Students gathered at Farmingdale State College's (FSC) 11th Annual Multicultural Gala April 26, celebrating the many ethnic origins and traditions of the backgrounds of FSC students. The theme of the evening, “Hope Celebrating our Students” was marked by inspiring words, music, dancing, poetry, and international foods.

“The Multicultural Gala is one of those events that brings the campus community together to celebrate what makes us different and unique,” said Sylvia Navarro-Nicosia, Chairperson of the Multicultural Committee. “As a person of double heritage, I know the importance of reintegrating into another culture.”  

The gala in its current form was launched in 2012, and has consistently drawn between 200 and 250 attendees, and is made possible by the work of the committee assisted by other volunteers.

“We’ve made great strides moving from simple diversity to impactful inclusion,” said President John S. Nader, as he challenged students to not be satisfied with the status quo. “We need to ask, ‘How can we broaden this experience?’ There is much more we can do and many more people from whom we can learn.”  

In addition to its multiculturalism, FSC also has one of largest percentage of military veterans in the SUNY system, a substantial number of adult learners aged 25 and older, and more legally permitted students from other countries than most colleges, representing more than 50 nations.  

Daniela Figueroa ’24 was the keynote speaker, an Applied Psychology major, Sillcox Scholar, Newman Civic Fellow for 2022, and a member of the RAM program. She said FSC has done increasingly more to help minority students feel included and represented. She urged students to push past others’ expectations and become the kind of examples they would like to see. “Just because you don’t see representation, (you can) be the representation,” she said. “Don’t settle for the American Dream; go beyond that and find your place.” 

Enjoy photos from FSC's 11th Annual Multicultural Gala.