FGCU Hosts 11th Commencement Exercises Dec. 14; Director of National Service Learning Clearinghouse to Give Address
FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University is expecting to graduate 350 students during spring commencement exercises 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14 at Alico Arena.
Director of the National Service Learning Clearinghouse Barbara A. Holland will deliver the commencement address to graduates and over 3,500 family members and guests. President William C. Merwin will confer degrees.
As a new commencement milestone, Merwin will honor nine community leaders who participated in the FGCU Heritage Project: Oral Histories of Southwest Florida.
Honorees include Judge Isaac Anderson Jr., Bernese Davis, Jules Freeman, Ben Hill Griffin III, Lloyd Hendry, Joe Marlin Hilliard, Mary Frances Howard, Vera Milner and Leo Wotitzky.
Also new this semester, campus police will direct parking on the campus and shuttle candidates and attendees to and from Alico Arena. Graduation candidates and guests are encouraged to arrive early. Doors will open at noon for seating.
Holland, Ph.D., holds appointments as a Senior Scholar in the Center for Service and Learning at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and as adjunct professor at the University of Western Sydney, Australia.
Before joining the NSLC, Holland served as a loaned executive from IUPUI to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the role of visiting director of the Office of University Partnerships. While at HUD, she managed a portfolio of $40 million in competitive grant programs encouraging higher education’s involvement in communities.
Previously, she was an academic executive at Northern Kentucky University and Portland State University where she contributed to major reforms of curricula, faculty roles and civic engagement programs. Since 1997, she has been executive editor of Metropolitan Universities, the quarterly journal of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities.
Holland’s scholarly interests focus on organizational change in higher education with special emphases on strategic planning, faculty development and the implementation and assessment of civic engagement programs, service learning and community-university partnerships.
Holland earned bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism and she holds a Ph.D. in higher education policy from the University of Maryland-College Park.
A high-resolution photo of Holland may be downloaded from
The ceremony will be FGCU’s 11th commencement and includes students completing degree requirements during the summer and fall terms. FGCU has conferred over 3,200 degrees since fall 1997. The ceremony will last approximately two hours.
For more information, call associate vice president for Community Relations Audrea Anderson at (239) 590-1083.