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13147386_10154746438393368_2342000347513504570_oMore than 1,200 graduates of St. Petersburg College crossed the stage during the 130th Commencement Ceremony at Tropicana Field on Saturday, May 7.

A total of 2,746 students earned 2,887 degrees from SPC this term, President Bill Law told the crowd of well-wishers. Graduates ranged in age from 16 to 75, with 28 graduates over the age of 60. Two of the graduates were celebrating the momentous occasion on their birthdays. Check out all the graduation stats.

With this graduating class, the college has awarded 154,693 degrees since the college was founded in 1927.

Among other milestones, SPC celebrated the following:

  • 10,413th student to earn an Associate in Science degree in nursing
  • 9,792th baccalaureate graduate
  • 2,390th baccalaureate nursing graduate
  • 1,065th baccalaureate elementary education teacher graduate

Before diplomas were handed out, the college’s Apollo and Alumni Achievement award winners addressed fellow students and guests.

Clearwater Campus student Courtney Kent received the Apollo Award, the highest honor a two-year graduate can achieve. Clearwater Campus student Amy Bhatt was named the Alumni Achievement Award winner, bringing home the highest honor for a four-year SPC graduate.

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Kent served as president of the Clearwater Campus Student Government Association and was St. Petersburg College’s first Financial Assistance Services Peer-Advisor. He participated in Phi Theta Kappa and is a Student National Education Association member. Kent has a 3.69 G.P.A.

“St. Petersburg College is a community within a community,” said Kent. “And unlike some communities who build walls of exclusion… We build relationships that encourage, promote and enhance the benefits of inclusion.”

His goals are to graduate from SPC with a B.A.S. in Management and Organizational Leadership and obtain a budgeted position within the education community of Pinellas County.

Bhatt graduates with a B.A.S. degree in paralegal studies with a 4.0 GPA and was SPC’s 2015 Alumni Association Apollo Award winner. During her time at SPC, she served as Vice President of the SPC Legal Studies Society, President of the Honors College Student Consortium, a National Model United Nations Delegate, an Acting Representative for the Florida Model Legislator and a Member of the Golden Key International Honor Society. Also, as Co-Chair of the SPC Pre-Law Committee.

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“I am convinced that our great visionary executives and wonderful professors, have made St. Petersburg College a great college,” said Bhatt. “My professors supported and guided me. They inspired me to boldly go where no student had gone before!”

Also honored at the ceremony was SPC’s 2016 Outstanding Alumnus, United States Congressman Gus M. Bilirakis (R). 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.

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. Bilirakis remains deeply connected to SPC, where he has an office on the Tarpon Springs campus – he teaches government classes at the college.

See more photos from the event on the college’s Facebook page or look at the event Tagboard with posts and pictures from the graduations and their family and friends.

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Tassel-FB504St. Petersburg College’s 130th graduation would not be complete without extraordinary students with family ties.

After completing 20 years of service in the Navy, Guy Critelli’s daughter, Anjanette, challenged him to complete his B.A.S. in Management and Organizational Leadership degree alongside her, as she earned her high school diploma and her A.A. from St. Petersburg Collegiate High School.

“I couldn’t pass up the challenge and her motivation to motivate me,” said Critelli.

This Saturday, father and daughter will walk across the stage together.

The perfect Mother’s Day gift

 

Just in time for Mother’s Day, two SPC graduates will complete major milestones with their daughters, both students of St. Petersburg Collegiate High School.

Diane Sanchez, a bachelor’s in Business Management graduate and proud mother, graduates with daughter Daniella, a senior at St. Petersburg Collegiate, who will also be receiving her high school diploma and A.A. degree.

“I do think it is good for our children to see us take classes, see how to study, how difficult it is as an adult, and to make a commitment and follow through with a goal,” said Diane Sanchez.

Also, SPCHS graduate Crystal Harvey and mom Marie Rogers will be sharing the stage. Rogers will receive a B.A.S. in Management and Organizational Leadership and plans to open her own business.

Join the Celebration!

SPC’s 130th graduation is a great momentous occasion to celebrate perseverance and dedication. Join the celebration by congratulation the 2016 graduating class on social media using #SPCGrad. Visit here for more details.

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Congrats-FB504St. Petersburg College will mark its 130th commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 7 at Tropicana Field, One Tropicana Drive, St. Petersburg. Approximately, 1,200 of the 2,746 Spring 2016 graduates are expected to participate. View graduation info graphic.

At the ceremony, St. Petersburg College will honor U.S. Rep. Gus M. Bilirakis (FL-12), who also teaches government courses at SPC, as its 2016 Outstanding Alumnus.

The youngest graduate is 16 years old and the oldest is 75 years old. More than two-thirds of the graduates are female.

With this graduating class, St. Petersburg College will have awarded 154,693 degrees since the college – Florida’s first community college – was founded in 1927.

Since 1927, SPC has awarded:

  • 10,413 Associate in Science degrees in nursing
  • 9,792 baccalaureate degrees
  • 2,390 baccalaureate nursing degrees
  • 1,065 baccalaureate elementary education teacher degrees

Courtney Kent, winner of the 2015-16 Apollo Award, and Amy Bhatt, recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award, will address their fellow graduates and guests.

