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      Thousands of new graduates get their degrees in Syracuse

      G raduation day is an emotional one for students filled with smiles, happiness and relief. Thousands of students from both Syracuse University and SUNY ESF received their degrees today in a dual ceremony at the Carrier Dome.

      James White is getting a B.S. in Physics from Syracuse. "It was an amazing experience I'm so happy I was able to share it with everyone, family and friends. Just the student body, just the sense of comradery and everything. If you were here for the ceremony, just the school spirit is incredible," says White.

      Sam Fisher is also graduating, except with a degree in advertising. "It was absolutely surreal, four years go by in an absolute blink. It was exciting it was nerve-racking, but we were ready we prepared ourselves," says Fisher.

      Akeema Austin hopes that her degree in nutrition will be worth the time and money she put into it, especially in today's job market. "I have my degree but I'm also broke and I have to pay back that money so I don't know, I guess I'm going to start figuring it out today," says Austin.

      Iasiah Jones is going to Howard law school to continue her education. "A lot of my professors tell you always tell you to work first and then go on to your secondary degree but for me I think law school is my direction that I want to go in and it has always been," says Jones.

      "A bachelor's is important but it's just a step further. It's putting you out there to make more money and to develop more skills," says Austin.

      These students were able to listen to Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof speak today. "To keep on pushing and to be resilient I think young people today are really well grounded and it's a privilege to be able to bring that message to them," says Kristof.

      He wanted all of these graduates to understand how lucky they really are to have a college education. "Whatever the challenges of this job market the truth is that frankly we are so damn lucky to be in this time and place and enjoying this public good of a university education," says Kristof.