USF graduates top 4,900 - a new record

TAMPA, Fla. (April 25, 2008) – It will take eight commencement ceremonies to celebrate the University of South Florida’s latest crop of graduates. Each of the four campuses will recognize the achievements of a combined total of more than 4,900 students between May 2 and 5.

USF President Judy Genshaft will preside over all of the ceremonies where over 3,100 graduates are expected to be in attendance. Noted dancer and artist Trisha Brown will receive an Honorary Doctor of Visual and Performing Arts at the 1:30 ceremony in Tampa, and at the 6 p.m. ceremony in Tampa, Dr. Antonia Novello, former United States Surgeon General, will receive the President’s Fellow Medallion. Established in 1988, the President’s Fellow Medallion is awarded at the President’s discretion to highly distinguished meritorious individuals.

USF graduates are from 97 nations and 43 states. The youngest is 19-year-old Ashley Nicole Hopping who will receive her B.S. in elementary education from the College of Education. The eldest, James Booth, at 73, will receive his B.A. in sociology. There will be 105 summa cum laude graduates, 240 magna cum laude, 353 cum laude and one student will graduate with distinction. Ojas Rawal, who will receive a bachelor of science in biomedical sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been named the Outstanding Senior by the USF Alumni Association. Sixteen students are being recognized as King O’ Neal Scholar candidates, each having earned a cumulative grade point average of 4.0.

The largest ceremonies take place in Tampa Friday and Saturday, May 2 and 3 at the USF Sun Dome with approximately 2,700 graduates and 8000 guests in attendance overall. The 6 p.m. ceremony on Friday, May 2 will recognize undergraduates from the College of Arts and Sciences, excluding psychology, biomedical sciences and the School of Mass Communications. Over 800 graduates are anticipated.

The 9 a.m. ceremony on May 3 in Tampa will recognize the rest of the undergraduates from the College of Arts and Sciences (psychology, biomedical sciences and mass communications only) and the College of Business. Over 800 graduates are anticipated to be in attendance. At the 1:30 ceremony over 500 graduates are expected from the Colleges of Education, Engineering, Medicine and Nursing along with undergraduate studies and the School of Visual and Performing Arts.

USF will recognize graduate students from all the colleges (The School of Architecture and Community Design, the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Engineering, Marine Science, Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, graduate studies, and the School of Visual and Performing Arts) at the 6 p.m. May 3 ceremony, which includes masters, master of fine arts, education specialists and doctoral degrees. Over 550 graduates are anticipated.

College of Medicine and regional campuses commencement ceremonies are at the following times and locations:

USF College of Medicine (medical degrees only)
Friday, May 2, 10 a.m.
Ruth Eckerd Hall
Expected turnout: 115 graduates and 1,600 guests.
(Contact: Michael Hoad, (813) 974-3300)

USF Sarasota-Manatee
Sunday, May 4, 2 p.m.
Manatee Convention Center
Expected turnout: 177 graduates and 2,250 guests.
(Contact: Leah Williams, (941) 359-4726)

USF St. Petersburg
Sunday, May 4, 6 p.m.
Mahaffey Theatre
Expected turnout: 270 graduates and 1,800 guests.
(Contact: Melanie Marquez, (727) 553-4456)

USF Lakeland
Monday, May 5, 7 p.m.
Lakeland Center, Youkey Theatre
Expected turnout: 116 graduates and 1,500 guests.
(Contact: David Steele (863) 667-7055)

The University of South Florida is among the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community engaged public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. It is one of Florida's top three research universities. USF was awarded more than $300 million in research contracts and grants last year. The University offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The University has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 45,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

 – USF –