Newswise — FT. LAUDERDALE-DAVIE, Fla.– Chesley B. (Sully) Sullenberger III will be the guest speaker at Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) undergraduate commencement on Saturday, May 10 at 4 p.m. at the BB&T Center, located at 1 Panther Parkway in Sunrise Florida. The ceremony will include candidates from NSU’s the Farquhar College of Arts, Abraham S. Fischler School of Education, the College of Health Care Sciences, the College of Nursing, and Sciences, the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship and the Institute of the Study of Human Service, Health, and Justice. More than 1,400 students will be receiving their Bachelor’s degree and approximately 900 students will be in attendance at the ceremony

"We are honored to welcome Captain Chesley B. 'Sully' Sullenberger to speak at NSU's undergraduate commencement this year," said NSU President and CEO George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D. "His exemplary leadership and heroic acts have made an impact on our nation that will be long-lasting. Sully's heroism and leadership set the perfect tone for our graduating seniors who will embark on their first career or perhaps move on to graduate school."

Sullenberger became an international hero on Jan. 15, 2009 when as captain of U.S. Airways Flight 1549, he and his crew safely guided the plane to an emergency water landing in New York City's frigid Hudson River. Two of the Airbus A320's engines lost thrust following a bird strike. Sullenberger and his crew received international acclaim for their actions that day, including the passage of a Congressional resolution recognizing their bravery. Sullenberger was ranked second in TIME Magazine's "Top 100 Most Influential Heroes and Icons of 2009" and was awarded the French Legion of Honor.

Born and raised in Denison, Texas, Sullenberger pursued his childhood love of aviation at the United States Air Force Academy. In his graduation year at the academy, he received the Outstanding Cadet in Airmanship Award. In addition to his bachelor's degree in psychology, he also has two master's degrees, one in industrial psychology from Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana and one in public administration from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. Sullenberger will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from NSU during the commencement.

Upon graduation from the Air Force Academy, Sullenberger served as a fighter pilot for the United States Air Force from 1975 to 1980. During his active duty, he was stationed in North America and Europe. After serving in the Air Force, Sullenberger became an airline pilot with Pacific Southwest Airlines, later acquired by US Airways, until his retirement in March 2010.

Sullenberger is currently an aviation safety expert and accident investigator, serves as a CBS News aviation and safety expert, and is the founder and chief executive officer of Safety Reliability Methods, Inc., a company dedicated to management, safety, performance, and reliability consulting.

NSU's student speaker will be Emma Magner, a Marine Biology major with a minor in Spanish, from Belleville, Illinois. Magner is one of 19 of this year's outstanding student-award recipients. She is part of two honor societies, Delta Epsilon Iota and Tri Beta Biological Academic Honors and has been on the Dean's List all 10 semesters at NSU.

A full listing of all Outstanding Student award recipients can be found online (

For more information on all of NSU's Commencement ceremonies please visit NSU Commencement Web page (