Screenwriter Jamie Linden, retired football coaching legend Bobby Bowden and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management head John W. Thiel will deliver the commencement addresses at Florida State University’s 2014 spring graduation ceremonies.
More than 6,000 will graduate this spring, including undergraduate and graduate degree recipients. The ceremonies will be held at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center at Florida State University, 505 W. Pensacola St. The ceremonies also will recognize students who have received academic honors, inductees of the Garnet and Gold Scholar Society as well as veterans, who wear cords signifying these achievements.
•Screenwriter Jamie Linden, who will speak during the 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 2, ceremony, will address the graduates of the colleges of Arts and Sciences; Human Sciences; and Motion Picture Arts.
•Also during this ceremony, the university’s Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor for 2014-2015 will be recognized. Mark Riley, a professor in Florida State’s Department of Physics, will receive the highest honor the university faculty bestows on one of its own.
Linden, best known as the writer and co-producer of “We Are Marshall” (2006), graduated from Florida State in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in media production and marketing. He wrote and co-produced “Dear John” (2010) and wrote and directed “10 Years” (2012). Currently he is writing and anticipated to direct “The Flight Before Christmas” for Paramount Pictures as well as an adaptation of the novel “Noggin” for LionsGate Films. He also is working on the script for “Money Monster” for director Jodie Foster, and an animated movie for Walt Disney Animation Studios.
•Former Coach Bobby Bowden will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters and speak during the 9 a.m. Saturday, May 3, ceremony, which includes graduates of the colleges of Communication and Information; Criminology and Criminal Justice; Engineering; The Graduate School (materials science graduates only); Social Sciences and Public Policy; and Visual Arts, Theatre and Dance.
Bowden, who served as head football coach of the Florida State Seminoles and held an appointment as an instructor of sport management from 1976 to 2009, holds the NCAA record for most career wins. He led the Seminoles to national championships in 1993 and 1999 as well as 12 Atlantic Coast Conference championships. In addition, Bowden is a popular author, having written or co-written several books on topics ranging from leadership to faith, including “The Bowden Way” and “Called to Coach.” Bowden’s stature in the coaching profession is aptly illustrated by the Bobby Bowden National Collegiate Coach of the Year Award, established in 2009 to honor the nation’s best head coach.
•John W. Thiel will speak at 2 p.m., Saturday, May 3, to the graduates of the colleges of Business, Education, Music, Nursing and Social Work.
Thiel, who earned a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Florida State in 1983, was named head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in 2011. In that role he is responsible for the strategic management of more 15,000 financial advisers from Merrill Lynch’s U.S. Wealth Management Group as well as more than 300 private wealth advisers in the Private Banking and Investment Group. Thiel also is the executive sponsor for the Global Wealth and Investment Management (GWIM) Diversity and Inclusion Council. Thiel, who became a certified public accountant in 1985, began his career with Merrill Lynch in 1989 as a financial adviser in Tampa, Fla.
Each year, the FSU Honorary Degree Committee, an advisory committee appointed by the president to represent the university community, considers nominations for an honorary degree. Any active or retired faculty member or any other member of the university community or friend of the university may suggest potential honorary degree recipients to the committee. Nominations are considered at any time of the year. In general, the committee intends to honor people of outstanding achievement who have gained national or international recognition or made a significant scholarly, creative, public, business or humane contribution to the United States or to Florida State University.
Other Florida State University commencement ceremonies include:
College of Social Work
•The convocation ceremony for Florida State’s College of Social Work will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, May 2, in the Oglesby Union Ballroom.
College of Nursing
•The convocation ceremony for Florida State’s College of Nursing will be held at6 p.m. Friday, May 2, in Ruby Diamond Concert Hall, Westcott Building. Professor SallyKarioth will be the speaker at the event, in which80 candidates for bachelor’s degrees, five for master’s degrees and 23 for Doctor of Nursing Practice degreeswill be recognized.
FSU Air Force ROTC
•Air Force ROTC will commission 18 cadets during a 5 p.m. ceremony Saturday, May 3, in Opperman Music Hall, Kuersteiner Music Building. The guest speaker will be Brig. Gen. Bruce McClintock, the attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
FSU Army ROTC
•Florida State’s Army ROTC will commission 32 cadets during a 5 p.m. ceremony Saturday, May 3, in the Oglesby Union Ballrooms. The guest speaker will be Brig. Gen. Patrick D. Sargent, a 1985 Florida State University alumnus who received his commission from the FSU Army ROTC program, who is currently serving with the Army Medical Command in Washington, D.C.
Panama City Campus (College of Applied Studies)
•Successful businessman Gordon Sprague, chair of the national board of directors of the FSU Alumni Association and member of the board of trustees of the FSU Foundation, will be the keynote speaker during Florida State Panama City’s commencement. The ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. CDT Sunday, May 4, at the Panama City Marina Civic Center. A total of 318 degrees will be awarded during the 2013-2014 academic year to students attending the Panama City campus.
College of Law
•Florida State’s College of Law will hold its spring commencement at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 10, at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center. Florida State College of Law alumna and trustee Margaret A. “Peggy” Rolando (’78) will be the commencement speaker. She is a partner at the law firm of Shutts & Bowen LLP in Miami. The ceremony will be followed by a reception on the law school green.
College of Medicine
•Florida State’s College of Medicine will have its commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 17, at Ruby Diamond Concert Hall for 115 students receiving Doctor of Medicine degrees and 12 students receiving Master of Science Bridge to Clinical Medicine degrees. Professor Lynn Romrell, Ph.D., the college’s associate dean for medical education, will be the main speaker. Romrell has earned teaching honors here and previously at the University of Florida College of Medicine, where he also received a Lifetime Achievement Award. This year’s graduates remember him as their very first teacher in medical school: the professor who introduced them to the mysteries of human anatomy in the summer of 2010.