More than 1,400 students graduated from FGCU during three commencement ceremonies Sunday, May 3 at Alico Arena. They join the ranks of more than 22,000 FGCU alumni.
Communication was the most represented bachelor’s degree, with 125 awarded, and the College of Arts and Sciences awarded the most degrees, with 606 undergraduate and 43 graduate degrees. At the graduate level, 29 MBAs were awarded. The College of Health Professions and Social Work presented doctoral degrees in physical therapy to 29 graduates, and the College of Education awarded three doctorates.
FGCU President Wilson G. Bradshaw conferred degrees at all events.
Commencement speaker Ambassador Francis Rooney, CEO of Rooney Holdings Inc. and chairman of Manhattan Construction Group, urged graduates to reflect on what they have accomplished and to take stock of the opportunities their education provides them.
“As you leave Florida Gulf Coast University, you enter a world of great challenges and opportunities, a globalized and interconnected world which needs the new ideas, vision and initiative you can bring it,” Rooney said. “You leave here grounded on the education you have earned and supported by your family, friends and community. These enduring resources will guide and assist you as you travel down the path of life.”
Rooney is a graduate of Georgetown University and the University of Dallas. He was appointed by President George W. Bush as U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See and served from 2005 to 2008. He currently serves on the Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation Board of Directors, the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, the Council of American Ambassadors, the Trust for the National Mall and Crossroads GPS, and The Forum Club of Southwest Florida. Ambassador Rooney lives predominantly in Naples, Fla.
At the 1 p.m. ceremony, FGCU awarded an honorary doctorate to David Lucas of Fort Myers, who served as an inaugural member of the FGCU Board of Trustees and currently is a member of the FGCU Foundation Board of Directors. Lucas and his wife, Linda, are among the university’s earliest and strongest supporters. With a major gift, they established the Lucas Center for Faculty Development at FGCU. Lucas has been very involved in the Southwest Florida community, both as chairman of Bonita Bay Group and through his civic efforts. For more information about the Lucas Center, go to http://www.fgcu.edu/LucasCenter/about.html.