Fairleigh Dickinson University Holds 68th Commencement on May 17; 3,100 Students to Receive Degrees

Fairleigh Dickinson University held its 68th Commencement ceremony on Tuesday, May 17, at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J. University President J. Michael Adams presided at the 10 a.m. ceremony as 3,100 students received doctoral, masterís, bachelorís and associate degrees.


FDUís Class of 2011 represents 47 countries including the United States, 28 states and all 21 counties in New Jersey. The ceremony also celebrates the second graduating class from FDUís Vancouver campus. Fourteen students traveled from Vancouver to attend the ceremony.


The university conferred honorary doctor of humane letters degrees on three individuals:  real estate developer Dr. H. Friedrich Holzapfel, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg and international corporate attorney Mark A. Meyer. The campus provosts presented the Student Pinnacle Awards.


The Commencement ceremony was broadcast 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. A link on the FDU home page (http://www.fdu.edu) will go directly to the live stream. For webcast information go to http://www.fdu.edu/commencement .


Honorary Degree Recipients

Dr. H. Friedrich Holzapfel is CEO of 234 Moonachie Corp., a family owned commercial real estate investment company in Fort Lee, N.J. He is also the founder and long-term former chairman of the CEO Roundtable of German-American Companies in the United States.

A native of Germany, Dr. Holzapfel earned a law degree and doctorate from the University of Bern in Switzerland. Later, he attended the University of Fribourg in Switzerland for economic studies while working at the Union Bank of Switzerland in Geneva. In 1961, Dr. Holzapfel came to the United States, where he worked at a law firm and attended night classes at New York Law School, obtaining a master of law degree.


In 1964, Dr. Holzapfel joined Hoechst, a German pharmaceutical company that later merged with Sanofi-Aventis. After having served as President of Hoechstís holding company for Latin America in Montreal, Canada, he eventually was assigned to Hoechst USA where he became a member of the board of directors and executive committee. After retiring from Hoechst, he became a principal in The Burlington Group, an international management and environmental advisory service company.

Dr. Holzapfel has served as a member of the Business Council for the United Nations and its advisory board, and was recognized by the state of New Jersey for connecting university students and faculty with U.N. representatives. In particular, he was influential in the creation of FDUís United Nations Pathways Program. In 1999, Dr. Holzapfel was awarded the Order of Merit by the President of Germany for his work to strengthen American-German relations. He serves on the board of directors for several philanthropic organizations, including CDS International, a nonprofit international exchange organization.

Frank Lautenberg is serving his fifth term representing New Jersey in the U.S. Senate.

Born in Paterson to Russian and Polish immigrants, he graduated from Nutley High School and then enlisted in the Army Signal Corps during World War II. After the war, he attended Columbia University on the G.I. Bill and graduated with a degree in economics.

In 1954, he and two friends founded the nationís first payroll services company, Automatic Data Processing. Lautenberg served as chairman and CEO of ADP, which grew into one of the largest computing services companies in the world.

Lautenberg decided to launch a career in politics, and in his first run for public office was elected to the Senate in 1982. He was re-elected in 1988 and 1994, and after a brief retirement won a fourth term in 2002 and was re-elected in 2008. Lautenbergís legislative accomplishments include bills that banned smoking on domestic flights, raised the nationís drinking age to 21, banned domestic abusers from purchasing guns and stopped aid to nations that support terrorism. He has also built a record of accomplishments to improve homeland security, strengthen environmental protections and modernize transportation infrastructure.

Lautenberg serves on three Senate committees: Appropriations; Commerce, Science and Transportation; and Environment and Public Works (EPW). He is chairman of the EPW Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health and the Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation.

Mark A. Meyer is an international corporate attorney and a member of the Manhattan law firm of Herzfeld & Rubin. Meyer has been a special adviser to six European heads of state. He has received Romaniaís National Order of Merit in the rank of Commander, and Moldovaís highest civilian decoration, the Medal of Civic Merit.


He is an adjunct professor of law at St. Johnís University School of Law in New York City. Meyer is the chair of the Foreign and Comparative Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association and co-chair of the New York State Bar Associationís Committee on Public International Law. In Bucharest, Romania, Meyer is a member of the law firm Rubin Meyer Doru & Trandafir.


