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FGCU Hosts 10th Commencement Exercises May 3; Former Governor Bob Martinez to Give Address
4/23/2003

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University is expecting to graduate 450 students during spring commencement exercises 10 a.m. Saturday, May 3 at Alico Arena on the FGCU campus.

FGCU is introducing two new features this year, an information line, (239) 590-1196, for students, parents and visitors to call for commencement details, and a reception on the second floor of Alico Arena following the event in honor of graduates and their guests.

Former Governor Bob Martinez will deliver the commencement address to graduates and over 4,500 family members and guests. President William C. Merwin will confer degrees.

Martinez was born in Tampa on Christmas Day 1934. He received a Bachelor of Science with a major in education from the University of Tampa in 1957 and a Master of Arts in labor and industrial relations from the University of Illinois in 1964.

Between 1964 and 1975, he taught junior high and high school, and was executive director of the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association.

In 1975, Governor Rubin Askew appointed Martinez to the Southwest Florida Water Management District governing board. He became vice chairman and served until sworn in as mayor of Tampa Oct. 1, 1979.

Martinez was elected governor in 1986 and served from 1987 to 1991. During his tenure, he supported increased education funding, prepaid tuition legislation and the establishment of the 10th state university, Florida Gulf Coast University.

In 1991, President George H. Bush appointed Martinez to be the United States’ second Drug Czar, a Cabinet-level position responsible for developing the nation’s drug control policy.

After returning to Tampa two years later, Martinez became a government consultant and in 1999, he joined the 100-year-old Carlton Fields law firm as managing director of Government Consulting Services. His interest in community organizations remains high and he serves on several corporate and non-profit boards.

Of the many honors and awards Martinez has received, he is especially proud of the naming of the University of Tampa athletic center to the Bob Martinez Sports Center, and the Hillsborough County School District naming a new school the Bob Martinez Middle School.

Martinez is married to Mary Jane Marino. They have one daughter and one son.

The ceremony will be FGCU’s 10th commencement and includes students completing degree requirements during the spring term. FGCU has conferred over 2,550 degrees since opening its doors in fall 1997 and has 2,636 alumni.

Doors will open at 9 a.m. for seating; however seating and parking at Alico Arena will be limited. Additional seating and parking will be available at the new Student Union Building next to Parking Lot 6, where the ceremony will be simulcast on two large-screen televisions. The ceremony will last approximately two hours.

For more information, call associate vice president for Community Relations Audrea Anderson at (239) 590-1083.

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