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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


FGCU Graduates 632 at 14th Commencement April 30; Two Ceremonies Planned

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University expects to graduate 632 students in two ceremonies during spring commencement exercises, 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30 at Alico Arena.

FGCU associate professor of physical therapy Sharon I. Bevins delivers the commencement address during the morning ceremony. Donna Price Henry, director of the Whitaker Center for Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, and professor of biology delivers the afternoon address. President William C. Merwin will confer degrees.

Bevins has more than 25 years of academic and clinical experience in physical therapy. She has worked nearly exclusively with children and their families, providing services to young children with developmental delays and a variety of disabilities.

Bevins' research includes studying gross motor development of preschool children who are considered to be at risk for academic failure. She has been both a provider and a consultant in various pediatric settings including neonatal intensive care, center and home-based birth-to-three years programs, preschool programs and regular education programs. Bevins holds a Bachelor of Science in physical therapy from the University of Vermont, and a Master of Education and Ph.D. in early childhood special education from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

Henry is an FGCU founding faculty member. She was responsible for the development of the biology program curriculum and the program for the construction of Whitaker Hall. She assisted with the development of the Collegium of Integrated Learning curriculum, which includes core coursework for undergraduate degree programs in the College of Arts and Sciences.

From 1997-2001, Henry was principal investigator for The Virtual Science Mentor Program, a four-year, $1 million Florida Department of Education project that provided video conferencing to connect NASA-Kennedy Space Center scientists and engineers to 80 middle school teachers and close to 20,000 students. She is president of the Faculty Senate and a member of the FGCU Board of Trustees. Henry holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. in physiology from Thomas Jefferson University.

FGCU conducts two ceremonies to accommodate the increasing number of candidates, as well as the growing assembly of family members and friends who attend graduation.

The morning ceremony graduates students in the College of Business and College of Health Professions. The afternoon ceremony graduates students in the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education, and College of Professional Studies.

Doors open at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. respectively for seating. Each ceremony lasts approximately two hours and is followed by a reception for graduates and their guests. The collective ceremonies are FGCU's 14th commencement and includes students completing degree requirements during the spring term. FGCU has conferred over 4,500 degrees since fall 1997.

For more information, contact associate vice president for Community Relations Audrea Anderson at (239) 590-1083.

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