FDU Commencement on May 15
Nearly 3,000 Students from 50 Countries to Receive Degrees
Teaneck, NJ (April 25, 2007) — Nearly 3,000 students will receive doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s and associate degrees at the 64th Commencement ceremony of Fairleigh Dickinson University on Tuesday, May 15, 2007, at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, NJ. The Class of 2007 represents 50 nations, 29 states and the District of Columbia, and all 21 NJ counties.
University President J. Michael Adams will preside at the 10 a.m. ceremony and the campus provosts will present the Student Pinnacle Awards.
The university will confer honorary doctor of humane letters degrees on one of the most prominent philosophers in America and on the recently retired president of Bangkok University. A posthumous honorary degree will be conferred on a former Trustee, alumnus and one of the university’s most generous donors.
Honorary Degree Recipients
Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, has made significant contributions to an array of disciplines, working within the fields of philosophy, law, classics and political science. She has been recognized by the New York Times for “synthesizing the passion of the revolutionary with the zeal of the self-sacrificing saint,” and has been recognized as one of America’s most prominent philosophers. Her book, Hiding From Humanity: Disgust, Shame, and the Law, won the Association of American University Publishers Professional and Scholarly Book Award for Law in 2004.
Dr. Thanu Kulachol is the recently retired president of Bangkok University and a former senator in Thailand. After receiving his MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1972 and then his Ph.D. in higher education from Southern Illinois University in 1977, Dr. Kulachol returned to his native Thailand and assumed the position of Vice President for Academic Affairs of Bangkok University. He was named President of Bangkok University in 1988 and served as President of the Association of Private Higher Education Institutions of Thailand from 1991-1995. In 1996 Dr. Kulachol was appointed by his Majesty the King of Thailand to the Thai Senate and served on the Senate Committee on Education and Culture from 1996 to 2000.
Anthony Petrocelli, alumnus and University trustee, came from humble beginnings and enrolled in Fairleigh Dickinson University while working full time. In 1969, he earned a business management degree and went on to become a successful entrepreneur specializing in leverage buyouts in the chemical industry. Petrocelli often credited his success to his education and in 2004, made one of the largest charitable commitments in FDU’s history. In 2005, the University dedicated the Anthony J. Petrocelli College of Continuing Studies, which is committed to addressing the special educational needs of nontraditional students, including adult learners.
Petrocelli was a trustee of the university until his death in 2005. His wife, Antoinette, was elected to fulfill her husband’s term on the board and will accept his posthumous honorary degree at the commencement ceremony.
The 2007 Student Pinnacle Award will be presented to Garrett Gilbert, Tinton Falls, NJ, representing the College at Florham Campus in Madison, NJ, and Andrew J. Restivo, Washington Township, NJ, 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.
About Student Pinnacle Winners
College at Florham
From academics to student government to sports, Garrett Gilbert has been involved in nearly every aspect of campus life.
Garrett majored in political science, with minors in business, pre-law and legal studies. In addition to his coursework, Garrett held leadership positions in a number of campus organizations. He was president of the Student Government Association (SGA), president of the Resident Student Association, chief of staff of SGA and an editor for The Metro college newspaper. He was also involved in the Finance Club, Green Club, Judicial Board and Florham Programming Committee.
Also a leader in FDU athletics, Garrett was a member of the golf team for four years. He helped his team win the MAC championship his junior year and served as team captain his senior year. Off the golf course, he announced every home game for every major sport during his four years on campus, in addition to working as a statistician and sports writer.
Garrett’s ambition and dedication brought him success in all of his activities. He was a Dean’s and Honors List student, Collegiate All-American Scholar, Charter Day Scholarship recipient, Who’s Who Among College Students Award recipient and a member of the political science honor society, Pi Sigma Alpha. Garrett plans to stay at FDU for an additional year to earn his MBA in business finance.
Over his four years at FDU, Andrew Restivo worked tirelessly to plan and implement campus-wide changes to benefit his fellow students.
A construction engineering technology major, Andrew first attended FDU as a commuter student. He quickly joined the Commuter Council, where he was elected vice president and then president. A determined leader, he was instrumental in changing parking regulations for commuters and bringing council issues to the Student Government Association (SGA).
Andrew was elected SGA president his senior year and moved to campus to be closer to the student body. He successfully obtained a 24-hour study space for students and extended cafeteria hours, among other accomplishments. He also was a member of the Residence Hall Association, Student Programming Board, Multicultural Council, Campus Standards Committee, SUB Users Committee and Campus Strategic Planning Committee.
Andrew’s dedication to his studies and the University was evident, and he was recognized as a Colonel F. Dickinson Scholar, Charter Day Scholar and a member of the Phi Zeta Kappa Honors Society and Phi Omega Epsilon Honors Society. After graduation, Andrew will join Hollister Construction Services in Teterboro, NJ. He plans to earn a masters degree in the near future.
For full background information on honorary degree recipients, visit