USF Commencement Ceremonies Begin Saturday

USF President Judy Genshaft will preside over all ceremonies, which conclude Monday in Lakeland.


By Vickie Chachere News Manager


TAMPA, Fla.  (Dec. 7, 2010) - The University of South Florida System will confer 4,089 new degrees in a series of ceremonies beginning on Saturday, Dec. 11, and extending through Monday, Dec. 13.


Graduates representing an estimated 3,411 new bachelor degrees, 800 new masters degrees and 159 new doctoral and specialist degrees will be awarded at ceremonies across the USF System’s four campuses.


USF President Judy Genshaft will preside over the ceremonies. The Fall 2010 USF System degree anticipated totals represent a 255 degree increase over the Fall 2009 totals.  The diverse graduating student body represents 40 states and 88 nations.


The celebrations begin Saturday in Tampa at the USF Sun Dome in three ceremonies.


At 9 a.m., more than 900 undergraduates from the Colleges of Arts & Sciences and Behavioral and Community Sciences will receive their degrees. USF will recognize Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio’s years of service to the region with the Distinguished Citizen Award.


A 1:30 p.m. ceremony will recognize more than 700 undergraduates from Business, Education, Engineering, Medicine, Nursing, The Arts and Undergraduate Studies.


 A 6 p.m. ceremony will recognize more than 500 graduate students from all colleges. Among the graduates is Rep. John Legg, Speaker Pro-Tempore of the Florida House of Representatives, who is being conferred his master’s in public administration.


Eight students in the USF System have been identified as King O’Neal Scholar candidates, earning a cumulative grade point average of 4.0. Ryan Kania, Bachelor of Science in Business and Economics from the College of Business, has been named the Outstanding Graduate by the USF Alumni Association.


The youngest graduate will be Nyreese Castro, 18, who is earning a bachelor of science in bio medical science. Allen Gezelman, 72, is earning a master of mechanical engineering as USF’s most senior graduate.


Stuart Silverman, Dean of the Honors College, will be the ceremony announcer.


At 6 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 12, USF St. Petersburg will host ceremonies for 200 graduates and their guests at the Progress Energy for the Arts-Mahaffey Theater.  Chelsea Lindsley, who is earning a bachelor of arts in journalism and mass communication, is the outstanding graduate. Florida Sen. Dennis L. Jones and Rep. Darryl E. Rouson will be honored with the Chancellor’s Award.


USF Sarasota-Manatee will hold its ceremony for 143 graduates at 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 12 at the Manatee Convention Center in Palmetto.  Alyssa Anderson, who is earning both a bachelor of science in business management and a bachelor of science in elementary education, will receive both the Golden Bull award and is being named Outstanding Senior. Jennifer Menon Mariano, an assistant professor of psychological and social foundations in the College of Education, is being named Outstanding Professor.


USF Polytechnic will confer its degrees for 91 graduates at 7 p.m., on Monday, Dec. 13 at The Lakeland Center’s Youkey Theatre. Former Polk County Schools Superintendent Gail McKinzie will be presented with the Distinguished Service Award.


All events are free and open to the public, although seating is limited in some venues. For additional information contact the Commencement Hotline at (813) 974-9406 or (813) 974-1816 or visit for  additional specific information on individual ceremonies.


Vickie Chachere can be reached at 813-974-6251.