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St. John’s University graduated nearly 3,000 students on Mother’s Day, May 13, for its 142nd Commencement festivities.

“Today is one of my favorite days of the year, when we get to celebrate the accomplishments of our students,” said Rev. Donald Harrington, president of the university. “And, I have to say that in my 23 years as president, each year I’m more proud of the students who walk across that stage.”

Red Storm head basketball coach Steve Lavin, who recently completed his second year with the team, delivered the commencement address in front of an estimated crowd of about 19,000 graduates, family members and friends.

Lavin, a cancer survivor, told the sea of red robes to enjoy life and look forward to the future.

“Life is precious and fragile. Don’t take it for granted,” Lavin said. “You can take pride in knowing that you’ve prepared at St. John’s for the challenges ahead, and you’re capable of striving for excellence and blazing your own trail as St. Vincent de Paul did.”

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