JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) continues to grow
exponentially each year in the number of degrees and certificates awarded to its talented and diverse student population. An astounding 8,618 degrees and certificates were awarded to graduates for the 2015-16 academic year. Breaking it down, that’s 729 bachelor’s degrees, 3,449 associate in arts degrees, 1,025 associate in science degrees, 28 associate in applied science degrees, 2,119 technical certificates, one applied technology diploma and 1,267 workforce certificates.
Of these, nearly 2,000 students earning a bachelor’s or associate degree walked across the stage at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena for the 49th annual Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, May 5, 2016.
“As I watched the students receive their diploma and cross the stage, I was met with overwhelming pride for the accomplishments they have achieved,” said FSCJ President Dr. Cynthia Bioteau. “Each and every one of them has a different story and a different journey that led them to FSCJ to take the next step in their lives, but together, sharing the common goal of education and training, we opened new doors to their futures. I am always humbled by the sincere dedication these students put forth and the absolute support they receive from their family and friends.”
Dr. Sampson Davis, board certified Emergency Medicine Physician, author and co-author of New York Times best-sellers delivered an inspiring and thought-provoking address motivating these graduates to embrace their futures with enthusiasm and passion.
“One-point-two million people drop out of high school each year,” said Dr. Davis. “This is the fabric of our country. And if we’re not making education popular, if we’re not glamorizing education, what are we doing? Education is the coolest thing out there. It is the passport to your future. It is the bridge from one side to the next. It is the Golden Gate Bridge to your life, to your destiny, to your future.”
The 2016 Commencement student address was given by Brianna Smith, president chair of the student government association. In the future, Brianna hopes to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. She enjoys helping others pursue and accomplish their goals and strives to promote equality, civility, perseverance, honesty and authenticity.
“We all possess the capability to be leaders in our families, communities and in our careers,” said FSCJ student Brianna Smith. “We just have to challenge ourselves to allow it to flourish. Leadership is not a title; it is a state of mind.”
The ceremony also included special award presentations to honor long-time supporters and contributors to FSCJ. Dr. Bioteau and District Board of Trustees Chair Jimmie Mayo presented an honorary Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree to Mr. Harry Frisch. Mr. Frisch has been a generous contributor to FSCJ for decades, most recently through the development of the Frisch Institute for Senior Care. The newly established Frisch Institute for Senior Care seeks to foster students’ interest in caring for older adults and to prepare students with the latest evidence-based interventions and knowledge to care for the older adult population.
Dr. Bioteau also presented Jim Marlier with a Distinguished Alumni Award for his contributions to FSCJ. Mr. Marlier graduated from FSCJ in 1969 with his associate in arts degree and later served on the FSCJ Foundation Board of Directors.
These Class of 2016 graduates now join the 125,460 alumni who have graduated from FSCJ since 1968.
Florida State College at Jacksonville was established in 1965 as Florida Junior College at Jacksonville (FJC) and began offering classes the following year in August 1966. Two years later FJC held its first Commencement Ceremony in May 1968 at the Civic Auditorium where it awarded 189 students with degrees.