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Press Release:


FAU Celebrates Fall 2009 Commencement

            BOCA RATON, FL (December 10, 2009) - Florida Atlantic University will confer more than 2,300 degrees today and tomorrow during five commencement ceremonies held in the Carole and Barry Kaye Performing Arts Auditorium on the Boca Raton campus.  The new graduates join more than 112,000 alumni who have graduated from FAU since the university opened its doors in 1964.

            “Commencement is a wonderful opportunity for FAU’s students, faculty, staff and the extended FAU family to celebrate the great accomplishments of these graduates,” said FAU Interim President John F. Pritchett.  “I wholeheartedly congratulate all of the students who will walk across the stage at this fall’s commencement.  This is a major achievement in a person’s life and will empower them to achieve their academic or career aspirations.”

            The 9 a.m. ceremony on Thursday will host John Connelly, ’71, co-founder of Nautical Furnishings, who will receive the Alumni Hall of Fame Award.  Nautical Furnishings lists Flanigan’s Restaurants, Disney, Outback Steakhouse and Olive Garden as some of its many clients.

            The 9 a.m. ceremony on Friday will honor Florida Senator Jeff Atwater with the President’s Distinguished Service Medallion.  The medallion honors those who have rendered service of great value to the University and the community.

            Fall commencement highlighted the accomplishments of several outstanding graduates, including:
            Priscilla Winder, who is the first Ph.D. graduate who was primarily enrolled at FAU’s Harbor Branch campus.  Winder started at HBOI as a member of the inaugural HBOI/FAU Semester-by-the-Sea class.  She participated in an internship with HBOI’s marine biomedical and biotechnology program and shortly thereafter received her bachelor’s degree from FAU.  Upon receiving her degree, she was hired as a member of HBOI’s biomedical research staff.  Today, Winder is receiving a Ph.D. in chemistry from the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.
            Clifford Jean-Jacques has sickle cell anemia, which constantly leaves him tired and missing some classes.  Sometimes the pain from the disease can last hours or days.  That would be enough to make some people quit.  Jean-Jacques, however, is graduating from FAU with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the College of Architecture, Urban and Public Affairs and soon will start a job with the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Some interesting statistics regarding the summer graduating class include the fact that 120 of the degree recipients were over the age of 50.  The oldest graduate was 69 and the youngest was 19.  The graduates represent 48 countries.

            For the convenience of family members and friends who could not attend the commencement ceremonies, the proceedings were cybercast at


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. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts 10 colleges:  College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the 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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