St. Petersburg College is honored to announce United States Congressman Gus M. Bilirakis (R) as our 2016 Outstanding Alumnus. Congressman Bilirakis (R) will be honored at SPC’s Spring graduation May 7, at 9 a.m. at Tropicana Field.
Representative Bilirakis attended St. Petersburg Junior College before earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Florida in 1986 and a J.D. from Stetson University in 1989.
Prior to being elected to Congress, Representative Bilirakis served four terms in the Florida House of Representatives (1998-2006) where he won bipartisan acclaim for his leadership efforts to make communities safer, improve transportation, reform government, recognize veterans and expand community health centers.
As a young state legislator, his leadership and determination became quickly apparent when he sponsored the bill that would expand SPJC into a four-year institution – the first community college in the state to make the transition.
He was first elected to Congress on November 7, 2006, and is currently serving his fifth term representing Florida’s 12th Congressional District, which includes all of Pasco and northern parts of Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.
As a young boy, Gus learned the importance of public service from his father, Michael Bilirakis, who represented Florida’s Ninth Congressional District from 1983 to 2006.
The elder Bilirakis also instilled in his son a pride in the family’s Greek heritage, which Gus proudly carries today.
During his tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Bilirakis has been selected for numerous leadership and committees posts, including the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, of which he is Vice Chair.
He also serves as Chair of the Veterans’ Affairs Task Force for the Republican Policy Committee, Co-Chairman of the Military Veterans Caucus and Co-Chairman of the Congressional Hellenic Caucus and the Congressional Hellenic-Israel Alliance.
He continues to be recognized for his bi-partisan approach to resolving issues and has made veteran’s affairs, controlling government spending, creating jobs for middle class Americans, finding ways for government to operate smaller and smarter, his top priorities. He is also committed to strengthening homeland security, improving education, increasing access to health care and ensuring the viability of Social Security and Medicare. Congressman Bilirakis and his wife have four sons and reside in Palm Harbor.
He is also committed to strengthening homeland security, improving education, increasing access to health care and ensuring the viability of Social Security and Medicare. Congressman Bilirakis and his wife have four sons and reside in Palm Harbor.
In his spare time, he teaches government classes at St. Petersburg College.