FNU Graduate Achievements Highlighted at FALL Commencement Ceremony
By Katherine Concepcion, Distance Learning Advisor, Guest Writer
Florida National University’s FALL 2012 Commencement Ceremony honored the first class of graduating students since the school’s change from college to university. This accolade was celebrated at the James L. Knight Center, one of Miami’s cultural powerhouses. Friends, family, faculty, and staff gathered on Sunday, Sept. 23rd in recognition of the students, many of whom are first generation college graduates.
Troy Wright, Corporate Education Liaison, and Assistant Dean Silvia “Bibi” Borges from the Hialeah Campus, served as the MC’s for the ceremony. Distinguished FNU faculty and staff members filled the stage. During the procession, the crowd was treated to a rendition of Pomp and Circumstance by the Mater Academy Band, as well as a presentation by the National Color Guard.
Event speakers included the FALL 2012 Valedictorian Mearli Orozco, Salutatorian Unbreen Mirza, Alumni Speaker Guy Michaud, and Keynote Speaker Maridee Bell, Vice President of Sunbeam Properties. Each speaker shared his/her motivational insights and personal experiences.
“Saying “No” to the thought of giving up is one of the most powerful things you can do to keep believing in yourself,” said Orozco in her moving, deeply personal, and strongly engaging Valedictorian speech. “Please never forget that this life is your movie and you are the protagonist. With enough hard work, every protagonist can win each battle and become a hero in the end.”
Keynote Speaker Maridee Bell encouraged the graduates to avoid limiting themselves, to learn something new every day in an effort to recession-proof themselves, and to “Do the right thing even when no one is looking.” She also embraced the importance of volunteering in the community and shared one of her tools for success: “Be deliberate in your life. If you take time each day to be deliberate, life is not going to pass you by.”
To all the FALL 2012 graduates, congratulations on staying determined, working hard, and not letting life pass you by without getting a good education; may your FNU degree serve as a launching pad for your future endeavors.