FDU Holds 67th Commencement on May 18

More than 3,500 Students from 58 Countries to Receive Degrees

Teaneck, NJ (May 3, 2010) — On Tuesday, May 18, 2010, the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, NJ will be the site for the 67th 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.

See additional information on the Commencement webpage

The Class of 2010 represents 58 countries including the United States, 35 states plus the District of Columbia and all 21 counties in New Jersey.

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.

This ceremony also celebrates the first graduating class from FDU’s Vancouver campus.

The university will confer honorary doctor of humane letters degrees on two outstanding individuals — U.S. Senator Robert Menendez and Chinese-Filipino industrialist Lucio C. Tan.

Honorary Degree Recipients

Sen. Bob Menendez has represented New Jersey in the U.S. Senate since January 2006 when he was appointed by Gov. Jon Corzine to fill the remainder of his term. Later that year, he was elected to serve a full six-year term. He has served as a school board member, a mayor and a state legislator before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1993. He rose to become the third-highest ranking Democrat in the House and has since taken on a prominent leadership role in the U.S. Senate, working to achieve economic security for families by creating jobs, promoting clean energy development, providing tax relief, investing in education, making health care more affordable and protecting consumers. Menendez currently serves on the Senate Committees on Finance; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; Energy and Natural Resources; and Foreign Relations. He is also chairman of the Banking Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development; and the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs, and International Environmental Protection. In November 2008, Menendez was chosen to head the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. His first book, Growing American Roots,” was released in October 2009. It examines the deep influence of Latinos on American society and lays out his vision how for the Latino community can help America prosper.

Lucio C. Tan is one of the most prominent businessmen in the Philippines. Born in China, he moved in his youth to the Philippines with his family, studied chemical engineering in Manila and did odd jobs at a cigar and cigarette family, working his way up to becoming the company’s chemist. In 1966, he started Fortune Tobacco, which in 2007 entered a partnership with Philip Morris International and is now the dominant cigarette company in the Philippines. From this flagship company, Tan engineered successful ventures in agribusiness; airlines and related services; banking, finance and securities; brewery; chemicals; distillery and alcohol; education; food; hotel; manufacturing; property development; steel fabrication and construction; and tourism and travel services. The Tan Group of Companies includes Philippine Airlines, Philippine National Bank, Asia Brewery Inc. and Tanduay Distillers Inc. In 1986, Tan established the Tan Yan Kee Foundation in honor of his father. The foundation’s principal projects are in support of education, culture and sports; health and social welfare; research; and manpower development. Tan has a B.S. degree in chemical engineering and a PhD in commerce from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila as well as numerous honorary degrees. Among his honors is the 2008 Asia Pacific Entrepreneur Award and Management Man of the Year from the Philippine Council of Management.

Student Pinnacle Winners

The 2010 student Pinnacle Award will be presented to Meghan Droge of North Merrick, NY, representing the College at Florham, Madison, NJ, and Gerardo Nunez, Belleville, 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.

College at Florham Student Pinnacle Honoree

Megan Droge

Meghan Droge of North Merrick, N.Y., has won the 2010 Pinnacle Award from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s College at Florham, the highest honor the University bestows on a graduating student. She is graduating in May with a B.A. degree in English literature and minors in legal studies and humanities.

Droge was a four-year starter for the Division III Devils women’s volleyball team, playing right side and serving as team captain for her last two seasons. She was an All-Conference player for the Middle Atlantic Conference in 2008 and 2009, winning the conference Sportsmanship Award for those years as well. In February, Droge received the “Woman of the Year Award” from the New Jersey Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women.  (Each university in the conference names one female athlete for the award.)

Droge belongs to several English honor societies and is president of the FDU chapter of Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society. Her academic awards include the Lester Robert Dunham Award given to an outstanding senior by the English department, and Outstanding Academic Achievement in Literature. She has worked summers for AAA New York in Garden City, N.Y., as an editorial Web assistant.

A 2006 graduate of Kellenberg Memorial High School (Uniondale, N.Y.), Droge is the daughter of Timothy and Maureen Droge of North Merrick, New York.

Metropolitan Campus Student Pinnacle Honoree

Gerardo Nunez

From early on, Gerardo Nunez has been fascinated with growing plants. By age 5, he was planting seeds and trying to grow corn in his urban backyard in Quito, Ecuador. His scientific bent eventually led him to Fairleigh Dickinson University, where he turned his interest in horticulture into an impressive research project and is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Two U.S. universities have offered him a full scholarship leading to a PhD in horticulture.

But Nunez is far from one-dimensional: With a minor in business management, he led one of the University’s largest student organizations, Business Leaders of Tomorrow, in his junior year, then followed that as president of the FDU Green Team. During his tenure, the Green Team joined with the faculty-staff Green Campus Committee to renovate the campus’s 50-year-old greenhouse. Now the greenhouse is being used for enhancing campus landscaping and research — including Nunez’s own senior thesis project on a way to improve a species of exotic wild strawberry that has potential as a commercial crop.

Nunez has also been a senator in the Student Government Association and a resident assistant for the past two years. He participated in Alternative Spring Break activities for two years, helping build homes for underprivileged families in Pittsburgh, Pa., and Miami, Fla. Under his leadership, Business Leaders of Tomorrow increased its community service focus.

Nunez has also been involved with Sands of Time: Exposure to Greatness Program since its inception. His academic achievements include presenting scientific papers at the annual Northeast Regional Honors Council conference for the last three years and the 12th Annual Student Research Symposium of the Hudson-Bergen Chemical Society in April. A member of the University Honors Program, Nunez has made the Dean’s List every semester, and he was awarded a Colonel Fairleigh S. Dickinson Scholarship as well as Campus Service and Student Affairs grants.

For Immediate Release

FDU Public Relations
   (Metropolitan Campus Office)
Fairleigh Dickinson University
1000 River Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666

Dina Schipper
Director, University Public Relations

Melissa Payton

FDU Public Relations
   (College at Florham Office)
Fairleigh Dickinson University
285 Madison Avenue
Madison, NJ 07940

Scott Giglio
Assistant Director, Public Relations

Lillian Lukac