Fairleigh Dickinson University Holds Commencement on May 19
More than 3,000 Students from 52 Countries to Receive DegreesTeaneck, NJ (April 29, 2009) — On Tuesday, May 19, 2009, the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ will be the site for the 66th Commencement ceremony of Fairleigh Dickinson University. University President J. Michael Adams will preside at the 10 a.m. ceremony as approximately 3,000 students receive doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s and associate degrees. The campus provosts will present the Student Pinnacle Awards.
The Class of 2009 represents 52 countries including the United States, 33 states plus the District of Columbia and all 21 counties in New Jersey.
For the first time, the Commencement ceremony will be live on the Web, allowing family and friends around the world to share the ceremony with the graduates. The live stream begins at 8 a.m. EDT with the scrolling of the names of the graduates and Grad Greetings, followed by the full commencement ceremony. The complete video will be available until June 2, 2009. A link on the home page (www.fdu.edu) will go directly to the archive.
This ceremony also celebrates the first graduates of the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program. This program educates nurses for the highest level of clinically expert practice.
The university will confer honorary doctor of humane letters degrees on four outstanding individuals — U.S. Congressman Steve Rothman, international entrepreneur and philanthropist Enan Galaly, activist and philanthropist Malaak Compton-Rock, and international security expert Walter M. Berwick, an FDU alumnus and a career CIA intelligence officer.
Honorary Degree Recipients
Rep. Steve Rothman has represented New Jersey’s 9th Congressional District since 1997. A Democrat from Fair Lawn, he has obtained more than $10 million in federal funds to turn the New Jersey Meadowlands into an environmental park. Rothman is a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee and sits on subcommittees that deal with defense, state and foreign operations, and homeland security. In February 2007, he completed an eight-day trip to Iraq, Afghanistan and other strategic areas in the Middle East, where he visited with heads of state, U.S. military commanders, diplomats, intelligence officers and military troops. Rothman is also known for leading the fight against aircraft noise and pollution at Teterboro Airport; writing the Secure Our Schools Act, which has awarded $6 million in grants to New Jersey schools for security improvements; and pushing for better health-care, disability and retirement benefits for military veterans.
Enan Galaly is a Danish entrepreneur, philanthropist and chairman of Helnan International Hotels. Born in Egypt, he struck out for Europe on his own as a teenager, starting as a dishwasher and working his way up in the Danish hospitality industry to become managing director of a hotel chain by the time he was 30. In 1982, he founded Helnan International, which owns and manages 15 four- and five-star hotels in Europe, Egypt and Morocco. Galaly, who speaks four languages, has been selected as a member of several delegations headed by the royal family and prime minister of Denmark to represent the hotel and tourism sector. A senior adviser for the International Association of University Presidents, Galaly was awarded an honorary doctorate during an IAUP meeting in the Dominican Republic. He has also been named a “Knight of Dannebrog,” one of the highest honors in Denmark.
Malaak Compton-Rock of Alpine, N.J., is an activist and philanthropist whose causes range from beauty makeovers for women entering the work force, to fighting a rare form of breast cancer and helping AIDS orphans in South Africa. She is an in-demand public speaker and the author of a forthcoming book on volunteering geared toward families. Last year, Compton-Rock was one of three judges on the philanthropy-driven reality TV show “Oprah’s Big Give.” In August 2008, Compton-Rock and her staff took 30 at-risk youths from Brooklyn to South Africa to bring food, clothes and household items to impoverished families in Soweto and a nearby slum. Compton-Rock also partners with the Safe Horizon Expert and Compassionate Services Program to help children in Brooklyn, where her husband, comedian Chris Rock, was raised. She operates a Web site, www.angelrockproject.com, listing her favorite causes and providing links to help volunteers find opportunities in their communities.
Fairleigh Dickinson alumnus Walter M. Berwick, of Key Largo, Fla., was a career CIA intelligence officer during the height of the Cold War, serving in the Caribbean, Latin America and the Far East. He was CIA station chief in Caracas, Venezuela; Kingston, Jamaica; and Quito, Ecuador; and helped create the CIA’s counter-terrorist and counter-intelligence centers. His final post was as deputy chief of the Far East Division. After retiring from the CIA in 1990, Berwick established an international security company specializing in kidnap and ransom recoveries overseas. In 2001, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Berwick was recalled to government service, training young officers in Washington, D.C., and taking on overseas counter-terrorist assignments himself. A Navy veteran, Berwick was an outstanding scholar-athlete at FDU’s original Rutherford campus, where he was captain of the varsity basketball team and nominated for a Rhodes Scholarship before graduating in 1965.
