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At FAU, not your grandmother’s graduation

Quiet, boring graduations are over. Thankfully.

Florida Atlantic University sent its arts and letters grads into the world early Friday with selfies and standing ovations.

There were even a few dance steps across the stage to pick up hundreds of diplomas.

“Take out the cell phones you weren’t allowed to bring,” president John Kelly told the grads before a joint photo bomb.

“Everyone who has helped you on this journey, stand up,” he added, before shaking every hand as each student was called up.

Grads could pick out their families in the 2,400-seat crowd by the sound of shout-outs. The final diploma was met with a group holler and applause as grads tossed the tassels on their mortarboards.

graduation
The Patino-Paul family after Friday morning’s graduation ceremony, from left, father Fernando, brother Mariano, brother Fernando, graduate Flavia and mother Liliana.

The 9 a.m. ceremony was the school’s 124th graduation and one of six FAU ceremonies for 3,200 degrees this week.

This one awarded seven doctorates, 77 masters’ and 419 bachelors degrees to students of every stripe. Many were first-generation college grads and worked to pay their own way, Kelly said, asking them to stand and be recognized.

Flavia Platino-Paul was floored when he singled the summa cum laude grad out for accolades. “At first my friends asked me to stand up. Then I saw everyone’s faces around me,” she said afterwards with her parents, who came in from Lima, Peru, and her two brothers.

“It’s a time for you to celebrate all you’ve achieved. This is perhaps the most important transition in your life,” FAU trustee Robert Rubin told the crowd.

By Marci Shatzman

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