St. 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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