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Daytona Beach Campus Sets Spring Commencement Record with Class of 770

Joseph “Joe” Martin, retired senior semiconductor industry executive, former U.S. Army helicopter pilot and Embry-Riddle alumnus, is guest speaker at graduation.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach Campus is graduating its largest class this coming Monday. The Spring 2018 Commencement Ceremony begins at 10 a.m., Monday, May 7, at the Ocean Center, 101 N. Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach, Fla.  

An estimated class of 770 will receive diplomas, representing the Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business and Engineering, including about 100 students receiving master’s degrees and three students receiving Ph.Ds. The doctoral graduates represent the fields of Aviation, Engineering Physics and Human Factors.

The spring 2018 graduating class also includes 67 students receiving military commissions: 27 from Air Force ROTC, 23 from Army ROTC and 17 from Navy/Marine Corps ROTC.

The total class number is spring graduates, including students obtaining more than one degree; previous graduates who were unable to walk in another ceremony and summer prospective graduates who received permission to participate.

To accommodate all families and friends of graduates who are not able to attend the Commencement ceremony a live stream broadcast will be available online not only the day of the ceremony, but for a period of time thereafter at portal.stretchinternet.com/erauadmin.

Tickets are not required for general entry to Embry-Riddle’s Commencement Ceremony, but reserve seating can be purchased. For more details on all ceremonies, go to http://daytonabeach.erau.edu/campus-life/graduation/ceremony-details.

Commencement Speaker

The May 7 commencement ceremony features guest speaker and longtime Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Board of Trustee Joseph “Joe” Martin. Martin, who has a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle and an MBA from the University of Maine, is retired co-chairman and vice chairman of the Board of Directors of Fairchild Semiconductor Corp., where he also served as executive vice president and chief financial officer.

For his leadership in guiding the spinout of Fairchild from National Semiconductor, he was named 2002 CFO of the Year by CFO Magazine. Prior to Fairchild, Martin was vice president of finance, Worldwide Operations, at National Semi-Conductor, with responsibility for all operating divisions, manufacturing sites, and corporate financial planning. He was also founder, senior vice president, and chief financial officer of VTC Inc.

Prior to successfully transforming the technology industry through his leadership, he also served in the U.S. Army as a helicopter pilot. Holding the rank of captain, Martin served two tours of duty in Vietnam with military honors including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart, two Bronze Stars, 22 Air Medals, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry.

Martin not only has a history of service to his country, but of giving back to Embry-Riddle. He served on Embry-Riddle’s President’s Council from 2002 to 2005. Martin also was elected in 2005 to Embry-Riddle’s Board of Trustees of which he is the Treasurer, chairman of the Finance Committee, vice-chairman of the Investment Committee, co-chairman of the Development Committee and serves on the Committee on Trustees, Audit, Executive, and Facilities & Capital Planning Committees. He also currently serves on three publicly traded companies, including chairman of the board at Brooks Automation Inc., a provider of automation and cryogenic solutions for semiconductor manufacturing and life sciences. 

Doctoral Degrees

The three students receiving Ph.Ds include Shayn Savage Davidson, Ph.D. in Human Factors (dissertation title: A Multi-Dimensional Model of Enjoyment: Development and Validation of an Enjoyment Scale), Derek Hoffman, Ph.D. in Engineering Physics (dissertation title: Nonlinear Control of Underactuated and Constrained Systems) and Robert L. Thomas, Ph.D. in Aviation (dissertation title: Effect of Active Learning on Instrument Rated Pilots’ Knowledge and Self-Efficacy).

Commissioning Ceremonies and Master’s Hooding Ceremony on the Daytona Beach Campus:

Friday, May 4:

Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony Cadets of the Eagle Battalion will take the oath of office to commission as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army at 10 a.m. in the Henderson Welcome Center. A reception will be held following the ceremony.

Sunday, May 6:

Master's Hooding Ceremony – The ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. in the ICI Center. Dr. Dawna Rhoades, professor and chair of Management, Marketing and Operations in the College of Business, is the featured speaker. A reception following the ceremony will be held for students and their guests.

Air Force ROTC Commissioning Ceremony –  Detachment 157 will commission its cadets as second lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force with a ceremony beginning at 1 p.m. in the ICI Center, followed by a reception.

Monday, May 7:

U.S. Navy/Marine Corps ROTC Commissioning Ceremony – Embry–Riddle’s NROTC Battalion will host its spring commissioning ceremony at 3 p.m. in the Henderson Welcome Center. Graduating midshipmen will take the oath of office to commission as ensigns in the Navy or second lieutenants in the Marine Corps. A reception will be held following the ceremony.



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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the world’s largest, oldest and most comprehensive institution specializing in aviation, aerospace, engineering and related degree programs. A fully accredited university, Embry-Riddle is also a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. A nonprofit, independent institution, Embry-Riddle offers more than 100 associate, baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. The university educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through its Worldwide Campus with more than 135 locations in the United States, Europe and Asia, and through online programs. For more information, visit erau.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.