BOCA RATON, FL — Florida Atlantic University canceled a planned summer graduation ceremony early Tuesday evening based on a “credible threat.” Officials said they plan to hold a special ceremony this week for out-of-state and internatinal students. All other graduating students will be invited to a rescheduled commencement event next week.
“The Student Union is being evacuated due to what law enforcement considers a credible threat,” FAU officials said on social media.
An FAU staff member found a note in a women’s restroom at the university’s College of Business one hour before the 5 p.m. commencement ceremony was scheduled to begin.
School officials said the note contained a specific threat regarding the commencement ceremony that was to take place for 462 graduating students.
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“The ceremony was canceled and the building evacuated to allow for a police investigation,” officials later explained.
FAU President John Kelly said that the safety of students, faculty, staff and guests was the overriding concern in the decision to cancel the graduation.
School officials announced that the campus could resume normal operations around 7:30 p.m. saying that the situation in the Student Union building had been resolved.
“We understand how disappointed our students must be that today’s final commencement ceremony was canceled,” Kelly said in a statement. “We will try to ensure that they receive the recognition they deserve.”
A family member of an FAU graduate said on social media that the audience was told to evacuate.
“This is the world that we live in,” the family member said. “When is it all going to stop?”
A Florida state university, FAU has more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students in 10 colleges. Tuesday’s graduation ceremony was to take place on the 850-acre Boca Raton campus, which is the largest FAU campus serving 80 percent of the students.
FAU students celebrate their graduation. Photo courtesy Florida Atlantic University.