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FGCU Graduates 676 at 16th Commencement April 29; Two Ceremonies Planned
4/24/2006

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University expects to graduate 676 students in two ceremonies during spring commencement exercises, 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, April 29 at Alico Arena.

As faculty senate president, associate professor of physical therapy Sharon I. Bevins addresses graduates during both ceremonies. President William C. Merwin confers degrees.

In the morning ceremony, FGCU confers honorary degrees on both G. Burtt and Ruth Whitaker Holmes. FGCU confers an honorary degree on retired associate professor of education Roy Mumme in the afternoon ceremony. FGCU confers honorary doctoral degrees on worthy individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the public good.

Through their life's work and affiliation with the Whitaker Foundation, Burtt and Ruth made substantial scholarship and philanthropic contributions to FGCU and throughout the nation in support of scientific research and education. Burtt served as chairman of the Whitaker Foundation and Ruth was a member and former chairwoman.

The couple advanced research and educational reform initiatives at FGCU through leadership and support of the biotechnology and engineering programs as well as the establishment of the Whitaker Center for Science, Mathematics and Technology Education. FGCU confers on Burtt and Ruth the Doctor of Laws.

Mumme embraced the value of higher education and public service through his distinguished record of scholarship, service and education. He was appointed director of the University of South Florida at Fort Myers in the early 1970s to lead a regional campus that then consisted of a single trailer in a parking lot. Twenty years later, Mumme became an integral part of the new FGCU.

Mumme is widely recognized for his energetic and vigorous pursuit of access to higher education in Southwest Florida. He is recognized as a true Renaissance man who is called pioneer, professor, poet, sports enthusiast, artist and lover of metaphors. FGCU confers on Mumme the Doctor of Laws.

The morning ceremony graduates students in the College of Arts and Sciences, and College of Business. The afternoon ceremony graduates students in the College of Education, College of Health Professions and College of Professional Studies.

Doors open at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. for seating. Each ceremony lasts approximately two hours. A reception for graduates and their guests follows each ceremony. The collective ceremonies are FGCU's 16th commencement and includes students completing degree requirements during the spring term. FGCU has conferred over 5,000 degrees since fall 1997.

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


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