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Five Towns College 2015 commencement

A graduate celebrates after the conferring of degrees

A graduate celebrates after the conferring of degrees at Five Towns College's 41st commencement at Half Hollow Hills High School East in Dix Hills on Saturday, May 23, 2015. Credit: Angela Datre

Number of graduates 150


Degrees 160: 4 doctorates, 10 master's, 129 bachelor's, 17 associates.


President's remarks

Susan Barr called the students "incredibly talented" and said, "My dream is perhaps some day one of them will send a limousine for me to their Emmy or Tony awards ceremony." She advised graduates "to be brave, take the risk of new beginnings and do not ever lose your integrity."



Student speakers

Valedictorian Sonia Goldberg, 23, of South Orange, New Jersey, graduated with a bachelor's degree in professional studies/music business: "We're a collective of rebels, music nerds, theater geeks and general oddballs, and we are proud. We love what we do. . . . For the past four years, we have worked in synergy. . . . We have improved each other, both as artists and as people."

Salutatorian Crystal Janke, 23, of Lindenhurst, who earned a bachelor's in fine arts/film and video, said students learned "teamwork and networking is everything" in the arts. She paid tribute to classmate Tejan Edwards, of upstate Elmsford, who died in a January car accident. Edwards received a degree in music education posthumously.


Graduates' reactions

Desmond E. Owens , 21, music business

"I went to college because I wanted a strong foundation in music," said Owens, a jazz vocalist from Central Islip who hopes to secure a record deal.



Mary C. Halter , 22, film/video

"I love film editing," said Halter, of Pennsville, New Jersey. "I want to help make films better."



Eduardo M. Duran , 25, music education

"I enjoy working with kids, but I plan to sing and travel for a few years before working in a middle school," said Duran, of Sayreville, New Jersey, whose college barbershop quartet was ranked 10th in the world.



Allison Clasen , 24, film/video

"I want to create something that affects people," said Clasen, of Farmingdale. "Film is where I felt I should be."

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