Kent served as president of the Clearwater Campus Student Government Association and was St. Petersburg College’s first Financial Assistance Services Peer-Advisor. He participated in Phi Theta Kappa and is a Student National Education Association member. Kent has a 3.69 G.P.A.

“The student centered pedagogy of SPC was fundamental in assisting me to overcoming my own shortcomings to excel as a husband, a student, an employee, and a leader in our community,” Kent said.

Bhatt has a 4.0 G.P.A. She is vice president of the SPC Legal Studies Society, president of the Honors College Student Consortium, a National Model United Nations delegate, an acting representative for the Florida Model legislator and a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society.

Bhatt, who will graduate with a B.A.S. degree in paralegal studies, touted the active learning opportunities provided by professors with real-world experience that shaped her education at SPC.

“I am an embodiment of SPC’s mission of ‘Student success through education, career development, and self-discovery,” Bhatt said.

SPC’s 2012 Student of the Year and domestic violence survivor, Melissa Dohme, will be graduating with her Bachelor’s of Applied Science in business management and organizational leadership. In January of 2012, Dohme was brutally attacked by an ex-boyfriend who attempted to take her life.

“After the attack, I was told I wouldn’t do well in school, but they didn’t know me,” said Dohme, who previously graduated from SPC with an associate degree. “Everything in my life is falling into place and SPC has been there all the way!”

The cost for parking in Lots 1-7 is approximately $10. Disabled parking will be available in Lots 1, 6 and 7, and a drop-off circle is available by Gate 5 along 16th Street South. Guests can enter through Gates 3, 4 and 5.

 

 

 

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Congressman BilirakisSt. 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.

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St. Petersburg College celebrated the milestone of graduating its 150,000th student on Saturday, Dec. 12 in two fall commencement ceremonies at First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks.

“Our first graduating class, in 1929, had a total of 48 graduates,” said St. Petersburg College President William D. Law Jr., in addressing the graduates. “Today, we celebrate the momentous occasion of our 150,000th graduate. This is a milestone that will not soon be forgotten, and all of you will always hold a special place in the history of SPC as a part of this graduating class.”

During the ceremonies, attendees got to watch videos of six graduates who represent the diversity of SPC alumni and students. The videos were part of a campaign SPC launched to honor current graduates and past alumni who have helped shape the college over the years. The college encourages well wishers, graduates and alumni to visit www.spcollege.edu/wearespc and use #WeAreSPC on social media accounts.

“All of you represent our 150,000th graduate,” Law said. “It is exactly our diversity – of age and gender, of ethnicity, race and religion – that makes SPC the wonderful institution it is.”

SPC’s students “represent single mothers and military veterans … immigrants and grandmothers … students who have overcome adversity … students straight out of high school … and students who returned to their education later in life. They come from various backgrounds and academic programs, but they all share a common dream: to earn their college degree.”

About 820 of the Fall semester’s 1,982 graduates participated in Fall commencement. Of the 2,258 degrees and certificates being conferred this fall:

  • 1,450 are associate degrees
  • 496 are bachelor’s degrees
  • 312 are certificates and advanced diplomas.

This fall’s youngest graduate is 17; the oldest is 79. There are 21 graduates over the age of 60. More than 200 students will earn more than one degree or certificate. See all our graduation statistics.

 

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#WeAreSPCAt St. Petersburg College’s 129th commencement on Saturday, Dec. 12, the college will mark the milestone of graduating its 150,000th student.

Commencements will take place in two ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks, 12685 Ulmerton Road, Largo. Each ceremony is expected to last about one and a half hours and about 822 of this semester’s 1,982 graduates are expected to participate.

To celebrate the momentous occasion of meeting – and surpassing – 150,000 graduates, SPC recently launched a campaign honoring current graduates and past alumni who have helped shape the college over the years. A special video will be shown at each ceremony, featuring members of the graduating class who showcase the diversity of SPC students.

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SPC invites the community to learn about some of our December 2015 graduates and our notable alumni, and share how SPC has influenced them by visiting www.spcollege.edu/wearespc and using #WeAreSPC on social media accounts.

Of the 2,258 degrees and certificates being conferred this fall:

  • 1,450 are associate degrees
  • 496 are bachelor’s degrees
  • 312 are certificates and advanced diplomas.

This fall’s youngest graduate is 17; the oldest is 79. There are 21 graduates over the age of 60. More than 200 students will earn more than one degree or certificate. See all our graduation statistics.

Follow our social media posts, catch live streams of the ceremonies, and learn about graduation day instructions for students on our dedicated graduation page.

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#WeAreSPCFor nearly 90 years, St. Petersburg College has offered educational opportunities that change lives and impact the Tampa Bay area. At SPC’s 129th commencement on Dec. 12, the college will mark the milestone of graduating its 150,000th student.

Students, alumni, community partners – help us celebrate this momentous occasion by participating in the college’s campaign to honor SPC alumni and graduates who have helped shape the college over the years.

Spread the word and share your own story today on social media by adding the hashtag #WeAreSPC to your posts and tweets on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Need inspiration?

Start by learning about some of our December graduates and notable alumni on the WeAreSPC landing page. View videos of our amazing graduates – and be prepared to be inspired. Become a part of our story by sharing yours.

 

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