Full Sail celebrated a milestone on Friday, April 3 when Brian Keith Gibson walked across the stage to receive his bachelor’s degree in Game Design, and in doing so became the 50,000th graduate since the inaugural class.
Brian, an online student from Northbrook, Illinois, made the trip to Full Sail’s Winter Park campus with his family to attend graduation. He had no idea that he was about to get the surprise of a lifetime when he was called to receive his diploma. As Brian made his way across the stage, organizers halted the ceremony to make the announcement, to the astonishment of nearly everyone in attendance— including Brian.
“I did not come up here expecting to be the 50,000th graduate, but it’s amazing,” he said. “It’s hard to put into words, but I couldn’t have done it without my parents. They gave me the drive and motivation. And my wife, she was there through all of it and she helped by watching [our] son while I was working. And of course my teammates. Without my classmates, I wouldn’t be here.”
Speaking at the ceremony, Full Sail President Garry Jones reflected on the exponential growth of the Full Sail community over the last 36 years.
“Knowing what Brian will do, what you guys are going to do with the backdrop of 50,000 people that came before you through these same halls, classrooms, and labs— the fingerprints of Full Sail graduates are across every imaginable element of this wonderful industry,” said Garry. “And so, while Brian is an amazing and perfect example of what is great about Full Sail, and that is our students and our graduates, the credit goes to every graduate and every graduate to come that is making a difference out there.”
Brian was presented with a plaque commemorating the event, along with a Full Sail watch. When asked about his post-graduation plans, he said he was looking forward to a nice vacation before getting back to work.
“Full Sail has taught me such a range of skills, but even with that there’s always room to grow,” he said. “I’ll continue to sharpen those skills, and I’ll probably reconnect with my teammates to see what we can hammer out.”