April/May 2016

73rd Commencement to Be Held on May 17

On Tuesday, May 17, 2016, the 73rd Commencement ceremony will be held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Nearly 3,000 students will receive doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s and associate degrees.

The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. and will be broadcast live on the Web, allowing family and friends around the world to share the moment with their graduates.

Numbering just under 3,000, FDU’s class of 2016 hails from 49 countries and 37 states. The top five most popular undergraduate majors are psychology, nursing, communications, criminal justice and biology, while the top five most popular graduate majors are computer science, administrative science, accounting, electrical engineering and public administration.

The ceremony will include presenting honorary doctor of humane letters degrees to two alumni: Jeffrey L. Pierson, brigadier general (retired) from the United States Army; and Dennis Strigl, retired president and chief executive officer of Verizon Communications.

The campus provosts will present the Student Pinnacle Awards to this year’s winners: Katelyn Arathoon from Ontario, Canada, representing the Metropolitan Campus; Shi Yang from Taiwan, representing the Florham Campus; and Laura Rodriguez Romero from Colombia, representing the Vancouver Campus in British Columbia, Canada.

Honorary Degree Recipients

Jeffrey L. Pierson

Alumnus Jeffrey L. Pierson, MAS’01 (Metro), served in the United States Army for 42 years, and retired as a brigadier general on June 25, 2003. His last assignment prior to military retirement was the assistant adjutant general-Army, Headquarters, New Jersey State Area Command, Fort Dix, N.J. His many duties included directing, supervising and coordinating special functions and activities of the Army National Guard. Some of his additional assignments and responsibilities were in such matters as the assistant division commander for training 42nd Infantry Division; weapons of mass destruction; unit readiness and strength management.

Jeffrey Pierson

Pierson’s most notable military assignments during his career include chief of staff, Headquarters, New Jersey State Area Command; director, Military Personnel; mobilization and readiness officer; G-3, 50th Armored Division; and executive officer, 50th Armored Division Artillery.

Pierson has received numerous military and civilian awards, decorations and honors including the Legion of Merit award for exceptional service in the U.S. Army.

Pierson holds a degree in public administration from Roger Williams University, Bristol, R.I., and an MAS degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2001. He was also an adjunct professor at FDU teaching in both the bachelor’s and master’s programs.

Dennis F. Strigl

Fairleigh Dickinson University alumnus, Dennis F. Strigl, MBA’79 (Ruth), is widely recognized as one of the most prominent architects of the wireless communications industry. His experience extends from launching the nation’s first cellular telephone network and managing several of the largest cellular mergers in the industry, to today leading one of the world’s preeminent wireless companies.

Dennis Strigl

Strigl was the lead executive in charge of integrating Verizon Wireless when that company was formed in April 2000, by combining the domestic wireless operations of Bell Atlantic, Vodafone AirTouch and GTE.

Previously, he served as president and CEO of Bell Atlantic Mobile and group president and CEO of Bell Atlantic Global Wireless, Bell Atlantic’s wireless portfolio with domestic operations in 28 states and international investments in Latin America, Europe and the Pacific Rim.

Strigl has served in the telecommunications industry for more than 40 years. He was instrumental in launching the nation’s first cellular telephone network in Chicago, and he won the Cellular Industry Achievement Award for engineering advancement and pioneering in marketing programs.

Strigl holds a degree in business administration from Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y., and an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Student Pinnacle Winners

The Pinnacle Award is the highest honor the University bestows on a graduating student. One student from each campus who has demonstrated academic excellence, public service and commitment to the University is honored. Winners will address their fellow graduates and the assembled audience.

Katelyn Arathoon
Metropolitan Campus

Katelyn Arathoon, of Ontario, Canada, will graduate summa cum laude with a bachelor of science in biology with a minor in chemistry.

Katelyn Arathoon

She served as captain of the FDU women’s soccer team, was named the Woman of the Year for 2016 by the New Jersey Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, was a voting member on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, a co-president of the Class Gift Committee, the Metropolitan Campus Student Representative on the Alumni Board of Governors and a member of the University Honors Program. Athletically, in April 2015, Arathoon was selected to represent FDU and the Northeast Conference at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Leadership Forum in Orlando, Fla. Later that year, she was awarded the FDU Women’s Soccer Team Knight award. After graduation she plans to continue her education in medical school.

Shi Yang
Florham Campus

Shi Yang, from Taiwan and educated in Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand, will graduate with a bachelor of arts in three majors — political science, criminology and sociology — in just three years.

Shi (Porter) Yang

Yang was very active on campus and served as the president of the Student Government Association, member of the Campus Standards Committee, student leader of the Becton College Student Leader Network and as an orientation leader for international students. He was involved in numerous clubs including the Mock Trial Club and the Campus Life Diversity Committee. Additionally he held positions in the Office of Global Learning and Office of Campus Life. Yang plans to take a year to explore the world before applying to law school.

Laura Rodriguez Romero
Vancouver Campus

Laura Rodriguez Romero, born in Colombia and educated in El Salvador, will graduate from the International Business Program with a bachelor of science in business administration.

Laura Rodriguez Romero

During her time at the Vancouver Campus, she has been active as a Global Scholar; as a member of the Model United Nations Association, where she represented the Vancouver Campus in the World Model United Nations Association in South Korea; and as an active member of the Toastmasters Club. After graduation, Romero hopes to enter the international trade industry by working with an import and export firm in Vancouver. She has plans to attend graduate school for an MBA in international business.

Commencement Logistics

Faculty, staff and candidates for graduation must arrive at the MetLife Stadium no later than 8:30 a.m. Marshals must arrive at 7 a.m. Because of stadium parking reconfiguration and traffic-lane construction in the area, attendees should allow 45 minutes to one hour extra travel time. Families and friends of the graduates should also allow for the extra travel time.

All graduates will have their names called and will walk across the stage; photographs will be taken of each graduate.

The processional starts at 9:30 a.m. and the ceremony at 10 a.m. The ceremony should end by 1 p.m. Diplomas will be mailed by the Offices of Enrollment Services on each campus to the graduates’ homes by the third week of June.

The average weather for May 17 in East Rutherford is an early morning low of 53oF and a high for the day of 69o. Commencement will be held at MetLife Stadium rain or shine. If there is rain during the processional and/or ceremony, waterproof rain capes will be provided for the graduates and others seated in the open. Portions of stadium seating for guests are under cover and families and other guests may bring and use umbrellas during the ceremony.

Faculty, staff and doctoral graduates must return their academic regalia in the original boxes to their respective campus bookstores no later than 4 p.m. at the Metropolitan Campus, and no later than 1 p.m. at the Florham Campus, on Friday, May 20. Charges will be incurred if the regalia is not returned on time. The Metropolitan Campus bookstore is open Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Florham Campus bookstore is open Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information on commencement visit http://www.fdu.edu/commencement.

Congratulatory Text Messages

Congratulatory text messages may be sent at http://view2.fdu.edu/commencement/text-messages/. Selected messages will be displayed at MetLife Stadium during the Commencement ceremony while graduates come to the stage and their names are read. (#fdugrad is the official hashtag for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.) Messages with the hashtag #fdugrad sent by May 12 will be shared on the University’s social media sites and will also be considered for display at the Commencement ceremony.