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Broward College Celebrates Winter 2013 Commencement

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (December 19, 2013) - Broward College conferred more than 2,600 degrees at its 80th commencement ceremony on Thursday, December 19. The ceremony was at 10 a.m. at the Broward County Convention Center, 1950 Eisenhower Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. These students joined more than 115,000 students who have graduated from Broward College since the College 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.”
 
Robert W. Runcie, superintendent of Broward County Public Schools (BCPS), will be this year’s commencement speaker. Runcie was appointed by the School Board of Broward County, Florida to become the 20th superintendent of the BCPS on October 5, 2011. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard College and a master’s degree in business administration from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.
 
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. Through sky-high stilettos, fancy flats and classic Chuck Taylors, graduates were encouraged to stand out from a sea of blue and black gowns by showing off their fanciest footwear. This year, a shoe drive was held the day of the event, allowing the 2013 graduating class the opportunity to give back to the community before leaving as graduates. Broward College is donating the shoes to Shoes for the Cure, a local organization that recycles shoes and reconditions them for the needy, or turns them into raw material used for running tracks, playgrounds and tennis courts.
 
During Broward College’s commencement ceremony, more than 2,300 associate’s degrees were awarded, and nearly 230 bachelor’s degrees were awarded – a 55 percent increase over the spring commencement. The winter graduating class represented 92 countries. The oldest graduate was 65 and the youngest was 16. There were more than 100 graduates over the age of 50. 
 
There are several graduates who have inspiring student success stories to share, including:
  • Crystal Christy, 22, graduated from Broward College with an Associate of Arts degree in Anthropology. Having overcome numerous traumatic experiences, including physical and mental abuse, spending her childhood in and out of foster care and learning to read at age 17, Christy fulfilled her dream, walking across the stage to accept her degree.
  • Nicole Gonzalez, 31, had many achievements throughout the years, including obtaining a real estate license before graduating high school, opening her own event planning business and working as a successful artist. However, due to a learning disability, Gonzalez was forced to drop out of college, unable to comprehend college level math. Years later, she received a letter in the mail from Broward College regarding a new option to complete her degree. Gonzalez graduated with an Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts – 13 years in the making.
  • ka Burgess, 35, was diagnosed with Lupus in 2004, but even with a reoccurring health issue, she didn’t let it stop her from focusing on her future. While taking a break from her studies to concentrate on her health, Burgess received a letter from Broward College informing her of a new program available to her. Without hesitation, Burgess inquired about the new program and quickly got back on track to finishing her degree.
For more information regarding Broward College’s commencement ceremony, contact Tina David at 954-201-7510 or tdavid@broward.edu.
 
-BC-
 
About Broward College:

Broward College is ranked as one of the top ten community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute. 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
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