Thursday, April 28, 2011

May 15 Commencement Honors Florida Graduates

NORTH MIAMI BEACH – On May 15, Union Institute & University’s Florida Academic Center will honor new graduates who have earned undergraduate or graduate degrees from the private, non-profit university located in North Miami Beach. Louis Albert Jolivert, senior director at BNY Mellon Wealth Management and current chairman of the Miami Foundation’s Board of Governors, will serve as the commencement speaker. The university will also present UI&U board member and former president, Dr. George Pruitt, President of Thomas Edison State College, with an honorary doctorate degree.

Many of the Miami graduates are adults who have balanced work and family commitments with their efforts to fulfill their lifelong dream of earning a college degree. New graduate LaToya Williams, who immigrated to Miami from Jamaica in 2008, earned her BS in elementary education and is the first in her immediate family to graduate. “It has not been an easy road,” said Williams, whose parents are traveling from Jamaica to see her commence. “The classes were very challenging – but with the help and encouragement of Union’s faculty, I was able to succeed and to emerge feeling very empowered.”

Also taking part in this year’s commencement ceremony are two married couples who not only attended UI&U together, but who also work together: Jorge and Marie Guerra are both police officers in the Miami-Dade Police Department, and Yolanda and Willie Jones are officers for the City of Miami. “We supported one another and kept each other going when it got tough,” said Yolanda Jones, who, along with her husband and the Guerras’, earned her BS in criminal justice management.

Union chose Jolivert as commencement speaker for his commitment to service within the Miami community and within his profession. As a servant leader, Jolivert’s commitment to his community is reflected in his day-to-day involvement in its growth. “Miami is an up-and-coming city,” said Jolivert. “It’s experiencing a great deal of growth now, and I’d like to contribute to that, to make it an even better place for people to live. Whether through my work with the Miami Foundation or in other aspects of my life, I work to make this the city of choice, a community of choice.”

Union’s May 15 Florida Center Commencement will take place at 1 p.m., at the Miami Airport Hilton, 5101 Blue Lagoon Dr., Miami. For more information contact Angela Byles at or at 305-653-7141.

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