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Florida State University

United Nations advisor to speak at commencement

Special adviser to the United Nations and Florida State University alumnus William D. Clay, Jr., will be the speaker at the university's summer graduation ceremony, scheduled for 9 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 8, at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center.

William D. Clay, Jr.

More than 5,600 Florida State students will graduate this summer, and at least 3,800 of them will participate in the commencement ceremony. Florida State President T.K. Wetherell will preside. Graduates will represent 14 of the university's 15 colleges.

Throughout his career as a special adviser in the Division of Nutrition and Consumer Protection for the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, Clay has visited and worked in more than 90 countries. He earned his bachelor's degree in 1971 and master's degree in 1974, both in human sciences at Florida State. Clay was a 2007 Grad Made Good.

"When I was at FSU in the late '60s and early '70s, the U.S. was going through tumultuous times, and we all needed to figure out how to cope and, hopefully, shape what was going on around us," Clay said. "My FSU experience - both the academic and the social aspects - was fundamental to making me who, and how, I am. It extended the base from which I have continued to grow."

In addition to the Aug. 8 commencement ceremony, Florida State's Army and Air Force ROTC and The Film School will host the following events:

  • The Air Force ROTC will commission two second lieutenants at 2 p.m. in the President's Box, Doak Campbell Stadium, on Aug. 8. The speaker will be Lt. Col. Kevin Basik.
  • The Army ROTC will also commission four second lieutenants on Aug. 8 at 2 p.m. in Miller Hall. Retired Lt. Col. Chip Bowlin will be the guest speaker.
  • The College of Motion Picture, Television and Recording Arts - better known as The Film School - will have a ceremony for its Master of Fine Arts graduates at 1 p.m. in the Askew Student Life Cinema. A premiere screening of the MFA thesis films will be held at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the Askew Student Life Cinema, with limited overflow seating still available. A second screening will be held on Aug. 9 at 4 p.m. Tickets are not required for this second screening.

A webcast of the commencement ceremony will be available.

By Jennifer Howard


"My FSU experience - both the academic and the social aspects - was fundamental to making me who, and how, I am."

William D. Clay, Jr.