Press Release:


FAU Celebrates Spring 2011 Commencement

            BOCA RATON, FL (May 5, 2011) – Florida Atlantic University will confer more than 2,650 degrees on Thursday, May 5 and Friday, May 6, during five commencement ceremonies, in the Carole and Barry Kaye Performing Arts Auditorium on the Boca Raton campus.  This commencement marks the 100th ceremony as the University celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The new graduates join 120,000 alumni who have graduated from FAU since the university opened its doors 50 years ago.
            “All commencement celebrations are special occasions, but the fact that this is the 100th in the 50-year history of Florida Atlantic University makes it historic,” said FAU President Mary Jane Saunders. “We congratulate all of our graduates on their many accomplishments and hope they will continue to take part in the life of FAU as active alumni.”
            The 9 a.m. ceremony on Friday will honor Kenneth Herman ‘75 with the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame Award.  Herman was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service in 1977, when he worked at the Lufkin Daily News alongside its editor Joe Murray, for stories that uncovered serious problems in Marine recruiting and training practices in east Texas.  Herman is currently a columnist and editorial board member for the Austin American-Statesman.
            Honorary doctoral degrees will be awarded on Friday, May 6 to Arthur Jaffe in the 9 a.m. ceremony and Michael Turvey, Ph.D. in the 1 p.m. ceremony.  Jaffe was an Army intelligence officer in World War II and then a member of the Haganah Jewish defense force which helped to establish the nation of Israel.  A former businessman and fundraiser for the Carnegie Institute and various Jewish organizations, he has donated 12,000 rare and artistic books to FAU’s S.E. Wimberly Library.  He also is the curator for the Jaffe Center at FAU, which offers classes in papermaking and hand-set letterpress printing.
            Turvey is a professor emeritus in psychology for the University of Connecticut, known for his pioneering work in the ecological approach to perception.  He was part of a team that did seminal work in extending principles of self-organizing physical and chemical systems to biological movement.  Turvey has received numerous awards and honors, including the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Experimental Psychologists.  He has served as a guest lecturer, visiting faculty member and conference participant at FAU’s Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences.
            Local philanthropist and FAU benefactor Christine E. Lynn and veterinarian Dr. Morris Povar will be awarded with the President’s Distinguished Service Medallion on Friday, May 6, at 1 p.m.  Lynn and her late husband, Eugene, were among the original donors to FAU’s nursing program in 1979, also donating $10 million to name and construct the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing building which opened in 2006.
            Povar served as a laboratory researcher during World War II and led a food inspection team during the Korean War.  After private practice in Rhode Island, Povar became director of Brown University’s Animal Care Facility where he taught, conducted research and authored articles for scholarly journals.  After retirement, he contributed his time and expertise to the establishment of FAU’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee in FAU’s Division of Research for 20 years.
            The first cohort of students in the Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and Bilingual Education will graduate from the College of Education’s department of curriculum, culture and educational inquiry on Thursday, May 5, at 5 p.m.  Graduates of this program promote English language acquisition, bilingualism and bi-literacy for increasing student achievement and promoting workplace opportunities for adult learners of English.
            Four students also will be the first to graduate from FAU’s geomatics engineering program in the College of Engineering and Computer Science’s department of civil, environmental and geomatics engineering on Thursday, May 5, at 5 p.m. Geomatics engineers, also known as land surveyors, design, develop and operate systems for collecting and analyzing spatial information about the land, oceans, natural resources and manmade features.
            Spring commencement also is highlighting the accomplishments of several outstanding graduates, including:
                     Marc Abdelnour will earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration majoring in finance from the College of Business on Thursday, May 5, at 9 a.m., and has been FAU’s top tennis player for the last three years, recently earning All-Sun Belt Conference honors.  Nationally ranked in both singles and doubles, he was named “Male Athlete of the Year” at FAU for 2011. 
                     Hayden Trepeck will receive his master’s degree in business administration from FAU’s College of Business on Thursday, May 5, at 1 p.m. Trepeck founded the Entrepreneurship Club student organization at FAU, contributed to the entrepreneurship initiatives at FAU as special assistant to former FAU Interim President John Pritchett and former FAU Interim Provost Diane Alperin, served as chief of staff to the Student Government president, and promoted athletic events at the University.
                     Vesta Wilhoite will receive her bachelor’s degree in social work with an elders certificate from the College for Design and Social Inquiry on Thursday, May 5, at 1 p.m., despite several ambulatory disabilities including peripheral neuropathy and osteoporosis.  At the age of 52, Wilhoite served as president of the Phi Alpha Honor Society and has successfully lobbied state legislators for the last two years on behalf of the elderly population.
                     Candace Marie Hackett will receive a master’s degree in fine arts with a concentration in acting from the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters on Friday, May 6, at 9 a.m.  Hackett is a stuntwoman and fight choreographer who is trained in high profile stunts and six weapons styles.  She is currently performing in the Florida Grand Opera’s version of “Don Giovanni.”
            Some interesting statistics regarding the spring graduating class include the fact that 108 of the degree recipients are over the age of 50.  The oldest graduate is 67 and the youngest graduate is 17.  The graduates represent 54 countries.  More than 100 graduates have a 4.0 grade point average.
            For the convenience of family members and friends who cannot attend the commencement ceremonies, the proceedings will be cybercast at


About Florida Atlantic University:

Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. In commemoration of its origin, FAU is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2011. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering & 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. For more information, visit .

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