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Adelphi University 2013 commencement
Devin G. Thornburg, chair of the faculty senate, exhorted students to continue their educations after graduation.
"Continue to read -- it will allow you to reflect on who you are," he said. "Learning is much more than a score on an exam."
Ari Shaiken, class president, came to the lectern with an hourglass, which he used as a metaphor for students' experiences at Adelphi. "The first day of school, we came pouring in," he said. Now, "We will all disperse in different directions."
Carlton Douglas Ridenhour '84, also known as Chuck D of the hip-hop group Public Enemy, said Adelphi's degree-earners deserve as many accolades as celebrities like him. "Y'all hear about celebrities talkin' about swagger," he said. "Y'all got the real swagger -- this is something to swagger with."
Robert A. Scott recalled the student body's volunteer efforts after catastrophes like superstorm Sandy, and asked students to keep up that work during better times, too. "Continue to be engaged in the community, even when there's no storm," he said.
Jessica Hernandez, 27, Kew Gardens
master of science in early childhood education
"Before, I was working as a teacher," she said. "Now, I can finally work in the special education world, which is what I really wanted to do."
Katie Mathew, 22, Hillsborough, N.J.
bachelor of arts in communications science and disorders
"I think this is more for my parents, because they helped pay for school," she said. "I'm excited to be able to let them see me accomplish something."
Javier Bonilla, 22, Lindenhurst
bachelor of science in music performance
"I'm a vocal performer -- being in front of crowds doesn't make me nervous," he said of the commencement ceremony. "There really isn't much you can do with a bachelor's of music performance, so I'm going to take a semester off and weigh my options."
Danielle Sofferman, 21, of Lawrence
bachelor of science in physics
"I'm going to the University of Michigan for a PhD in applied physics," she said. "I'm really excited to get out there and start my career."
bachelor of science in finance
"I just got a job in Chicago and I moved there. I flew in just for the graduation, It's the biggest thing -- your first milestone of life."