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This version of SharkBytes has been archived as of February 28, 2019. To search through archived articles, visit nova.edu/search. To access the new version of SharkBytes, visit sharkbytes.nova.edu.

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Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796


SharkBytes Archives


Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796

(954) 262-5353
(800) 541-6682 x25353
Fax: (954) 262-3954

David Lawrence Jr. to Speak at NSU Commencement

Former Miami Herald Publisher is Chair of The Children’s Movement of Florida


FORT LAUDERDALE/DAVIE, Fla. – Renowned thought leader, children’s advocate, and former publisher of the Miami Herald, David Lawrence Jr., will be the guest speaker at Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) Abraham S. Fischler College of Education commencement ceremony on Friday, June 16. The event will be held at 2:30 p.m. in the Rick Case Arena inside the Don Taft University Center located at NSU’s Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus (3301 College Ave., Fort Lauderdale).


David Lawrence Jr.

He is expected to discuss “Seven Guidelines for a Good and Meaningful Life.” NSU leadership will also be presenting Lawrence with an honorary Doctor of Education degree.

Since retiring from a 35-year career in journalism in 1999, Lawrence’s passion has been early childhood development and readiness. Lawrence is the chair of The Children’s Movement of Florida, whose goal is to make children the state’s top priority for investment and decision-making.

In 2002 and 2008, Lawrence led successful campaigns for The Children’s Trust, a dedicated source of funding for early intervention and prevention in Miami-Dade County.

Lawrence was a key figure in passing a statewide constitutional amendment to provide pre-K for all four-year-old children. He is the founding chair of the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. An endowed chair in early childhood studies is established in his name at the University of Florida’s College of Education.  The David Lawrence Jr. K-8 Center, a public school in North Miami with a state-of-the-art, marine and science technology theme, opened in 2006.

During his tenure as publisher at the Miami Herald, the newspaper won five Pulitzer Prizes. Before moving to Miami in 1989, Lawrence was publisher and executive editor of the Detroit Free Press, editor at the Charlotte Observer, and had worked as a reporter and editor at four newspapers.

Lawrence is a graduate of the University of Florida where he was the “Outstanding Journalism Graduate,” and completed the advanced management program at Harvard Business School. He holds 13 honorary doctorates, including one from his alma mater.

In 2010, Lawrence was inducted into the Florida Newspaper Hall of Fame. During his career in journalism, he was awarded the Knight-Ridder John S. Knight Gold Medal, the First Amendment Award from the Scripps Howard Foundation, and the Inter American Press Association Commentary Award.

Lawrence has served as chairperson at the Miami Art Museum, United Way, and the New World School of the Arts.

Lawrence’s numerous honors include the Bob Graham Center for Public Service Citizen of the Year; the James W. McLamore Outstanding Volunteer Award; the American Public Health Association Award of Excellence; the Children’s Champion from the National Black Child Development Institute; the National Association for Bilingual Education award for building early literary skills for all children; the American Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year Award.

NSU’s commencement season began on May 11.  The last ceremony will be held on Friday, Aug. 18.  Ceremony participants represent students from NSU’s Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus, regional campuses, and online. For a complete list of commencement ceremonies by date and additional information, please visit the NSU Commencement home page. For a list of additional commencement speakers to date, click here.

NSU will award baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees to students in a wide range of fields, including business, counseling, computer and information sciences, education, osteopathic medicine, optometry, pharmacy, dentistry, various other health professions, law, marine sciences, psychology, human services, and other social sciences. Approximately 7,000 students will receive their degrees and move on to continue their journey to realize their potential.

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About Nova Southeastern University (NSU): Located in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a dynamic research institution dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and first-professional degree levels. A private, not-for-profit institution, NSU has campuses in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar, Orlando, Palm Beach, and Tampa, Florida, as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico, while maintaining a presence online globally. For more than 50 years, NSU has been awarding degrees in a wide range of fields, while fostering groundbreaking research and an impactful commitment to community. Classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU is 1 of only 50 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification, and is also the largest private, not-for-profit institution in the United States that meets the U.S. Department of Education’s criteria as a Hispanic-serving Institution. Please visit http://www.nova.edu/ for more information about NSU and realizingpotential.nova.edu for more information on the largest fundraising campaign in NSU history.


June 13, 2017

Contact Information:
Vera Mandilovitch
954-262-5309 (office)
954-882-3570 (cell)