FAU holds rescheduled graduation for in-state students following ‘credible threat’ cancellation

The ceremony took place exactly a week after the university canceled the initial graduation due to a threatening note.

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FAU holds rescheduled graduation for in-state students following ‘credible threat’ cancellation

261 students wait to graduate in the Basketball Arena.

261 students wait to graduate in the Basketball Arena.

261 students wait to graduate in the Basketball Arena.

261 students wait to graduate in the Basketball Arena.

Cameren Boatner, News Editor

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Over 250 in-state students graduated this morning after being evacuated from what was supposed to be their ceremony last week.

FAU canceled the Aug. 7 ceremony after a university employee found a “credible” post-it note threat in a College of Business bathroom. Soon after, the ceremonies were rescheduled — one for out-of-state/international students and today’s ceremony for in-state graduates.

But instead of graduating on the Student Union auditorium stage, as is tradition, 261 students walked across a temporary stage in the FAU basketball arena. FAU spokesperson Joshua Glanzer said there were already scheduled events that prevented graduation from being held in the Student Union.

“I believe you’re the first class to graduate at the basketball arena here at FAU,” FAU President John Kelly said to a crowd of over 1,000.

Just over 1,000 guests attended the rescheduled graduation. Photo by Cameren Boatner

Like the rescheduled ceremony for out-of-state students, security remained largely the same as any other graduation ceremony. Aside from FAU police officers and non-FAU security personnel patrolling the arena, there were metal detectors at the door.

The only change, Glanzer said, is that more security personnel were hired.

Event staff monitor the metal detectors in front of the basketball arena. Photo by Cameren Boatner

Of the 432 in-state students scheduled to graduate last Tuesday, over half of them walked today. After the evacuation, however, some family members weren’t able to attend the second graduation.

Keren Fishman, 18, received her undergraduate degree in biology, just months after she got her high school diploma from FAU High.

She said she wasn’t surprised when the evacuation happened.

“It’s 2018. We’ve had so many, not just scares, but actual incidents … now we have to kind of be on our toes all the time,” Fishman said.

Fishman said that while her father couldn’t make the rescheduled ceremony, he will be watching the recorded live stream later today.

FAU High alumna Keren Fishman graduates just months after she received her high school diploma. Photo by Cameren Boatner

One student said she was just thankful nothing came of last week’s threat.

Graduate Elif Ryan, 27, said, “I was a little freaked out, but I was just glad everyone was safe.”

Cameren Boatner is the news editor of the University Press. for information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected].