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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.

WeAreSPC-150K-cover

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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alumni-skillsSt. Petersburg College alumni rank fifth in the nation and first in the state of Florida, among two-year colleges, for possessing the most valuable job skills, according to a recent report released by the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, an independent, nonprofit think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C.

The study, entitled “Beyond College Rankings, a Value Added Approach to Assessing Two and Four Year Schools,” used data from multiple government and private data sources, including the Census Bureau, the U.S. Department of Education, LinkedIn, and Burning Glass, a labor market intelligence firm. The study explored the median mid-career salary, earning potential, and student loan repayment rates of graduates.

SPC ranked fifth for two-year colleges in skill sets that garner higher wages, as reported on LinkedIn. The professional social networking site has 99 million user profiles in the United States alone, and is one of many emerging websites that collects data on salary and skills, some with institutional detail for millions of graduates.

The value of alumni skills is reported under occupational earnings power and represents the labor market value of the 25 most common skills listed on the LinkedIn resumes of college graduates. These skills were matched with data, compiled by Burning Glass, on skills and salaries advertised in millions of job vacancies.

For SPC graduates, the value of alumni skills came in at $65,499 compared to a national average of $61,048 (for graduates of two-year colleges), while the SPC graduate median mid-career salary was $54,000 compared to the national average of $52,945 (for graduates of two-year colleges).

“At. St. Petersburg College, we are working very closely with our business partners in the Tampa Bay area to align our programs with workforce needs so our students are prepared to compete for high wage jobs when they graduate,” said St. Petersburg College President Bill Law. “Our number one goal at St. Petersburg College is helping improve our students’ lives, and increasing earning power is a surefire way to do that. This study helps validate those efforts to give our students the skills and tools they need to be successful in today’s job market.”

The Brookings report provides insight into how well colleges prepare students for high-paying careers and is the first to provide “value-added” measures for a broad range of two- and four-year colleges. The new data available helped the report authors develop new ways of measuring the economic value that U.S. colleges provide.

By using non-traditional tools and analyzing data on economic outcomes for graduates, the Brookings report moves beyond other college rankings by focusing on how well colleges contribute to student economic success, rather than simply their ability to attract top students and the preparedness of such students.

“These college-specific data can be used to learn about, evaluate, and improve college performance,” said Brookings Fellow Jonathan Rothwell, co-author of the report. “Colleges serve very diverse populations. The advantage of measuring value-added is that it adjusts a school’s ranking based on the type of college and the characteristics of its student body.”

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GradPhotoMore than 1,200 graduates of St. Petersburg College crossed the stage during the 127th Commencement Ceremony at Tropicana Field on Saturday, May 16.

A total of 2,922 students earned 3,307 degrees from SPC this term, President Bill Law told the crowd of well-wishers. Graduates ranged in age from 16 to 76, with 31 graduates over the age of 60. Thirteen of the graduates received their diplomas on their birthdays. Check out all the graduation stats.

The Class of 2015 also includes the youngest student ever to receive a bachelor’s degree from St. Petersburg College, 18-year-old Richard Ramdohr, of St. Petersburg.

With this graduating class, the college has awarded 147,381 degrees since the college was founded in 1927.

Among other milestones, SPC celebrated the following:

  • 10,000th student to earn an Associate in Science degree in nursing
  • 8,000th baccalaureate graduate
  • 2,000th baccalaureate nursing graduate
  • 1,000th baccalaureate elementary education teacher graduate
  • The largest group ever of A.A. and A.S. degree students in one term, with 2,286

Inside and out, hundreds of tweets, photos and videos were shared on social media.

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

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

Bhatt was a member of the Early College Program and graduated with her A.A. degree and a 4.0 GPA.

“In my two years at SPC, I found that this is a great place to learn and develop our ‘academic intelligence.’ But even beyond that, the interaction with faculty and students is phenomenal for developing our ‘practical intelligence’ in dealing with people and working as a team. And I quickly realized that in order to succeed, we need both – academic and practical intelligence. In just two years, I got so much from SPC, that I feel I will never be able to pay it back.”

Bhatt plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies at SPC and would like to attend Stetson University’s College of Law and pursue her ultimate dream of serving on the Supreme Court. Professors at St. Petersburg College inspired students “to succeed every single day,” Bhatt said.

Lenas graduates with a B.S. degree in biology with a 3.65 GPA and is one of six students in the country to be accepted into Bayfront Health’s School of Medical Technology Laboratory Science program. During his time at SPC, Lenas presented research in microbiology at the American Society of Microbiology Summit in 2014 and was named a Biological Research Nominee, an award given to biology program students who complete outstanding research in the field.

“My experience tells me that my education as an SPC student, as well as yours, make us stand out,” Lenas said. “SPC is doing something right because it is producing competitive applicants for a number of careers.”

