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MEDIA CONTACT: Janette Robbins


FAU Scholarship Benefactors Honored at Luncheon

            BOCA RATON, FL (June 16, 2010) – Florida Atlantic University’s Division of University Advancement brought together scholarship benefactors and student recipients by hosting two luncheons at the Marleen & Harold Forkas Alumni Center on FAU’s  Boca Raton campus. Both events allowed FAU to publicly thank friends of the university who have generously championed, and sustained the dreams and accomplishments of deserving undergraduate and graduate students throughout FAU’s 10 colleges. A major arm of FAU’s administrative framework, University Advancement is responsible for fulfilling the goals of FAU through fundraising efforts designed to capture the interest and support of alumni, donors and members of the academic and outside communities.               
            Guests were welcomed at both luncheons by FAU Foundation Board Member Peter LoBello.  Since 1999, LoBello and his wife, Kerry, have been strong supporters of FAU athletic events and academic scholarship programs. Building their own legacy of giving, the LoBellos have impacted the lives of numerous students in the College of Engineering and from the commercial music program within the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. Their efforts on behalf of FAU exemplify the true power of philanthropy. In a brief address, delivered at both luncheons, FAU Provost John Pritchett offered his words of thanks to all guests in attendance.  “At FAU, we are proud to be able to offer students of all ages the priceless opportunity to access higher education,” said Pritchett. “You, our donors, are helping us fulfill this very important mission, and you richly deserve our sincere thanks.”
            Student scholarship recipient Cathy Trivigno spoke at the first luncheon.  At the time of the event, Trivigno was approaching completion of the doctoral degree program, with a 4.0 GPA, in integrative biology at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.  Trivigno’s story is nothing short of inspirational.  Shortly after entering this rigorous graduate program, Trivigno, a single parent, was told her daughter had Asperger Syndrome. Educating herself about this autism spectrum disorder, Trivigno was determined to seek the best treatment possible for her daughter.  The expenses of this early intervention were overwhelming, and Trivigno knew that without tuition assistance she would have to withdraw from school. She turned to the FAU Foundation for help and received the support she so desperately needed.
            “Thanks to the Foundation and the generosity of such donors as Arthur Weiss, I have been able to complete my courses and concentrate on my dissertation research project,” said Trivigno. “Sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and well received by the scientific community, my research focuses on a cancerous gene mutation that has been implicated in a fatal pediatric disorder.  Last year, I was one of nine student delegates chosen by the Genetics Society of America to represent the United States at the International Congress of Genetics in Berlin. The support I received from FAU benefactors when I faced uncertainty allowed me to earn my degree, and now I am able to go forward in my career. Your gifts have enriched the lives of many students and secure the future for generations to come.”            
            Representing student grant recipients at the second luncheon was Joshua Hunter Davis, a master’s degree candidate in visual arts from the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters.  For as long as he could remember, Davis had an interest in art. Davis chose FAU’s graduate program in painting for its world-class faculty.  Admitting that his first eye-opening year as a graduate student was far from easy, Davis faced the excitement and challenges of artistic freedom.  When he began creating a thematic series of large scale oil paintings, Davis discovered the staggering costs of producing large scale pieces.  He feared that he would have to abandon this ambitious project until he sought a grant from the Lucille B. and Jacob Friedland Art Endowment through the FAU Foundation. This grant endowed Davis with enough money for his supplies, and a subsequent grant will enable him to participate in an upcoming FAU summer study abroad program in Italy.  Davis sees the experience of studying art in Italy and the immersion in Italian culture as crucial to his advancement as an artist, student and person.
            “Being awarded these merit-based grants was crucial to my education,” said Davis.  “They enable me to break through to new heights.  Opportunity is the one thing that all scholarships, fellowships and grants provide to students.  As I have learned these past few years, success rarely exists without opportunity, and so I offer thanks to all of you on behalf of all FAU student recipients.”

- FAU -

About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts 10 colleges: Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, 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. For more information, visit <> .

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