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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 Hosts Ninth Annual Multicultural Student Reception Sunday

FORT MYERS, FL - Multicultural Student Development Services at Florida Gulf Coast University hosts the Ninth Annual Multicultural Student Reception 5 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 9 in the Student Union ballroom to connect new students of culture with veteran students and staff.

Keynote speaker this year is Denver resident Carlotta LaNier. A graduate of University of Northern Colorado, LaNier stepped into history in Sept. 1957 when she was one of nine black students to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Ark. In the midst of the greatest domestic crisis of President Eisenhower's administration, he called out the country's elite force to escort the students into a mob-ringed school, thus beginning a year like no other in Arkansas's history.

LaNier began to tell her story at the Little Rock Nine's 30th anniversary. "If the Supreme Court Decision was the vehicle of change in our American education system, then the Little Rock Nine could very well be considered the designated drivers," LaNier said.

Since then, she has spoken to thousands of students on many college campuses including Amherst University, Michigan State University, Princeton University, Stanford University and University of Denver.

Today, LaNier heads the Little Rock Foundation, a non-profit agency that provides scholarships for at-risk students. She is the only recipient in the state of Colorado to have
received a Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, and one of 300 in U.S. history. The Little Rock Nine have been honored with a postal stamp issued Aug. 2005. Life size statues named the
"Testament" on Arkansas State Capitol grounds will have a commemorative silver dollar in 2007, the 50th anniversary of the integration of Central High.

For more information, media representatives should contact director of Multicultural Student Development Services Shelly Neal at (239) 590-7990.

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