FSCJ celebrated the tremendous achievements of thousands of proud students during the 50th annual Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, May 11, 2017, at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.
Surrounded by an audience of their families and friends, students who completed FSCJ’s bachelor’s and associate degree programs walked across the stage to accept their diplomas from FSCJ President Dr. Cynthia Bioteau and members of FSCJ’s District Board of Trustees.
Approximately 4,758 FSCJ students earned at least one degree for the 2016-17 academic year, with some students earning more than one degree. Of these, 3,126 are associate in arts degrees, 933 are associate in science degrees and 699 are bachelor’s degrees.
In President Bioteau’s graduation address, she spoke of the importance of ambition and impressed upon the graduates the legacy they will leave as FSCJ alumni.
“Today’s honorees join a network of more than 132,000 Florida State College at Jacksonville alumni who have gone on to do remarkable things that impact not only those in our community, but also throughout the state, nation and even the world,” said Dr. Bioteau.
Associate in Arts Graduate Lyse Medina gave a powerful speech to her fellow students, sharing her own experiences as an immigrant from Haiti as a message of encouragement.
Ms. Medina said, “Like many immigrants in this country, my parents made many sacrifices for me to be here – and I do not want to waste them. Everyone here has their own unique story. You have all overcome challenges and made sacrifices to be here today. I feel proud to be gathered here with you all as we begin the next phase of our individual journeys.”
The Keynote Speaker Retired Professor Steve Piscitelli also spoke on the importance of resilience, relationships and gratitude.
Additionally, Dr. Bioteau and FSCJ Foundation Chairman Jeff Edwards presented the Distinguished Alumni Award to Mike Schneider, co-founder and CEO of The Loop Pizza Grill.
Candid photos and videos of the day are available on FSCJ’s Flickr page and social media pages, @FSCJOfficial.