A graduating student in cap and gown smiles broadly and points to a friend as he leaves the stage after receiving his diploma.
Elation was the theme of the day at Adelphi's 128th Commencement.

These extraordinary students, many of whom missed their in-person high school graduation four years ago due to the pandemic, were excited to celebrate with classmates, family and friends. Adelphi President Christine M. Riordan noted, “This ceremony is a testament to your hard work and dedication.”

When members of Adelphi’s class of 1,044 graduating seniors filled Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on May 21 for Commencement, they had something extra to celebrate. It was the first time most of the students in attendance had donned a cap and gown and walked across a stage to pick up a diploma.

Most seated in the arena hadn’t been able to gather for their high school graduations four springs ago when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. And most spent their first year at Adelphi taking virtual classes online, alone at home.

“Many of you missed your high school graduations because of the global pandemic, so today is very special for you,” Adelphi President Christine M. Riordan told the crowd. “This ceremony is a testament to your hard work and dedication.”

A Look at the Class of 2024

The class that overcame so many unprecedented obstacles included graduates from 28 states and the District of Columbia and 26 countries.

Four of Adelphi’s colleges and schools conferred more than 100 bachelor’s degrees:

College/School Number of Degrees
College of Nursing and Public Health 314
College of Arts & Sciences 310
Robert B. Willumstad School of Business 110
Gordon F. School of Psychology 101

The class also included 74 graduates of our Honors College and 26 students who participated in our Levermore Global Scholars Program, which promotes global awareness and prepares students for leadership positions.

These programs graduated the most students:

Program Number of Students
BS in Nursing 299
BA in Psychology 87
BS or BA in Biology 60
BBA in Business Management 52

Academic honors were bestowed on students from across the University. The 2024 class included 186 students who graduated summa cum laude and 304 who earned magna cum laude honors.

The youngest student to march at Commencement was a 17-year-0ld who earned an associate’s degree in Liberal Arts. The most senior members of the class are 61. Three of those four earned degrees from Adelphi’s College of Professional and Continuing Studies—one with a BA in Liberal Studies, another with a BA in Social Science, and the third with a BS in Nursing. The fourth 61-year-old was awarded a BS in Nursing.

The broad range of ages demonstrates the flexibility and accessibility of our programs for people at all stages of their careers and professional lives.

A Valuable Degree

Graduates of the Class of 2024 earned degrees that have greatly increased in value thanks to Adelphi’s growing national reputation. The University surged in the 2024 rankings from U.S. News & World Report. Adelphi is now in the top 100 in three U.S. News lists—No. 32 for Best First-Year Student Experiences, No. 55 in Top Performers on Social Mobility, and No. 67 in Best Value Schools. A perennial Best College, we moved up 19 spots on that list this year.

Commencement speaker Eduardo Vilaro ’85, artistic director and CEO of Ballet Hispánico, told the students that Adelphi launched him on his own journey to success. “I was the first person in my family to graduate college,” the native of Cuba said. “My story, like many immigrant stories, was filled with struggles and challenges. But through it all education has been the cornerstone of my journey towards achieving my goals.” He said the Adelphi community supported and shaped him. “It’s where I honed my craft as an artist, an educator … and discovered the power of education.”

Graduates Reflect on Dreams Achieved

The students tell the story behind the rankings. Adelphi put them on a path to their dreams.

“As a first-generation college student, these past four years have been a dream come true for me and my family,” said Kenny Dionisio, the 2024 Class President who got his BS in Computer Science and a minor in communications. “I have big aspirations of making it in the media industry, and my time here has helped me grow.”

Kate Ackley graduated from the Honors College with a BA in Economics. She has already landed a job as a global capital markets analyst. “Adelphi and the Honors College helped me succeed by encouraging the development of meaningful relationships with my professors and peers,” she said.

“Adelphi has helped me grow as an individual, daughter, sister and a friend,” said Jolisa Lynch, president of Black Students United, who earned a BS in Health Sciences, concentrating in Healthcare Administration and Leadership, with a minor in African, Black and Caribbean Studies. “I was able to get involved in many things on campus, and that helped me clarify the values that are important to me.” Lynch was recognized as an outstanding student leader at the Brown and Gold Awards ceremony a few weeks before Commencement.

“Adelphi provides a path to students who are driven,” said Kevin Carratu, an Honors College graduate who got his BS in Neuroscience, concentrating in Molecular Neuroscience, and is applying to medical school. “I got the support and encouragement I needed to go on to medical school from my professors and fellow students.”

Adelphi serves more than 7,400 students at its main campus and at learning hubs in Brooklyn, the Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, as well as online. More than 121,000 Adelphi graduates have gained the skills to thrive professionally as active, engaged citizens, making their mark on the University, their communities and the world.

Adelphi Commencement 2024: Memorable Moments

Relive highlights and unforgettable moments from Adelphi University’s 128th Commencement.


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