Lauren Book awarded honorary doctorate at NSU graduation ceremony
Image via Nova Southeastern University.

Lauren Book NSU Doctorate
Book said she is “humbled” to receive the honors.

Call her Dr. Lauren Book.

Book, who has led Florida Senate Democrats since April 2021, is the latest recipient of an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Nova Southeastern University (NSU).

The degree is traditionally bestowed to keynote speakers who have distinguished themselves through significant humanitarian contributions to society, according to the National Institute of Health.

It does not confer true doctorship, though recipients are properly addressed as “doctor” in correspondence from the university that awarded the honorary degree and in conversation on that campus.

NSU President and CEO George L. Hanbury II awarded Book the doctorate before she delivered the keynote address at a graduation ceremony the school held Friday.

Outside her work as Senate Democratic Leader, Book leads Lauren’s Kids, an Emmy Award-winning South Florida charity she founded in 2003 that helps survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

The ceremony took place at the school’s Don Taft University Center in Davie. Graduates were from the NSU Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice and College of Computing and Engineering.

Thousands attended the event, and thousands more watched online, according to Democratic consultant Claire VanSusteren.

Book later said she is “humbled” to receive the honors.

“Remember graduates, nothing is impossible!” she wrote on Twitter, referencing a motto her father, lobbyist Ron Book, has had hanging in his office for many years.

In her speech, Book advised graduates to embrace the unexpected and live unintimidated by change, which she called “the only constant in this world.”

“Despite our best-laid plans, life is not linear — which, I’ll admit, can at times be difficult for a planner like myself,” she said. “But remember, the endless possibilities are where the magic lies, in successes and setbacks alike.”

Book discussed how pursued a degree in education because, as a survivor of physical, sexual and emotional abuse perpetrated by her family’s live-in nanny, “school was (her) refuge” and she “wanted to protect children in ways that (she) was unable to be kept safe.”

She detailed how in graduate school, alongside a developmental psychologists and other experts in prevention, she created what is now known as the Safer, Smarter Kids curriculum to help prevent child abuse, exploitation and digital dangers.

Early on, she said, it wasn’t easy getting schools to adopt the program.

“I remember going back to my own elementary school to ask if I could teach these important lessons there, only to be told, ‘We don’t have that problem here.’ We have this problem everywhere, but alright,” she said. “That was hardly the only no I received. There were many.”

But she persisted, and today the curriculum is taught in 43 U.S. states and internationally through a partnership with UNICEF and Crime Stoppers International.

Book’s speech then turned to her successful 2016 Senate run, which she embarked on while pregnant, and her legislative accomplishments since, including the passage of bipartisan gun safety legislation following the Parkland massacre, measures to combat human trafficking, two Medicaid expansions for moms and babies, banning unsafe restraints for students with disabilities and expansions of mental health care benefits for first responders, among other things.

“As the Senate’s Democratic Leader in a Republican majority chamber, we’ve had to get creative and keep our heads up against sometimes impossible odds, never giving up on the things that matter most,” she said. “And you shouldn’t either.”

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


  • Dont Say FLA

    June 11, 2023 at 7:10 pm

    If only human trafficker Rhonda had resigned to run instead of getting himself placed above the law, Florida could have Governor Lauren Book, a person who works to combat human trafficking, not a human trafficker herself like Rhonda.

  • Earl Pitts American

    June 11, 2023 at 9:31 pm

    Good evening America,
    We knew NSU was a dook 4 brains leftist leaning instutition but we did not actually know the true level of depravity Florida’s young students were exposed to until NSU sunk to this new low with the Book award.
    I’ve been asked to send America’s best into the wayward institution and root out the main offenders on Florida’s payroll there at NSU.
    At exactily 0730 tomorrow my team of highly respected education auditors will be waiting there for the staff to arrive.
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts American

  • Impeach Biden

    June 11, 2023 at 9:41 pm

    Another “fake” DR like Jill Biden. Along the lines of our “fake” scientist Rebekah Jones. You Dems like those folks with “fake” titles..

  • Lucky Larry

    June 11, 2023 at 10:05 pm

    Lauren Book can’t even spell doctor much less be one. At best, she’s a “doctor” like Dr. Jack Kevorkian since she pushed for all kinds of bills related to murdering human beings. She truly is the Doctor of Death.

    • Clay Keys

      June 12, 2023 at 5:14 pm

      Hi Derek. Still stalking Lauren huh?

Comments are closed.


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