Commencement Ceremonies Held May 3, 4, 5 and 10

About 6,000 degrees will be awarded to USF students in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee.


ByBarbara Melendez

USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (April 29, 2013) – The University of South Florida will hold five commencement ceremonies over May 3 and 4 in the USF Sun Dome on the Tampa campus. Ceremonies for USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee will be held on May 5 and for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine on May 10.


Friday’s ceremonies will be held at 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday’s ceremonies will be held at 9 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.


The colleges and majors are split between the first five ceremonies:


·         The Friday 1:30 p.m. ceremony will recognize undergraduates from the College of Arts & Sciences School of Social Sciences only. 740 graduates are anticipated.


·         The Friday 6 p.m. ceremony will recognize undergraduates from the College of Arts & Sciences School of Humanities and School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics only. 850 graduates are anticipated.


·         The Saturday 9 a.m. ceremony will recognize undergraduates from the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences and the College of Business. Over 850 graduates are anticipated.


·         The Saturday 1:30 p.m. ceremony will recognize undergraduates from the Colleges of Education, Engineering, Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, The Arts and Undergraduate Studies. Over 850 graduates are anticipated.


·         The Saturday 6 p.m. ceremony will recognize graduate students from all colleges. Over 730 graduates are anticipated.


Commencement ceremonies for USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee will be held Sunday, May 5.  USFSP’s is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Mahaffey Theater and USFSM’s is at 2 p.m. in the Bradenton Area Convention Center.


The USF Morsani College of Medicine will confer the medical degree on Friday, May 10 at 10 a.m. at the Straz Center.


All of the ceremonies will be presided over by USF System President Judy Genshaft.


In addition to the awarding of undergraduate and graduate degrees, an honorary doctor of science degree will be presented to University of Missouri Professor Jerry Atwood Friday at 6 p.m.; INTO Founder Andrew Colin will receive the President’s Global Leadership Award Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and an honorary degree of medicine will be presented to former USF Trustee Rhea Law, Esq. at the College of Medicine Ceremony on Friday, May 10 at 10 a.m.


An estimated total of 6,062 degrees will be awarded to graduates from USF Tampa, USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee:


·         USF Tampa: 5,140 | Bachelors: 3,924 | Masters: 1,018 | Doctoral and Specialists: 198

·         USF St. Petersburg: 454

·         USF Sarasota-Manatee: 290


Sharing the job of announcing the names of graduates in attendance will be Stuart Silverman, dean of the Honors College and Roger Brindley, associate vice president for Global Academic Programs, for the undergraduate and graduate ceremonies respectively. 


Fourteen 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 has named George Papadeas the Outstanding Graduate for USF Tampa. He is graduating with a bachelor of science in marketing from the College of Business.


The youngest graduate this spring at 19 years of age is Anthony J. Schryer II, who has earned a bachelor of science in computer science and the eldest at 74 is Joan V. Schoenling, with a master’s degree in adult education.   


Professor Jerry Atwood, recipient of the honorary doctor of science degree, is an internationally recognized scientist, scholar and mentor to some of the world’s leading scientists. A pioneer in the field of green and environmentally-friendly chemistry with his discovery of clathrates (molecule lattices that trap other molecules) he has also made headlines with his fabrication of nanocapsules for use in targeted drug delivery which promises to revolutionize the pharmaceutical and computer technology industries.


The Curators’ Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Missouri, Atwood is an international leader and innovator in the field of supramolecular chemistry. He was one of the first scientists to understand the significance of this emerging field. A prolific writer and researcher (750 articles in refereed journals, including five in Science, four in Nature, 45 in Angewandte Chemie and 104 in the Journal of the American Chemical Society) his work has been cited more than 29,000 times. He is the editor of numerous peer-reviewed journals and founded the journal Supramolecular Chemistry in 1992 and the Journal of Inclusion Phenomena in 1983.


