MELBOURNE, FLA.—The Charles and Ruth Clemente Center is the site of Florida Institute of Technology’s spring commencement ceremonies on May 7 at 10 a.m. A highlight of the event will be the commencement speech by high-tech business executive and former United States Assistant Secretary of Transportation Edward W. Scott Jr. He will also receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.
“We are proud and honored to have Mr. Scott speak at our commencement and receive an honorary doctorate. We expect that all those gathered will gain inspiration from the words of this fine man and philanthropist,” said Florida Tech President Anthony J. Catanese.
An active supporter of several philanthropic initiatives, Scott has been a member of the Florida Tech Board of Trustees since 2003 and was the major funder of the Scott Center for Autism Treatment.
Scott founded BEA systems in 1995, which grew to become the 12th largest software company in the world and was acquired in early 2008 by Oracle Corp. Before his high-tech career, he spent 17 years as an executive in the United States government, including 10 years at the U.S. Department of Justice where he served seven attorneys general. During the Carter administration, his last government assignment was as assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Among his many philanthropic initiatives are the funding and support of several orphanages and child development centers in Central America. He has provided substantial financial and advisory support to Compassion International, a faith-based children’s development group that aids more than one million children in 23 countries. He is also active in HIV/AIDS programs in five countries in Africa.
Most recently Scott has become especially concerned about the causes and cures of global poverty. Along with Bill Gates and George Soros, he is a co-founder of DATA, an advocacy organization dedicated to building public and political awareness about development problems in Africa. Bono, the lead singer of the rock band U2, is a principal spokesperson for DATA, now known as ONE.
Scott and wife Cheryl reside in Merritt Island, Fla.
At the ceremony, six bachelor’s degree graduates will receive the Faculty Honors Award for maintaining a 4.0 (perfect) grade point average. Two are graduates of Brevard County high schools. They are Andrew Bankert, civil engineering major and graduate of Eau Gallie High School; Cory Bernstine, business administration major; Dominic Casali, chemical engineering major and graduate of Melbourne Central Catholic High School; Dwight Pate, international business and accounting dual major; Carolina Penteado, mechanical engineering major; and Alvaro Ziadi, aerospace engineering major.
This May, about 1,080 students will be eligible to walk across the stage to receive their Florida Tech associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. These include students earning degrees through the Melbourne campus in May; students who completed degree requirements this spring through the university’s Extended Studies Division, which has 10 sites throughout the United States and a virtual campus; and students earning degrees through online programs.