On Sunday, April 27th, 2014, Florida National University (FNU) held its Spring 2014 Commencement Ceremony at the James L. Knight Center in downtown Miami, FL. Of the more than 200 students who graduated, 140 students attended the graduation.
The Masters of Ceremony for the event were Mr. Troy Wright, FNU Corporate Education Liaison and Ms. Monique “Songbird” Abbadie, FNU Alumnae and Artist from Team Shakira Season 4 of NBC’s The Voice.
Live music was provided by The Jazz Cats from Westland Hialeah High School Band. Led by Mr. Curtis Edwards, Jr., this was the first time the Jazz Cats performed for Florida National University. The United States Army Color Guard marched on to the stage and presented the colors.
Ms. Lucy Reyes represented the graduating class as the Salutatorian. Ms. Reyes graduated Magna Cum Laude with an Associate of Arts in Nursing. During her speech, Ms. Reyes thanked her parents, professors and fellow classmates for helping her achieve her educational goal. In the address to the graduating class she urged her classmates that they must “…demonstrate determination and perseverance…” and they must prove to their future employers that “…you are the right candidate for the position.”
Mr. Victor Guembes delivered the student valedictorian speech. Mr. Guembes graduated Suma Cum Laude with Master in Business Administration. In his
speech, Mr. Guembes mentioned that “today was not only a day to give thanks to family and faculty,” but it was “a day to plan for the future.” He continued by saying that “a degree does not guarantee a better job. What it guarantees is that you will shine in whatever you do.” Mr. Guembes thanked his family and the FNU faculty; he also extended a special thanks to FNU Prof. Elizabeth Barcena and Ms. Jelenny Hernandez for directing him to FNU’s newly founded Master of Business Administration. He urged the graduating class to “…plan your next goal and chase it until you get it … be a Conquistador!”
The Guest Speaker was Mr. Julio Fuentes, CEO/President of Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options (CREO). Mr. Fuentes addressed the graduates by urging them to “be kind to everyone” that “kindness pays back”. He advised the students “… to fight for your ideas … to fight for your ideas …” and “to trust your instincts”.
After Mr. Fuentes’s stirring speech, Mr. Wright introduced Dr. Caridad Hernandez, Vice president of Academic Affairs and Dr. Jorge Alfonso, Hialeah Campus Dean who conferred the diplomas. Dr. Hernandez delivered the degree proclamation.