Andrew Colin will receive the President’s Global Leadership Award. This honor is bestowed on individuals who have achieved exemplary accomplishments in international leadership or global relations.


Colin, the chairman, and one of the founding directors of INTO University Partnerships (IUP), is being recognized for his leadership and innovations in international higher education. His work has transformed pre-degree programs of academic and language study not only in his native United Kingdom but also in North America and China.


For more than two decades Colin has been forging partnerships between public and private sector education. His Study Group, founded in 1990, has become a global force in the international pre-university education arena with centers around the world. He set out to transform the international student experience with the founding of IUP in order to expand and improve student access and mobility. With a personal investment of more than £8.5 million, today IUP’s joint venture partnerships with 18 leading universities, including USF, have resulted in the delivery of world-class educational experience to 41,000 students from 105 countries.


Colin’s company has raised USF’s global profile since their partnership was established in 2010. The campus’ international population has grown and diversified. Nearly 2,000 students from 69 countries have enrolled since that year, an increase of 34 percent. More than 80 percent of those students who come to USF via INTO qualify for progression into USF degree programs.  An impressive 92 percent of those qualified students choose ultimately to enroll at USF.


In an independent i-graduate survey of international student opinion conducted in June 2012, INTO USF was ranked second among 57 institutions across the northern hemisphere as the most highly-recommended international student experience.


Law firm, Fowler White Boggs CEO and Chair Rhea Law, a fifth-generation Floridian and lifelong resident of Tampa, is a USF College of Business alumna who received her law degree from Stetson University College of Law. She will receive an honorary degree of medicine on May 10.


Law wanted to be a doctor as a child and has said she would be practicing medicine if not for her present career choice. Given her interest, as a charter member of the USF Board of Trustees, Law has focused on the advancement of USF Health, specifically the Morsani College of Medicine. 


During her tenure as board chair, the university saw significant growth and increases in research funding, which now reaches more than $400 million, $251 million of which comes from the Morsani College of Medicine. While serving as both chair and vice chair of the board’s Health Sciences Workgroup, Law worked to advance USF Health’s strategic goals locally, statewide, nationally and internationally. She championed the cause of equitable funding for USF Health with state and federal leaders. With them she also addressed the need for funding of such programs as the electronic health records effort known as PaperFree Florida. She also played an important role in establishment of the USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS) in downtown Tampa and the College of Pharmacy and Heart Institute on the Tampa campus.  


Law has connected with health concerns over the years through her involvement with the American Heart Association, the Arthritis Foundation and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida. Among the top leadership positions Law has held are those with the Tampa Bay Partnership, the University Club of Tampa, the Super Bowl XLII Task Force, Leadership Tampa and currently the Tampa Bay Defense Alliance. She was appointed to the USF Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2012 and served as vice chair from 2001 to 2006 and chair from 2006 to 2010.


The USF Alumni Association’s choice for the Outstanding Graduate Award, George Papadeas, is a graduating senior who embodies the group’s requirements of leadership, school spirit, community service, character and scholarship. The College of Business marketing major was elected governor of his residence hall which set him on the path to continued success. He went on to become an orientation team leader, facilitating over 150 new students through the university transition process and later became a residence assistant interacting with scores of first-year students and underclassmen.


This past year Papadeas served as student body vice president. During his tenure some of his personal accomplishments include: successfully negotiating the USF Student Pass at Busch Gardens, creating and promoting the USF presidential Election Watch Party, and planning the Student Government Reach Week, an outreach initiative for Student Government. He has also served as USF Hellenic Society president and as an Emerging Leaders Institute facilitator and he participated in Stampede of Service for three years. The active member of Delta Chi Fraternity participated in the TEDxUSF Planning Committee and was listed on the College of Business Dean’s List. After graduation, Papadeas will begin his career with Target as an executive team leader.


More information can be found at or call the Commencement Hotline at (813) 974-9406 or (813) 974-1816.


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