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MEDIA CONTACT: Kristine Gobbo

FAU Celebrates Summer 2011 Commencement

FAU’s oldest graduate, 90 years old, receives master’s degree

BOCA RATON, FL (August 9, 2011) – Florida Atlantic University will confer nearly 1,700 degrees today during three commencement ceremonies in the Carole and Barry Kaye Performing Arts Auditorium on the Boca Raton campus. This commencement marks the 101st ceremony as the University celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The new graduates join 122,000 alumni who have graduated from FAU since the university opened its doors.

“Commencement is a wonderful opportunity for FAU to celebrate the great accomplishments of these graduates,” said FAU President Mary Jane Saunders. “We congratulate all of our graduates and hope they will continue to be part of the FAU family as active alumni.”

The 5 p.m. ceremony will honor Dr. Ira J. Gelb with the President’s Distinguished Service Medallion. A renowned board-certified cardiologist, Gelb has a long history of volunteer service to the university. He currently is assistant dean for pre-baccalaureate programs, co-director of cardiology and a clinical professor of biomedical science in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at FAU.

Summer commencement also is highlighting the accomplishments of several outstanding graduates, including Menachem Henri Hager, 90, who will become the oldest graduate of Florida Atlantic University when he receives his master’s degree in liberal studies from the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters at 1 p.m.

A few interesting statistics regarding the summer graduating class are that 55 of the degree recipients are over the age of 50, and the youngest graduate is 18. The graduates represent 43 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. 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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