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FAU Celebrates Spring 2012 Commencement

BOCA RATON, FL (May 3, 2012) – Florida Atlantic University will confer more than 2,600 degrees on Thursday, May 3 and Friday, May 4 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 125,000 alumni who have graduated from FAU since the university opened its doors in 1964.

"Commencement marks a wonderful time of the year when family, friends, faculty and staff celebrate our graduates' dedication to learning," said FAU President Mary Jane Saunders.  "Many of our students will leave FAU to launch successful careers.  Others will stay and continue their education with graduate-level study and research.   Regardless of where they land, know that our graduates will represent all that is good with FAU as they make an impact on our region's economy and the South Florida community."

On May 3 at 1 p.m., FAU will present the President's Distinguished Service Medallion to three Tuskegee Airmen: retired Lt. Cols. Leo Gray and Eldridge Williams, and retired Judge Richard Rutledge. The Tuskegee Airmen are African American veterans who overcame segregation and prejudice to become one of the most highly respected fighter groups of World War II, and whose achievements paved the way for full integration of the U.S. military.

During the ceremony on May 4 at 9 a.m., Marvin Weiner will be awarded an honorary doctorate degree posthumously.  His family members will accept the award on his behalf.  Weiner, a New Jersey businessman and entrepreneur, had a true love affair with American history, and spent most of his adult life collecting original pamphlets, books and newspapers from the Revolutionary War era.  The result is the "Marvin and Sybil Weiner Spirit of America Collection of Colonial Imprints," consisting of 13,000 varied and uniquely valuable items.  Ranked as one of the top 10 collections of its kind in the U.S., the collection is now housed in FAU's Wimberly Library, having been entrusted to FAU's care in 2006 by the Weiners.

FAU alumnus Jaime Borras, '74, '81, chief executive officer of Wireless Silicon Group, will receive the FAU National Alumni Hall of Fame Award at the May 4 ceremony at 1 p.m.  A pioneer and innovator in the wireless telecommunications industry, Borras is highly regarded for his leadership in inventing and implementing new technologies in breakthrough products to drive emerging markets.

"FAU's commencement truly symbolizes what this University is all about," said Robert J. Stilley, chair of FAU's Board of Trustees. "These meaningful ceremonies are indicative of the fine faculty who serve our talented students and help them grow to be the outstanding individuals who will make a difference in the world upon graduation."

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

  • Justin Davis, 22, played the position of center for the FAU men's basketball team under head coach Mike Jarvis during the University's historic 21-game winning season in 2011.  After finishing his basketball career and earning a Bachelor of Business Administration from FAU's College of Business that year, Davis completed a corporate treasury internship with JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York City.  He returned to FAU to pursue his master's degree in accounting while working as a graduate assistant in FAU's Office of Alumni Relations.  Davis will graduate with a Master of Accounting degree and a 3.6 grade point average (GPA). After graduation, he plans to move to Austin, Texas in June to begin his career as a financial analyst working for Dell Inc.
  • Jad Khazem, 17, is the youngest student to graduate from FAU this semester, and is dual-enrolled as a senior from FAU High School.  Khazem will receive his bachelor's degree in political science with a minor in Spanish from the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, and in May will graduate summa cum laude with a 4.0 from FAU High School. He also has been named a finalist for the $2,500 National Merit Scholarship.  Working as a tutor for academically at-risk college students and volunteering hundreds of hours with the Office for Students with Disabilities, Khazem also served as an FAU student senator, and interned for former Florida Governor Charlie Crist and State Senator Maria Sachs. Khazem plans to go to law school and pursue a career in public service.
  • Edith Nagy, 24, will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, earning a 4.0 GPA.  She moved to South Florida from Romania when she was 12.  During her undergraduate research, Nagy developed a new way to make a certain type of amino acid, which is rapidly becoming the building block of choice in medicinal therapies because the body does not reject it.  Nagy's research has helped FAU advance in the race to discover chemical bonds that were previously thought impossible, ultimately leading to new medicinal therapies.After graduation, she will begin a prestigious three-year National Science Foundation fellowship to pursue her Ph.D. at FAU.Nagy is the first FAU student to receive the prestigious fellowship.
  • Rasheed Shotuyo, 25, will receive a master's degree from FAU's School of Urban and Regional Planning within the College for Design and Social Inquiry. While attending law school in St. Louis, Missouri, Shotuyo was struck by the depression of the majority African-American populated northern area of the city, with its deteriorating buildings and crumbling infrastructure.  He realized that his calling was elsewhere, so he returned to FAU to pursue a master's degree in urban and regional planning.  Among other projects, Shotuyo worked as part of an FAU graduate team on an economic conditions analysis for the City of Wellington's 2060 initiative, which outlines the community's goals for the next 50 years.  He also has launched an economic development and planning firm that provides urban redevelopment plans and strategies to South Florida governments, nonprofit organizations and businesses.

Some interesting statistics regarding the spring graduating class include the fact that 120 of the degree recipients were over the age of 50.  The oldest graduate was 64, and the youngest was 17.  The graduates represent 61 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 serves more than 29,000 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 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. For more information, visit

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