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FAU Celebrates Spring Commencement

            BOCA RATON, FL (April 30, 2009) - Florida Atlantic University conferred more than 2,600 degrees during five commencement ceremonies held in the Carole and Barry Kaye Performing Arts Auditorium on FAU’s Boca Raton campus.  The new graduates join more than 109,000 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 President Frank T. Brogan.  “With the tools acquired through their success at FAU, these students will have the opportunity to achieve their part of the American dream.”

Spring commencement highlighted the accomplishments of several outstanding graduates, including:

  • Mary Hopkins, 36, is the first African-American female to receive her Ph.D. in mathematics from FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.   The three-time graduate of FAU credits the encouragement of her professors for helping her to overcome the racial boundaries she experienced growing up as a child
  • Kay Skrocki, 59, graduated from FAU’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters with a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and a minor in history. Skrocki suffers from retinitis pigmentosa and is legally blind, yet cares for her deaf and legally blind mother and continues to work while obtaining a university degree.
  • Toni Shae Jackson, 20, moved to Florida from Jamaica with nothing but $50 in her pocket.   She works 20 hours a week as an information technology programmer.   In addition, Jackson trains 30 hours a week on FAU’s track and cross country team.  Jackson is ranked third in her sport in the Sun Belt Conference and has achieved high academic honors. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in biology/pre-med from FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.

FAU’s graduating class included 101 graduates who were over the age of 50.  The oldest graduate was 70, and the youngest graduate was 18.  The graduates represented 54 countries.

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


Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serv es more than 26,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses strategically located along 150 miles of Florida's southeastern coastline. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts ten colleges:  College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the Barry Kaye 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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