A 1968 graduate of Fairleigh Dickinsonís Metropolitan Campus with a B.A. in political science, he received FDUís Pinnacle Award in 2004. Meyer also has a J.D. degree from St. Johnís University School of Law and a masterís degree from Harvard Law School. In 2007, St. Johnís University gave Meyer an honorary doctorate, describing him as ďa pioneer in promoting the rule of law in Central and Eastern Europe since 1990.Ē In 2004, he was named a Harvard Law School Traphagen Distinguished Alumnus for his ďgreat skill in the economic, legal and political transformation of a developing region.Ē


Meyer has been chairman of the Romanian-American Chamber of Commerce since 1990 and received the Libertatea Award as one of the 10 most significant persons in the world to Romania.

Student Pinnacle Winners

The 2011 Student Pinnacle Awards will be presented to Michele Holzwarth Hagen of Berlin, Germany, representing the Metropolitan Campus in Teaneck, N.J., and to Beatrice Markiewicz of Parsippany, N.J., representing the College at Florham, Madison, N.J. The Pinnacle Award 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. Winners will address their fellow graduates and the assembled audience. Juan Pedro Zuleta, the Pinnacle winner from FDU-Vancouver, will also be recognized.

Metropolitan Campus Ė Teaneck, NJ

Michele Holzwarth Hagen

Michele Holzwarth Hagen came to FDU from Berlin, Germany, to play golf and study, excelling at both. Graduating with a B.S. in business administration (management concentration), she earned a dozen academic awards that included the Northeast Conference Golf Scholar-Athlete of the Year; NEC Athletic Honor Roll; and FDU Athletic Alpha Beta Award, Deanís List and Honors List.

A member of the FDU Honors Program and the National Athletic Honors Society, she helped lead the Division I Knights womenís golf team to four NEC championship titles in four years. She was the individual NEC womenís golf champion in 2009, FDU Female Athlete of the Year in 2008 and 2009, and Most Valuable Player for FDU womenís golf for three years. A team captain since her sophomore year, she was the NEC Rookie of the Year in 2008 and the NEC Player of the Year in 2008 and 2010.

Holzwarth Hagen was a resident assistant and the golf representative on the Student Athletic Advisory Committee. Last fall, she and two friends started Spectrum, a campus support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. Holzwarth Hagen is applying to graduate programs in sports administration, both in the United States and Germany.

College at Florham

Beatrice Markiewicz

Beatrice Markiewicz, of Parsippany, N.J., is the daughter of immigrants who didnít have an opportunity to attend college themselves but stressed the importance of academic achievement. She listened; Markiewicz, a chemistry major with a 3.95 grade-point average, has been admitted to the Ph.D. chemistry program at the University of Pennsylvania.

She has been honored twice by the American Chemical Society for outstanding performance and has won awards at FDU Research Day for her junior thesis on ethanol fuel and her senior thesis, which described using two types of spectroscopy to learn more about a compound and a chemical interaction. Markiewicz has received several research and academic grants, including a Col. Fairleigh S. Dickinson Scholarship, and has made the FDU Honors List each semester since her freshman year.

Last summer, Markiewicz interned at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y., in a research team with an FDU faculty member and a classmate. Since fall 2009, Markiewicz worked part-time as a science and math tutor for undergraduates at FDUís Academic Support Center. This academic year, she was a teaching assistant for physical chemistry lab courses. Markiewicz expects to focus on materials science at UPenn, and is considering a career in either academia or private industry.


Pedro Juan Zuleta

Pedro Juan Zuleta of Medellin, Colombia, impressed his classmates and professors with his intellectual curiosity and passion for learning. Along with earning the highest grade-point average of his graduating class, he was active in student government, helped with marketing efforts to increase the Universityís recognition outside of the U.S.-Canada border region and played soccer on the FDU-Vancouver club team.

Zuleta, who started at FDU-Vancouver in 2008 after obtaining an associate degree in business administration from Universidad EAFIT in Medellin, graduates with a B.S. in business administration with concentrations in marketing and international business.

Zuleta was on the Honors List for seven semesters and was a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the international honor society for business students. He was treasurer for the Student Government Association at FDU-Vancouver and attended the May 2009 Global Vision Global Leadership Center held on campus. In Colombia, Zuleta worked as a marketing assistant for Incolmotos-Yamaha and in marketing and sales for Amway. Zuleta plans to start his business career in Canada or the United States.

About Fairleigh Dickinson University

Devoted to the preparation of world citizens through global education, Fairleigh Dickinson is New Jersey's largest private university and features more than 100 liberal arts and professional degree programs, two international campuses, dozens of partnerships with internationally renowned institutions and special programs and status within the United Nations. For more information, go to www.fdu.edu.




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