Broward College Celebrates Student Achievements at Spring 2019 Commencement

The ceremony set a record with highest graduate participation of 1,360

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (May 8, 2019) – Broward College hosted its 90th commencement ceremony on Tuesday, May 7 at the BB&T Center. In total, there were 1,360 graduates recognized, among the more than 4,000 students who qualified for graduation.

Highlights from the graduation include:

  • Florida State Representative Chip LaMarca delivered the ceremony's keynote address
  • 168 veterans graduated
  • 256 students earned bachelor's degrees
  • 2,849 students earned associate degrees

Among those notable graduates who received degrees are:

Lucas Araujo Ferreira graduated with an Associate of Arts in Computer Science and is the recent recipient of the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundations' undergraduate transfer scholarship, valued at $120,000. Lucas immigrated to the United States after experiencing an ongoing battle with poverty in his home country of Brazil. At Broward College, Lucas also served as student government president and a new student orientation leader.

Christian Del Valle graduated with an Associate of Arts, making him the first in his family to finish college. After immigrating to the United States at only 11 months old, Christian and his family faced poverty and the constant fear of deportation. Only when he received DACA status that his hopes of pursuing a higher education became a reality. However, he still faced the issue of not being able to afford tuition. Through Broward College's Get Real! the program, which provides financial assistance to students with challenging situations, Christian was able to complete his degree program.

Sofin and Sawdah Asim are a mother-daughter-duo who graduated together with an Associate of Science degree in nursing and an Associate of Arts degree, respectively. Sofin and her daughter moved from the United Kingdom in 2016 to take care of her ailing mother. As a team, the two cared for Sawdah's grandmother, while attending Broward College. Both women also decided to watch each other walk across the stage, rather than do it together. Sawdah participated in the College's commencement ceremony on May 7, while Sofin will participate in the nursing program's candlelight ceremony on May 8.

Robert Olsen graduated with an Associate of Science degree in respiratory therapy at the age of 58. He enrolled in Broward College after working more than 20 years in the tech industry and noticing that the companies he dedicated his life to were starting to replace their older workers with a younger, less-experienced labor force. Not ready to ride off into early retirement, he moved from Connecticut to South Florida. Following graduation, Robert will begin his new career, as a full-time registered respiratory therapist at Hollywood's Memorial Regional Hospital.

Deloris Rudolph is 72 years old and was the oldest graduate at Broward College's graduation. She received her Associate of Arts degree in health and hopes to continue her education by pursuing a bachelor's in nursing.


Serving approximately 60,000 students annually, Broward College provides residents with certificate programs, two-year university-transfer degrees, two-year career degrees, and baccalaureate degrees in selected programs. The mission of the College is to provide high-quality educational programs and services that are affordable and accessible to a diverse community of learners. For more information, visit