Media Advisory: Commencement at New College

New College of Florida will award bachelor’s degrees to an expected 177 students in a sunset ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday, May 22, on the College’s Bayfront.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, three-time nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize and author of the international best-seller “I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey.”

Dr. Abuelaish is the founder and president of the Daughters for Life Foundation. New College and the Daughters for Life Foundation are partners in a program that brings young women from the Middle East to New College on full four-year scholarships. Dr. Abuelaish will receive an honorary doctorate during the ceremony.

Prof. David Mullins also will speak during the ceremony. Mullins, professor of mathematics, is retiring after a 24-year career at New College.  Mullins received his bachelor’s degree from New College and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Stanford University.

The student speaker is Cassandra Corrado, a literature and gender studies major from the Ft. Lauderdale area. Corrado is a former student government president and is known for her volunteer work on sexual violence prevention.

While New College is known as a liberal arts institution, it is noteworthy that nearly one-third of this year’s class is graduating with degrees in the STEM fields, including the sciences and mathematics. The graduating class includes three winners of Fulbright scholarships.

Media organizations are invited to cover the event. With advance notice, we also can arrange interviews with graduates from your coverage area. We ask that out of respect for the graduates and their families on this important and celebratory day, you refrain from asking them about the recent tragic events on campus. We understand you may choose to mention those events during voiceovers or stand-ups.

Contact David Gulliver, News Services Manager at 941-487-4154, 941-544-1078 or


New College of Florida is a national leader in the arts and sciences and is the State of Florida’s designated honors college for the liberal arts. Consistently ranked among the top public liberal arts colleges in America by U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and The Princeton Review, New College attracts highly motivated, academically talented students from 40 states and 15 foreign countries. A higher proportion of New College students receive Fulbright awards than graduates from virtually all other colleges and universities.