Jessica Raphael, left, and Cindy Auguste, right, are among the...

Jessica Raphael, left, and Cindy Auguste, right, are among the members of Stony Brook University's Class of 2012 that graduated Friday at LaValle Stadium. (May 18, 2012) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Undergraduate degrees: 3,930

Master's degrees: 1,598

Doctoral degrees: 457

Certificates: 351

MDs: 123

Keynote speaker

Renowned philanthropist Glenn Dubin, a cab driver's son who in 1978 received his bachelor's degree in economics from Stony Brook, founded Highbridge Capital Management, an alternative asset management company, and is its chief executive and chairman.

"You will experience failures both in your personal life and career," he told students. "Some failures in life are absolutely inevitable. Work through them and, most importantly, learn from your mistakes . . . Survival depends on adaptation. Regardless of whatever your goal is -- a teacher, doctor, engineer or business person -- to be at the top of your game you must constantly evolve."

President Dr. Samuel L. Stanley

"To the graduates, let me say that years from now when you think about this day -- and you will -- what you will remember most is not the commencement speech or the details of the ceremony, but being with your loved ones, friends and family members, and their joy at your success. And that's the way it should be."

Student speaker

Miryam Yusufov, 21, graduated with a bachelor's in psychology and was a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society. A native of Moscow who grew up in Brooklyn, she told fellow graduates: "You will be leaving here today equipped to do very memorable things with endless possibilities . . . We live in unpredictable times. Be ready to do unpredictable things."

Students' voices

Jessica Raphael, 32, history

"I am hopeful about my future. I am lucky enough to have a full-time position at the university and I hope to teach someday." Raphael, of Westbury, who works with international students in visa and immigration services, wants to teach as an adjunct professor.

Cindy Auguste, 27, nursing

Auguste said she hopes to "continue to grow and excel and to work in a hospital." She said she chose nursing because of the "compassion we show to each patient, and not just to help the patient but their family as well." She is from Brooklyn.

Jackie Cowles, 22, health science

"I'm hoping to take a year off and then go into a physical therapy DPT program," said Cowles, who is from San Diego, Calif. "I wanted to get into health care, physical therapy, sports medicine, because I am interested in rehabilitation."

Yaseen Eldik, 22, psychology-sociology

"I'll be working for the Office of Faith-based Initiatives and Neighborhood Partnerships for the Obama administration" within the Department of Agriculture," said Eldik, of Kings Park. "I hope I'm able to one day cut at the root of cultural and social barriers that divide the citizens of this country."

Brooke Ellison, 33, sociology

Ellison, of Stony Brook, who received her doctoral degree, was paralyzed after being hit by a car when she was 11. She went on to graduate from Harvard University. "It's interesting I'm graduating from the facility that saved my life 21 years ago," she said. "It's symbolic and gratifying for myself." After graduation, Ellison said, "I'll be working at Stony Brook as a professor in the School of Health Technology and Management."