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Celebration launches new academic year

Faculty, staff, students and their families will enjoy the Opening Celebration! opening celebration 2014

A new academic year starts next week and Stetson University is proud to welcome the incoming class, returning students, faculty and staff with festivities. May The Force Be With You is the theme of Stetson’s Opening Celebration for 2014-15, beginning Sat., Aug. 16, at 4:15 p.m. in the Edmunds Center, 143 E. Pennsylvania Ave. Staff, faculty, students and their families are invited to attend.

“This year’s Opening Celebration will give a humorous nod to Star Wars, as we highlight the exceptional talent of our faculty, staff and students,” said Vice President of Student Affairs Christopher Kandus-Fisher, Ed.D. “The Celebration will express to our new students and their families that immersing yourself in the Stetson experience will lead to a life of significance.” Faculty and staff are invited to sit together in reserved seats in Section 5.

FOCUS, which stands for “Friends On Campus Uniting Students,” is a five-day, comprehensive orientation program designed to help new and transfer students have a successful transition to the university.

The FOCUS Orientation schedule — covering the five days leading up to the beginning of classes on Thurs., Aug. 21 — details when students will be able to meet with their academic advisor, get their student ID and parking decal, set up their email and Internet access, and purchase books for class, all while meeting new people, learning their way around campus and having fun!

Convocation 2014 continues a special Hatter tradition for faculty, upper-class students and staff to kick off the academic year together. The entire Stetson community is invited to attend at 5:30 p.m., Wed., Aug. 20, in the Edmunds Center.

At 6:30, following Convocation, faculty, staff and students are invited to a community-wide dinner with live entertainment in the CUB, and encouraged to cheer on our Hatters at the Green and White scrimmage football game at 7:30 p.m. at Spec Martin Memorial Stadium, 260 E. Euclid Ave.

Convocation’s keynote speaker will be Stetson University double-degree alumna Judge Simone Marstiller. Born in Monrovia, Liberia, Judge Marstiller earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from Stetson University in DeLand, Fla., and her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Stetson College of Law in Gulfport, Fla.

In 2010 then Governor Charlie Crist appointed Judge Marstiller to the First District Court of Appeal. Her varied legal career, which began in 1996, has been exclusively in service to the State of Florida.

Judge Marstiller was serving as Executive Director for the Florida Elections Commission when she was appointed to the appellate court in 2010. She oversaw the investigation and prosecution of complaints filed with the Commission and was the chief administrative officer for the agency.

Prior to that, Attorney General Bill McCollum appointed Judge Marstiller Associate Deputy Attorney General for the State of Florida in 2007. She served on the executive management team for the Office of the Attorney General, while serving as the agency’s General Counsel. She was responsible for overseeing four agency divisions, including the Civil Rights and Opinions Divisions.