Lenas touted the college’s “small class sizes, where every instructor knew my name,”

Also honored at the ceremony was SPC’s 2015 Outstanding Alumnus, St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway. Chief Holloway attended St. Petersburg Junior College in 1996 before transferring to Eckerd College, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in business management in 1999 and his master’s degree in business administration in 2001.

During his 22-year career with the Clearwater Police Department, Holloway became the city’s first black police captain and eventually its chief in 2010. He was named chief of the St. Petersburg Police Department in 2014.

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See all our graduation numbersSt. Petersburg College will celebrate its 127th commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 16 at Tropicana Field, One Tropicana Drive, St. Petersburg. About 1,200 of the 2,922 Spring 2015 graduates are expected to participate.

The youngest graduate is 16 years old and the oldest is 76 years old. The Class of 2015 also includes the youngest student ever to receive a bachelor’s degree from St. Petersburg College, 18-year-old Richard Ramdohr, of St. Petersburg.

With this graduating class, St. Petersburg College will have awarded 147,381 degrees since the college – Florida’s first community college – was founded in 1927.

Among other milestones, SPC will celebrate the following:

  • 10,000th student to earn an Associate in Science degree in nursing
  • 8,000th baccalaureate graduate
  • 2,000th baccalaureate nursing graduate
  • 1,000th baccalaureate elementary education teacher graduate
  • The largest group ever of A.A. and A.S. degree students in one term, with 2,286

See all the graduation numbers for Spring 2015.

Amy Bhatt, winner of the 2014-15 Apollo Award, and James Stanley Lenas, recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award, will address their fellow graduates and guests.

“Education is not just the knowledge received in class,” said Bhatt, who has earned an Associate in Art degree. “While I acquired my academic intelligence from my courses, much of the practical intelligence I gained came from extracurricular activities at SPC.”

Lenas, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, touted the active learning opportunities provided by professors with real-world experience that shaped his education at SPC.

“I learned about science from SPC professionals who have been in the research and clinical field. I was a part of a group that gave me the chance to practice science outside the classroom in a relaxed, educational environment,” Lenas said. “I am not only proud to be an SPC graduate, but one who represents the school thereafter.”

St. Petersburg College also will honor St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway as its 2015 Outstanding Alumnus.

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.

Connect with our graduates
Use our social media images to share your well wishes and be sure to use #spcgrad to tweet your congratulations so it shows up on our Social Tagboard and on the Jumbotron at Tropicana Field the day of the big event.

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Anthony Holloway

Anthony Holloway

St. Petersburg College is honored to announce St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway as our 2015 Outstanding Alumnus. Holloway will be honored at SPC’s Spring graduation May 16, at 9 a.m. at Tropicana Field.

Chief Holloway attended SPJC in 1996 before transferring to Eckerd College where he earned his bachelor’s degree in business management in 1999 and his master’s degree in business administration in 2001.

During his nearly 22-year career with the Clearwater Police Department, Chief Holloway rose through the ranks to become the city’s first black police captain. He began as a patrol officer in 1985 and was named the city’s Outstanding Police Officer for his undercover narcotics work in 1989. During his tenure, he also served as patrol officer, community policing specialist, undercover vice and narcotics detective, patrol sergeant, detective sergeant (Economic Crimes Unit), Support Services assistant division commander, and Patrol Division commander.

Chief Holloway’s impressive service showcases his untiring commitment and steadfast passion to serving the community. These attributes have led to a number of awards: He is a two time recipient of the Clearwater Bar Association’s Allen L. Moore Memorial Gold Badge, and has been named the Joseph F. Cornelius Family Foundation Outstanding Police Officer of the Year (the highest honor given by the Clearwater Police Department), and the Fraternal Order of Police Officer of the Year. Chief Holloway also received the Chief’s Unit Citation.

In 2007, Chief Holloway was selected police chief of Somerville, Massachusetts. In 2010, he returned to Pinellas County after being chosen from a field of more than 200 candidates to succeed retiring Clearwater Police Chief Sid Klein.

His passion and dedication extend beyond the role of police chief. He has taught the precepts of law enforcement to governmental, educational, and community organizations throughout Florida, sharing his primary philosophy of the “three E’s” – evaluate problems in the community, educate residents about services and public safety issues, and enforce laws.

Chief Holloway was appointed to the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar in June 2012 and has served as consultant/trainer to the Department of Juvenile Justice, the U.S. Department of Justice, and St. Petersburg College. In June 2011, he received a certificate of completion for the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government and Executive Education.

In 2014, Chief Holloway was named chief of the St. Petersburg Police Department, where he continues his mission as a powerful and dedicated servant of the public, committed to protecting our community and kick-starting programs that address the social ills that lead to crime.

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