Nearly 1,000 students receive diplomas

Molloy University hosts spring 2023 commencement ceremony at Nassau Coliseum


Graduates crossed the stage to receive their diplomas at the 2023 Molloy University Commencement ceremonies held at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale on May 22, including students from the School of Arts and Sciences, The School of Business, The School of Education and Human Services, and the School of Nursing and Health Sciences.

The Molloy Class of 2023 is comprised of 940 graduates, including Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral degree recipients, plus Associates and Advanced Certificate and other graduates. Victoria Franco of Lindenhurst served as class valedictorian and delivered an address.

“I’m so excited,” Sarah Tafur, originally from Colombia, who now lives in Valley Stream. “It was hard but we got it done.”

While the Class of 2023 was caught in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic and lockdown and had to attend many of their classes remotely, that did not dampen the spirits of the graduates.

“It hit right at my freshman year, in my second semester,” said Mason Santa Catalina, a theater major from Roseville, California. “We had to switch modes and learn how to do theater over Zoom. It was crazy but we’ve come out so much more resilient.”

“When we were able to go back in person, that really helped,” Thomas McHugh, who will take a job in a hospital emergency room as one of the graduates of the Barbara J. Hagan School of Nursing, said. “Getting that contact back with the teachers really helped us learn.”

Sister Donna Markham, president and chief executive officer of Catholic Charities USA, who is the first female president to lead Catholic Charities and the 10th president in the organization’s 112-year history, gave the commencement address on Monday. 

Her career has been dedicated to leading efforts to reduce poverty and providing care for people at-risk. As part of the ceremony, Molloy bestowed an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree upon Sister Donna for her work during her 40-year career.

“We are pleased to welcome Sister Donna to this year’s commencement exercises,” James Lentini, president of Molloy University, said. “The CCUSA mission aligns closely with Molloy’s, with an emphasis on respect and dignity for all people, and she will deliver a powerful message that I am sure will resonate with our students.”

Molloy also conveyed an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on New York State Regent Roger Tilles, recognizing his contributions to the New York State Education Department, his philanthropy and his support of the arts.

“Roger has been a friend of Molloy’s for many years and his support of higher education has benefited Long Island and all of New York State for many years,” Lentini said. “His dedication to the region is unsurpassed.”