USF System Summer Commencement

The Summer Graduation Ceremonies will be held Saturday at the USF Sun Dome, beginning at 9 a.m.


By Barbara Melendez

USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 1, 2012) – The University of South Florida System will hold commencement ceremonies Saturday, Aug. 4 at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the USF Sun Dome on the Tampa campus. 


In addition to the awarding of degrees, a leading entrepreneur will be honored at each ceremony – Lee Arnold of the Arnold Companies in the morning, and Harvey Kaylie of Mini-Circuits in the afternoon.


An estimated 2,948 degrees will be awarded to graduates from USF Tampa, USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee: 1,923 bachelor’s degrees, 893 master’s degrees, and 132 doctoral and specialist degrees.  More than 1,400 graduates are anticipated to participate in the ceremonies.


Presiding over the proceedings and at the podium to congratulate the graduates will be USF System President Judy Genshaft and taking his traditional place on stage to announce every name of those graduates in attendance will be USF Honors College Dean Stuart Silverman.


 The Saturday 9 a.m. ceremony will recognize graduates from:

  USF St. Petersburg – bachelor’s and master’s degrees, all colleges.

  USF Tampa – bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the following colleges: Arts and Sciences and Behavioral and Community Sciences.


The Saturday 1:30 p.m. ceremony will recognize graduates from:

  USF Sarasota-Manatee, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, all colleges.

  USF Tampa – bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the following colleges: Business, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Marine Science, Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, The Arts and Undergraduate Studies.


Three students in the USF System have been identified as King O’Neal Scholar candidates, for having earned a cumulative grade point average of 4.0. They will be announced at the ceremonies. The award was created in honor of charter USF graduates Lucas King and Evelyn O’Neal.


The USF Alumni Association named Demelza Hays the Outstanding Graduate of this graduating class.  She earned a bachelor of science in business economics from the College of Business.  Her achievements in academic research, community engagement and leadership, including having earned prestigious Fulbright and Critical Language Scholarships, earned her the honor.


Hayes has served as president of the Club de Español and founder and president of the Punjabi Club.  She taught Spanish to her peers, participated in USF’s Stampede of Service as a site leader and earned a place in the Bulls Business Network for high-achieving underclassmen as well as the Honors College’s Research Colloquium and the Emerging Leaders Institute. The first-generation college graduate will spend a year in India researching the impact of microfinance as a Fulbright Scholar and plans to earn a PhD in economics.


The youngest graduate this summer is Cayla Robinson who has earned a BA in psychology from the College of Arts and Sciences at the age of 19.


Lee Arnold, founder and CEO of Arnold Companies will receive the President’s Fellow Medallion in the morning ceremony and Harvey Kaylie, founder and CEO of Mini-Circuits will receive an Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree during the afternoon ceremony.


A USF finance major and alumnus (1974), Arnold was part of USF’s inaugural Board of Trustees.  His company is a consortium of a number of private companies including Colliers International – Florida Markets, L.A. Financial and Clearwater Bay Associates. Arnold is the author of Commercial Investment Real Estate: Marketing and Brokerage Management and Commercial Investment Real Estate: Policies and Procedures.  He wrote the original course text for the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) program.  A 2004 inductee of the Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame, Arnold is also the recipient of the 2001 USF President’s Distinguished Citizens Award, the 2001 Donald A. Gifford Alumni Service Award and the 2012 Herman Goldner Award for regional Leadership. 


In addition to being an entrepreneur, Kaylie is a global leader in the microwave technology industry and a philanthropist.  Serving as chairman, president and CEO of Mini-Circuits, Kaylie is active in the promotion of technology and business excellence.  He was selected as one of 45 people who have most shaped the microwave industry and was designated a “Microwave Legend” by the trade publication, Microwaves and the RF. His other endeavors include supporting disabled and disadvantaged peoples, medical research and the arts.  The wireless instructional lab in the USF Electrical Engineering Department has been the beneficiary of Kaylie’s donations, which include wireless components and financial support for scholarships and educational activities.


Barbara Melendez can be reached at 813-974-4563.