FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (Dec. 18, 2014) – Broward College conferred nearly 4,000 degrees and certificates today at its 82nd commencement ceremony at the BB&T Center. These students joined more than 120,000 undergraduates who have graduated from Broward College since it was established in 1959.
“We commend all of our graduates on their many accomplishments and wish them much success in their future endeavors,” said Broward College President J. David Armstrong, Jr. “This major milestone empowers them to meet their academic and career goals, and so much more.”
The keynote address was delivered by Emmy Award-winning newscaster and co-anchor of WPLG-TV’s Local 10 News Calvin Hughes. With a deep passion for in-depth reporting, Hughes actively seeks opportunities to bring viewers the stories that touch the soul of the community, and has covered numerous stories of national and international significance. In 2011, the Miami New Times voted Hughes as Miami’s Best TV News Anchor.
To celebrate the lighthearted and fun side of commencement, Broward College helped graduates celebrate this milestone in their lives by hosting #GradSHOEation — a social media event intertwined with community engagement. Graduates were encouraged to stand out from a sea of blue and black gowns by showing off their fanciest footwear. A shoe drive was held, allowing the Fall 2014 graduating class the opportunity to give back to the community before leaving as graduates. Broward College donated the shoes to In Jacob’s Shoes, a local organization that collects new and gently used shoes for children and adults.
During Broward College’s commencement ceremony, more than 2,489 associate’s degrees, 197 bachelor’s degrees and 1,432 technical certificates were conferred to students who represent more than 100 countries. The oldest graduate was 69 and the youngest was 17. There were 128 graduates over the age of 50.
There were several graduates who have inspiring student success stories to share, including:
- Alvino Willis, 36, enlisted in the United States Navy after Sept. 11 and served on active duty for eight years. After returning home, he considered enrolling at Broward College. Worried that he would not be able to succeed because of past experiences and challenges he faced in high school, the decision was not easy for Willis. In the end, he did enroll, and today, he graduated. Currently, he mentors others who struggle with having confidence in their own abilities.
- In 2009, at the age of 18, Juan Villalta left El Salvador, the only home he had ever known, and moved to the United States along with his mother and sister with the hope of having a brighter future. That future didn’t come fast enough, though, and there were many dark days. Through it all Villalta never lost sight of his goals and true happiness in life: aviation.
- With her tremendous will to fight and persevere, Simone Wyatt’s cancer has been in remission for six years. A single mother of four children, she left Jamaica in 2007 and arrived in the United States to share in the wealth of the American dream. However, just two short months after arriving, she fell severely ill. First, Wyatt was diagnosed with acute renal failure and then she was further diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. She rose above her adversities, though, to obtain her associate’s degree from Broward College.
For more information regarding Broward College’s commencement ceremony, contact Angela Nicoletti at
About Broward College:
Serving more than 68,000 students annually, Broward College provides residents with certificate programs, two-year university-transfer degrees, two-year career degrees and baccalaureate degrees in selected programs. The mission of the college is to provide high-quality educational programs and services that are affordable and accessible to a diverse community of learners. For more information, visit