FGCU Hosts Eighth Commencement Exercises May 4; Publisher Corbin Wyant to Give Address
FORT MYERS, FL - At least 350 students will participate in Florida Gulf Coast University spring commencement exercises 10 a.m., Saturday, May 4 at TECO Arena. President and publisher of the Naples Daily News Corbin A. Wyant will deliver the commencement address to graduates and over 3,000 guests. President William C. Merwin will confer degrees.
This is FGCU’s eighth commencement and includes students completing degree requirements during spring term or expecting to fulfill degree requirements this summer. After the ceremony, FGCU will have conferred over 2,000 degrees since opening its doors in fall 1997.
Wyant began as vice president and general manager of the Naples newspaper in 1977 before becoming publisher in 1985 and president in 1986. He is planning to retire in June.
Extremely civic minded, Wyant participates in numerous community and business groups and associations. He is past president of the Rotary Club of Naples and the Florida Press Association, past vice president of the YMCA of Collier County and Collier Cultural Center Inc. In addition, he served as director, chairman and board member of various organizations.
His most noted civic achievements were to raise $1 million as chairman of the YMCA boat auction and the acquisition of 100 acres of land for education and cultural purposes for the Collier Cultural Center Inc.
Wyant has been included in Who’s Who in America every year since 1994 and has two Charles E. Scripps National Journalism awards: for support of literacy programs and for the Florida Reads program.
In 2002, Boys and Girls Club named him Visionary of the Year, and in 2000, he received the William R. Burleigh Award for Distinguished Community Service and International College named him Humanitarian of the Year.
Earlier, Wyant was publisher of the Daily Herald News in Punta Gorda from 1974 to 1976. He left the Daily Leader Times in Kittanning, Penn., in 1973 after being co-publisher and general manager since 1961. He was a reporter photographer with the newspaper from
1958 to 1960.
During that time, Wyant concurrently served as president of the Daily Dispatch in Douglas, Ariz.; daily La Union in Aqua Prieta, Mexico; Daily Dispatch in Sierra Vista, Ariz.; and weekly Scout in Fort Huachuka, Ariz.
A first this year for FGCU is the awarding of an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters. The FGCU Board of Trustees voted Ben Hill Griffin III the recipient at its April 4 meeting for his commitment to the success of FGCU. Griffin, the University’s major benefactor, is chairman of the board of Alico Inc. and an inaugural member of the FGCU Foundation board.
Another first is the presentation of colorful banners at the start of each college’s procession, with appropriate symbols and rich colors specifically chosen to represent the college’s discipline.
Guests should be seated by 10 a.m. The ceremony will last approximately two hours.
For more information, contact event coordinator Marc Laviolette at (941) 590-7914.