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Duke graduates toss their caps

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Coach K spoke at the graduation (WTVD)

After years of challenging classes at Duke, candidates for undergraduate, professional, and graduate degrees were eager to turn tassels and toss their caps inside Wallace Wade Stadium.

On Sunday, graduates were excited to talk to ABC11 about their accomplishments.

Casey Dudek enthusiastically explained, "I double majored in physics and art!"

Another member of the class of 2016 is looking forward to her next chapter, while looking back on her time at Duke.

"Yeah! I would stay another year, if they'd let me," said Gwen Hawkes. "Real world, here I come!"

The 'real world' she's approaching means traveling to New York and pursuing a career in publishing, now that Hawkes has earned her English degree.

Double major Dudek said, "I'm really interested in design, so I'm looking at product development. Really interested in marrying both physics and art, hopefully create some new path between the two."

Michael Lister doesn't have to go far for a job with his Duke nursing degree.

"I'm starting work with Duke Hospital in June," Lister shared.

We also saw many proud parents, like Coleen Gold. Her two daughters accepted their diplomas after passing some tough courses.

"International Comparative Studies and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies," said Gold. "And the other one is in Psychology."

They heard encouraging words from Mike Krzyzewski, AKA Coach K, who is recovering from surgery but stood to address the crowd. He reminded them that attitude, preparation and execution are the keys to success as they start the next chapter of their lives away from Duke.

"There's nothing more important than attitude, and it's your choice," he said.

Gold has a practical reason for smiling now that her girls are Duke graduates, saying that she feels a little richer.

"We wrote our last tuition check," said Gold, grinning.

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