Best-Selling Author Nicholas Sparks To Be Speaker, Honorary Chancellor at FSC Founders Day

Mar 15, 2016

by Staff

New York Times best-selling author Nicholas Sparks, author of The NotebookNights in Rodanthe, and The Choice—now showing as a major motion picture—will be the speaker at Florida Southern College’s 131st Founders Day Convocation at 11 a.m. Friday, March 18, at Branscomb Auditorium. He will also be invested as Florida Southern’s 82nd honorary chancellor.

The event is not open to the public, but the media is welcome to attend.

Mr. Sparks, one of the world’s most beloved storytellers, published his first novel, The Notebook, in 1996. He has gone on to write 17 more novels and two nonfiction books, which have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide, been published in more than 50 languages, and have been made into 11 feature films. Recently, Mr. Sparks formed his own film and television production company, Nicholas Sparks Productions, and the film adaptation of The Choice is the company’s first independent feature. He is also a dedicated philanthropist, and through the Nicholas Sparks Foundation, he and his family have donated more than $15 million to deserving charities, scholarship programs, and projects.

The honorary chancellor investiture brings to our community nationally and internationally recognized artists, scientists, and leaders whose character and careers epitomize the founding mission of Florida Southern College to prepare students to make a positive and consequential impact on the world.

In recent years, the College’s honorary chancellors have included ocean explorer, conservationist, and filmmaker Jean-Michel Cousteau; media mogul and environmentalist Ted Turner; Ambassador Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, Chairman of the American Red Cross; and Dr. Michael Griffin, Administrator of NASA; as well as many other luminaries who are revered for the contributions they have made to our world through their achievements in a wide variety of professions and disciplines.

The convocation will also feature the presentation of the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award to four graduates who have made outstanding contributions in their professions and communities: Dr. Dennis Alter ’80, orthopedic surgeon; Laurie Alter ’80, former chair of FSC’s National Alumni Board of Directors; Sonji Coney-Williams ’01, funeral director and owner of Coney Funeral Homes in Lakeland and Tampa; and Charlene Closshey ’02, stage and screen actress, musician, composer, and producer.

Additionally, the Honor Walk Student—the highest honor the College bestows upon a graduating senior who has demonstrated superior leadership, character, and achievement—will be announced.

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