Former U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell was counted among the 3,600 Fairleigh Dickinson University undergrads and grad students receiving their degree during May 2011 commencement.


Former U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell was counted among the 3,600 Fairleigh Dickinson University undergrads and grad students receiving their degree during May 2011 commencement.

Fairleigh Dickinson officials announced her May graduation from the university's College at Florham in Madison, N.J. on Monday. That appeared to conflict with earlier news reports in which Fairleigh Dickinson officials indicated she had received her degree in September 2010.

Indeed, O’Donnell was officially awarded her degree in English with a concentration in communications on Sept. 1, 2010, Fairleigh Dickinson spokeswoman Dina Schipper said Tuesday. That day technically fell within the 2010-2011 school year.

“Most people don’t get their degree in September,” Schipper said. “It’s unconventional.”

Traditionally, students at Fairleigh Dickinson earn their degrees in December and May, she said. There is no winter commencement held for the people finished in December, but those students are eligible to participate in the May commencement exercises.

Therefore, O’Donnell, 41, of Wilmington, was counted among the 3,600 graduates this past May, Schipper added.

She declined to say when O’Donnell started her undergraduate career at Fairleigh Dickinson, citing student confidentiality law. The automatic graduation lists are generated and forwarded to local newspapers as a public service.

O’Donnell could not be reached for comment.

During her 2010 campaign, O’Donnell received heavy criticism for claiming she had received her degree in earlier campaign literature. Later in the 2010 campaing, her website simply stated she had attended Fairleigh Dickinson.

Now, she’s officially a college graduate, and she’s putting those English skills to work. According to www.ChristinePac.com, her book, “Troublemaker: Let’s Do What It Takes to Make America Great Again,” is due out Aug. 16 from St. Martin’s Press.