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MEDIA CONTACT: Scott Silversten

FAU Celebrates Summer 2013 Commencement

BOCA RATON, Fla. (August 6, 2013) –  Florida Atlantic University will confer more than 1,660 degrees today during three commencement ceremonies in the Carole and Barry Kaye Performing Arts Auditorium, 777 Glades Road, on the Boca Raton campus. The new graduates will join more than 130,850 alumni who have graduated from FAU since the university opened its doors in 1964.

“Today marks the culmination of the hard work and successes of Florida Atlantic University’s students,” said FAU Acting President Dennis Crudele. “We join their family members and friends in congratulating them on reaching this major landmark in their lives.”

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

  • Diandra Fernandez, a former FAU softball player, was at practice during her sophomore year, when was she hit in the face by a ball that fractured her nose, left orbital bone and collapsed a valve in her nose. Several doctors examined Fernandez and agreed that not only was her playing career over, but there was a possibility she would lose her eye. But through perseverance and dedication, she managed to overcome the odds and will walk across the stage to receive her Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice from the College for Design and Social Inquiry today at 1 p.m.
  • James Martin, 17, compares himself to an astronaut looking into the night sky and gazing in wonder at the moon. Martin is studying the genes that are necessary for a fly to develop and how the genes interact with each other. He will graduate today at 1 p.m., when he receives his B.S. degree in molecular biology from the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science as the youngest person to graduate FAU this semester.
  • Eugenia Millender moved with her grandmother to the United States from Panama in pursuit of a better life when she was 12.  On top of the usual challenges faced in middle school, Millender did not speak English and was often bullied because of cultural and racial differences.  Now pursuing her third nursing degree at Florida Atlantic University and serving as the clinical director of the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing’s Diabetes Education and Research Center, it is this personal experience that inspired Millender, who will receive a Ph.D. in nursing degree on Tuesday, Aug. 6 at 1 p.m.
  • Lisa Finn spent the past four years at FAU teaching and researching students with autism spectrum disorders. Finn’s study has led to an increase in on-task behavior in the classroom. All of her successes in the classroom will culminate today at 5 p.m. when she receives a Master of Education degree from the College of Education.

“Each and every year at Commencement, I’m reminded of the impact FAU has, and will continue to have, on its students, faculty, staff, and the six-county region it serves,” said Anthony Barbar, chair of FAU’s Board of Trustees. “Speaking for the Trustees, I commend the Class of 2013. As an FAU alumnus myself, I’m moved and impressed by the accomplishments of this year’s graduates.”

Some interesting statistics regarding the summer graduating class include the fact that 92 of the degree recipients are over the age of 50. The oldest graduate is 73, and the youngest is 17. The graduates represent 44 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, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. 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. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit

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