FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (Dec. 11, 2014) - Broward College students who have completed their associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree or a certificate program will be honored Thursday, Dec. 18, at 3 p.m. during the College’s 82nd commencement ceremony at the BB&T Center, 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise. These students will join more than 120,000 students who have graduated from Broward College since it was established in 1959.
During the ceremony, Broward College President J. David Armstrong, Jr., will confer nearly 2,489 associate’s degrees, 197 bachelor’s degrees and more than 1,432 technical certificates to students who represent more than 100 countries. The oldest graduate is 69 and the youngest is 17. There are 128 graduates over the age of 50.
The keynote address will be 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 our 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, noting that Hughes, who was one of the first journalists in Port au Prince following the devastating earthquake, reported the story of Haiti’s disaster “gracefully and professionally.”
The commencement ceremony will begin with a distinctive pre-ceremony Broward College tradition, GradSHOEation™— a social media event intertwined with community engagement. The event was established to celebrate the fun and lighthearted side of commencement by highlighting one of the most evident fashion trends during graduation ceremonies — shoes. During GradSHOEation™, students are encouraged to give back to the community by donating gently used shoes to In Jacob’s Shoes, a local South Florida charity whose mission is to provide new and gently used shoes to children and adults in need.
There are 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 is set to graduate. Now, 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