Student Pinnacle Winners
The 2009 student Pinnacle Award will be presented to David Storicks of Dumont, NJ, representing the College at Florham, Madison, NJ, and Sheryl Gauntlett, Tyngsboro, Ma., representing the Metropolitan Campus in Teaneck, NJ. This is the highest honor the University bestows on a graduating student. One student from each campus, who has demonstrated academic excellence, public service and commitment to the University, is honored. Each winner will address their fellow graduates and the assembled audience.
College at Florham Student Pinnacle Honoree
In looking back over his time at Fairleigh Dickinson, David Storicks cites his opportunities in several areas as the most critical aspect of his experience. Storicks says he could not imagine another institution where he could have excelled in the way he did at FDU.
While at Fairleigh Dickinson, Storicks, of Dumont, N.J., was cast in several plays, served as president of the Student Government Association (SGA), and studied abroad at Wroxton, where he also was a student teacher. In addition, Storicks was a resident assistant and vice president of student affairs for the Resident Student Association (RSA), and a writer for The Metro student newspaper.
He starred in eight FDU theater productions, something he would not have been able to do at a different university, he says. Many of his fellow actors from high school went to bigger universities and, while talented, never got a chance to be on stage.
The Pinnacle Award is not the first honor bestowed upon Storicks by the university. He was presented with the 2008 Burden Award for Meritorious Achievement from the Dean of Students Office and has been named both a Charter Day Scholar and a Col. Fairleigh S. Dickinson Scholar.
Storicks also found time to give back to the community, serving as the assistant coach for the Dumont Forensics Team and director of Neil Simon’s Rumors for Summertime Players, a program for high school students in Park Ridge. Additionally, he has volunteered his time to the university community by serving on several committees, including the 2007 Strategic Planning Committee, the Recruitment and Retention Committee, Campus Council, and the 50th Anniversary of the College at Florham Committee, among others.
Storicks says he has a great appreciation for the close-knit, family atmosphere at the College at Florham and notes the compassion shown to him and to his family after he was severely injured in a motorcycle accident a year ago.
Metropolitan Campus Student Pinnacle Honoree
From the beginning of her freshman year, communications major Sheryl Gauntlett of Tyngsboro, MA, was on a mission to get involved. In her first weeks on the Metropolitan Campus, she attended nearly every activity hosted by Student Life.
Sheryl quickly demonstrated her leadership skills and was elected Secretary of the Inspirational Gospel Ensemble (IGE) and Treasurer of Black Men’s Alliance for her sophomore year. She recently served as President of IGE, Student Body Liaison of the Communication Honor Society, and Parliamentarian and Public Relations Chair of the Student Government Association.
High academic standards and a strong work ethic resulted in her recognition as a Colonel Fairleigh S. Dickinson Scholar and Charter Day Scholar, and as a member of the Phi Omega Epsilon and Phi Zeta Kappa national honor societies, and Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Association honor society. Sheryl’s name has appeared on the Dean’s List every semester of her undergraduate career.
Her study abroad experiences have included study trips to the Dominican Republic, Cyprus and Belize through the Global Scholars Program. During her junior year, Sheryl spent a semester at FDU’s Wroxton College in England. In addition to an exciting academic experience, she was able to combine the challenges of the classroom with travel to France, Spain, Italy, Scotland and Wales.
A member of the University Honors Program, she presented her senior honors thesis, “Communicating Effectively with Body Language,” at Research Day in April. Sheryl also attended three National Collegiate Honors Council Conferences and presented papers in Providence, R.I., Annapolis, Md. and Morristown, N.J.
As she leaves Fairleigh Dickinson, Sheryl is confident that she has taken advantage of all the university offers including the knowledge and experience that prepares her to be a productive global citizen.
A communication major enrolled in the five-year accelerated program in media and professional communication, Sheryl will receive her master’s degree next year.