwin; PhD in nursing

"I've always been passionate about nursing, with the ultimate goal of returning to the classroom as a teacher," said Kearney, who earned Molloy's first PhD. Both of her parents, now deceased, were ill when she was a child; her mother, Dolores Plowright, was diagnosed with breast cancer when Kearney was 3. "This is dedicated to her," Kearney said of her degree.


Ryan Welch, 31, of Ronkonkoma; master's in education

He looks forward to working with special needs children. "They keep you honest," he said, adding that such students will make him a better teacher, encouraging him to stay true to the craft. He hopes to foster in his students "the idea that they have the ability to achieve anything."


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