FAU Celebrates Spring 2023 Graduates

Candid shot of a 2023 FAU graduate

Florida Atlantic University will confer more than 3,000 degrees Thursday and Friday for the spring semester during six in-person commencement ceremonies in the Kaye Auditorium. (Photo by Alex Dolce)

By jonathan fraysure | 5/4/2023

Florida Atlantic University will confer more than 3,000 degrees Thursday and Friday for the spring semester during six in-person commencement ceremonies in the Carole and Barry Kaye Performing Arts Auditorium, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus. The new graduates will join more than 199,000 alumni who have graduated from FAU since the University opened its doors in 1964.

“Congratulations class of 2023,” said FAU President Stacy Volnick. “Trust that what you’ve learned at Florida Atlantic has prepared you for a lifetime of achievement and take pride in all you have accomplished. Your legacy will serve as an inspiration for determination, strength and ingenuity for all who will follow in your footsteps.”

This spring’s commencement will feature the following honorees and guest speakers:

  • May 4 at 9 a.m. – Manny Medina ’74, tech entrepreneur and FAU College of Business alumnus, will be honored with the president’s medallion
  • May 4 at 1 p.m. – Tevin Ali ’17, motivational speaker and FAU Charles E. Schmidt College of Science alumnus, as the commencement speaker
  • May 4 at 5 p.m. – Nicole Cummings ’03, deputy program manager at Aerojet Rocketdyne, distinguished alumna for FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • May 5 at 9 a.m. – FAU benefactor Barbara Schmidt will receive an honorary doctorate
  • May 5 at 1 p.m. – Michael Reiter ’88, former Palm Beach chief of police and distinguished alumnus of FAU’s College of Social Work and Criminal Justice
  • May 5 at 5 p.m. – Capt. Noel Gonzalez ’94, Naval Sea Systems Command and distinguished alumnus of FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science

Ali is a keynote speaker at higher education events nationwide, and is the founder of “Talk with Tevin,” an educational motivational platform. Just after graduating from FAU, he was named Florida’s 2017 Student of the Year by the Florida Association of Colleges and Employers (FloridaACE).

Schmidt is a philanthropist, businesswoman and bestselling author, as well as the founder of the nonprofit organization, Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life. At FAU, she helped launch the Peaceful Mind/Peaceful World community outreach program in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters in 2006, which contributed to the development of FAU’s Center for Peace, Justice and Human Rights. She has also continuously shown her commitment to the Owl community in other ways, such as generously contributing to programs including nursing, athletics and Holocaust studies.

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

Kate Maier, 19, will graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in liberal arts and sciences from the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College on Thursday, May 4, at 5 p.m. Maier received her FAU High School diploma last year, and thanks to the accelerated pathway through the partnership between FAU High, Wilkes Honors College and the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience, she will begin studies in the neuroscience Ph.D. program at Yale University in the fall.

Verlene Faust will graduate with a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters on Friday, May 5, at 9 a.m. As a senior, Faust auditioned for the United States Army Field Band Soldiers’ Chorus and won a soprano position, one of the youngest and one of very few undergraduates to do so. After graduation and basic training, she will join the prestigious mixed choral ensemble that serves as the vocal complement of the U.S. Army Field Band of Washington, D.C.

Some interesting statistics regarding the spring graduating class include the fact that 53 of the degree recipients are over the age of 50 and nine are over the age of 60. The oldest graduate is 78, and there are three graduates who are 17 years old. Of the more than 3,000 graduates, 938 are first-generation students, 133 will graduate with a 4.0 GPA, and 72 countries are represented.

For the convenience of family members and friends who cannot attend the commencement ceremonies, the proceedings will be cybercast at www.fau.edu/webcast/.