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Nassau Community College 2012 commencement

Hugo R. Ramirez gives the keynote address during

Hugo R. Ramirez gives the keynote address during Nassau Community College's 52nd commencement at Nassau Coliseum. (May 23, 2012) Credit: Charles Eckert

Nassau Community College's commencement took place Wednesday evening at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

Number of graduates

3,414 associate's degrees were awarded.

Keynote speaker

Hugo Ramirez, fund manager at Arkad Group real estate private equity firm in New York and alumnus of NCC's class of 1999.

"Challenge the notion of business as usual. If you're not challenged, you're not growing, and if you're not stumbling, you're probably playing it too safe. Don't stifle yourself with the fear of making the wrong move. After all, there is no right answer; there's just choice."

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano also spoke at the ceremony.

Joshua Goodfarb, 19, Old Westbury, biology, valedictorian

"We all face obstacles. Let's not make excuses for our problems. Instead, let's all think of them as life's challenges and the lessons we can learn from them."

Goodfarb was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, one of the autism spectrum diseases, in elementary school.

Karen Chicas, 20, Levittown, liberal arts, Student Government president

"I want to study all kinds of law. Nassau was a great foundation for my future studies." She plans to attend the Skadden, Arps Honors Program in Legal Studies program at City College next year in preparation for law school.

Student voices

Gül Berktus, 20, Wantagh, psychology

"I want to go into the Peace Corps and focus on human rights around the world." She said she found the diversity at Nassau a great preparation for a career in international relations.

Bonique Henry, 28, Rosedale, Queens, surgical technology

"This journey was so good. Nassau has prepared me well." She plans to attend Molloy College next year as a nursing major.

Hynreckie O'Hara, 54, Elmont, legal studies

"Nassau was excellent preparation for law school. We had so many firsthand experiences visiting New York State and U.S. courts." He returned to college to change careers and enter the legal profession. He plans to major in law at St. John's University in the fall.


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