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FAU Celebrates Fall 2013 Commencement

BOCA RATON, Fla. (December 12, 2013) –  Florida Atlantic University will confer more than 2,380 degrees today and tomorrow during five commencement ceremonies in the Carole and Barry Kaye Performing Arts Auditorium, 777 Glades Road, on the Boca Raton campus. The new graduates will join more than 134,600 alumni who have graduated from FAU since the university opened its doors in 1964.

“Today marks the culmination of the hard work and successes of Florida Atlantic University’s students,” said FAU Interim President Dennis Crudele. “We join their family members and friends in congratulating them on reaching this major landmark in their lives.”

FAU will present the President’s Distinguished Service Medallion to Robert Stilley, former chair and current member of the Board of Trustees, on Friday, Dec. 13 at 9 a.m. Stilley  has worked to enhance the University’s growth and reputation by supporting the development of the Boca Raton campus as a traditional college campus, expanding the University’s research footprint and increasing outreach to the community. Stilley is president and chief executive officer of HeartCare Imaging, Inc., a full-service diagnostic imaging service company based in Tequesta.

Fall commencement also highlights the accomplishments of outstanding graduates, including:

· Bashar Khaddam, an Iraqi native, from 2005 to 2011 served as an official Iraqi/English translator/interpreter embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq. During this period, he fulfilled a vital mission for the United States, translating at one point for the current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey. After his valorous service to the U.S. Military, Khaddam’s boss, U.S. Capt. Daniel Eadens, took the necessary steps so that Khaddam would be granted political asylum in the United States. In 2011, Khaddam came to live with Eadens’ family, and soon after, applied for graduate study in linguistics at FAU. Khaddam receives his master’s degree in linguistics on Thursday, Dec. 12 at 9 a.m.

·  Following years of preparation and anticipation, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing is graduating 10 students from the inaugural Emerging Nurse Leader Nursing Administration and Financial Leadership class. The first academic program of its kind in the country, the inaugural cohort of emerging nurse leaders completed a rigorous curriculum that included a combination of online and traditional classes, as well as a leadership practicum for five consecutive semesters. The class will graduate on Thursday, Dec. 12 at 1 p.m.

· Mathew Hudson exemplifies a student at FAU who took advantage of every opportunity and sought out to do more and be more.  An entrepreneur at heart, his story illustrates how one can find every resource needed for a successful future. Through the Android App Design and Project Management course, co-offered by the College of Business and the College of Engineering and Computer Science at FAU, Hudson and his team set off on a trajectory that would lead them to the 2013 FAU Business Plan Competition.  Here Stadson Technology would take home first place of the competition and a total prize valued at more than $55,000.  Hudson receives his bachelor’s degree from the College of Business on Friday, Dec. 13 at 9 a.m.

“Each and every year at Commencement, I’m reminded of the impact FAU has, and will continue to have, on its students, faculty, staff, and the six-county region it serves,” said Anthony Barbar, chair of FAU’s Board of Trustees. “Speaking for the Trustees, I commend the Class of 2013. As an FAU alumnus myself, I’m moved and impressed by the accomplishments of this year’s graduates.”

Some interesting statistics regarding the fall graduating class include the fact that 79 of the degree recipients are over the age of 50. The oldest graduate is 64, and the youngest is 18. The graduates represent 53 countries.

For the convenience of family members and friends who cannot attend the commencement ceremonies, the proceedings will be cybercast at .


Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit

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