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FAU Honors Hall of Fame Recipient and Distinguished Alumni at Reception

            BOCA RATON, FL (June 19, 2008) - The Florida Atlantic University National Alumni Association (FAUNAA) held a reception for distinguished FAU alumni at the Eleanor R. Baldwin House.   Hosted by FAU President Frank T. Brogan ’81 and Mrs. Courtney Brogan, and drawing close to 150 guests to the Boca Raton campus, the event honored distinguished alumni from eight of FAU’s ten colleges for their career accomplishments and celebrated the induction of Mary E. Wood ’76 into FAUNAA’s Alumni Hall of Fame.   Since 1985, FAUNAA’s Hall of Fame has served as a platform for recognizing alumni excellence.  

            Mary Wood is vice president and controller of AES Corporation, a $14 billion global power company.   Previously the executive vice president-CFO for DHL Express Americas, the world’s largest express delivery company, Wood was part of the executive team that led DHL’s acquisition and integration of Airborne Express.   Wood has held key positions in the affiliated companies of AutoNation, ANC Rental and Alamo Rent-A-Car.   Beginning her career as an audit professional in public accounting at KPMG Peat Marwick, Wood was eventually admitted to the partnership.   An accounting major, Wood earned her undergraduate degree from FAU’s Barry Kaye College of Business. Her college named her an FAU University Scholar.   Wood is certified as a public accountant by the state of Florida.   Committed to a variety of community causes, Wood serves on numerous non-profit boards including the FAUNAA board.

            “What an honor to be recognized by my alma mater,” said Wood.   “The experiences I had in the College of Business truly changed my life.   I am so proud to be affiliated with this growing university and look forward to being a part of its exciting future.”         

Representing eight of FAU’s ten colleges are the following distinguished alumni:

Mark Greenwald ’01, from the College of Architecture, Urban and Public Affairs — Greenwald, a member of Florida’s Department of Juvenile Justice since 2002, heads a team of 19 professional researchers.   In his role, he has developed the first Delinquency in Florida’s Schools report and provided data support to the Blueprint Commission.   Greenwald’s dedication to improving youth services has earned him recognition in the field.  

Linda A. Alley ’94, from the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts ad Letters — Alley is a trial attorney practicing in the field of medical malpractice with the law offices of Sheldon J. Schlesinger, P.A.   While at FAU, Alley was a non-traditional student with a full-time job and children to raise.   She credits FAU for supporting her through the process with flexible class times.   Alley truly believes that without the encouragement she received from her FAU professors, the path to becoming a lawyer would have been much more difficult.

Robert L. Forde, Jr. ’74, ’79, from the Barry Kaye College of Business — Forde is vice president of sales for City Furniture, a company he has been a part of since 1980.   A lifetime member of FAUNAA and a member of FAU Foundation Broward, Forde has used his professional position to foster a number of worthy causes in the community.   He has coordinated, through City Furniture, outreach projects to such organizations as Habitat for Humanity, Covenant House and Alonzo Mourning Charities.

Louise Crocco ’69, from the College of Education — Crocco is one of the most highly respected high school coaches in the nation.   For 39 years she has been the volleyball coach at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale. The school’s athletic director since 1981, Crocco was named Volleyball Coach of the Year by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association in 1988.   Her awards are numerous, and this summer, she will be inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations Hall of Fame.

Richard C. Asher ’67, of the College of Engineering and Computer Science — Asher recently retired as the deputy director of ocean engineering and supervisor of salvage and diving in the U.S. Navy office known as SUPSALV.   A member of the first graduating class of FAU’s department of ocean engineering, Asher, in his long and distinguished Navy career, has recovered dozens of aircrafts as well as the space shuttle Challenger. He played a major role after hurricanes Katrina and Rita when he mobilized and directed the largest salvage operation of its kind.  

Autumn S. Widdoes ’03, of the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College — Widdoes, while at FAU, co-founded and was the artistic director of the student-run theater organization.   After graduation, she moved to London, England, to pursue a career in theater. Now living in New York, Widdoes writes and directs plays.   Her work has been staged at the Dixon Place Theatre in Manhattan and The Brick Theater.

Dr. Gail Mitchell ’84, of the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing — Mitchell is an associate professor in the School of Nursing, York University, Toronto, Canada.   She is also a visiting professor at the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong.   A strong proponent of the “human becoming” theory of nursing, Mitchell believes in incorporating the human experience in the practice of nursing.   Her research spans a variety of subjects with particular emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, persistent pain and loss.

Dr. Caula A. Beyl ’73, of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science — Beyl has been dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at the University of Tennessee since 2007.   She has served as a principal investigator or co-investigator on 41 funded research projects in the areas of horticulture, stress physiology and space biology.   Beyl has taught extensively at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and has received numerous awards in her field.  

            For more information about FAUNAA and upcoming events, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 1-888-FAU-ALUM or


Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 26,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses strategically located along 150 miles of Florida's southeastern coastline. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts ten colleges:  College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the Barry Kaye College of Business, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College,   the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.  

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