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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Grad Commencement Begins New Chapter

    Stony Brook University celebrated its 51st Commencement Ceremony on Wednesday, May 25. The university awarded 6,402 degrees to the class of 2011. Of those degrees, 3,898 were bachelor degrees.  

    At 11:00 a.m., the 3,898 students who were about to graduate college filed onto the field in Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. Sitting on the field in the sea of red caps and gowns was Tahir Ahmad, who graduated with a degree in biochemistry.

    “I don’t think we could have had a better ceremony,” Ahmad said. “It was a great way to commemorate our four years here at Stony Brook. The atmosphere was vibrant, minus the immense humidity.  They really made it feel like a unique and spectacular experience all the while making it special towards the individual graduate.”

    While Ahmad didn’t have a specific favorite part of the ceremony, he did particularly enjoy the speech given by the student speaker.

    “It was one of those speeches that sort of combined the experiences of students attending Stony Brook, but more importantly how it had changed them into who they are today,” Ahmad said. “It cemented your school pride.”

    Michelle Mbekeani the speech that Ahmad praised. She was elected to be the student speaker by a panel of students and faculty.

    “I felt very honored to be selected to speak before my class and their families, it was a great opportunity to speak on the experiences that we all share as Stony Brook students,” said Mbekeani, who graduated with a degree in German language and literature and political science. “The theme I wanted to focus on was unity among differences. We have such a diverse class with varying backgrounds whether it be economic, ethnic, or religious. Nevertheless we manage to find various common grounds. I also wanted to focus on what we have achieved as the class of 2011, I wanted my peers to not stress about the future on this day but to be proud of our recent past here at Stony Brook University.”

    Another very important part of the ceremony was the announcement of the senior class gift. It has been a tradition for the senior class to donate to a cause of its choice. The class of 2011 chose to donate to Stony Brook Long Island Children’s Hospital. This was especially important to Samantha Hassman, a member of the class of 2011.

    “I was so happy when I got the call to donate to the class gift and they told me our gift is going to the Stony Brook Children’s Hospital,” said Hassman, who graduated with a degree in psychology. “I couldn’t think of a better way to give back to Stony Brook!” Hassman contributed to the senior class gift, which totaled to a $13,400 donation.

    The ceremony culminated with Mbekani’s favorite part, the flipping of the tassels. Now, as college graduates, Ahmad will be attending medical school, Mbekeani will be going to law school, and Hassman will be moving to Boston to work in a hospital helping children.

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