Former USF student and Pulitzer Prize winner Gilbert King to receive honorary degree
TAMPA, Fla. (Dec. 9, 2014) – The University of South Florida System will confer nearly 4,500 degrees during fall 2014 commencement ceremonies Dec. 12-14. A total of about 2,800 graduates are expected to participate.
USF System President Judy Genshaft will preside over four ceremonies at the USF Sun Dome, as well as ceremonies at USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee, which represent the university’s 104th commencement convocation.
Approximately 4,498 degrees will be awarded, including 3,868 for USF Tampa, 397 for USF St. Petersburg and 193 for USF Sarasota-Manatee. USF Tampa will award 2,832 bachelor’s, 861 master’s and 172 doctoral degrees.
Bestselling author Gilbert King will receive the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters during the 6 p.m. ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 13. King is the author of “Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys and the Dawn of a New America,” a New York Times bestseller and 2013 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction. King attended USF as an English major from 1981-84, falling two credits shy of graduating.
Vince Roig and Paul Luna from the Helios Education Foundation will receive President’s Fellow Medallions during the 1:30 p.m. ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 13. The partnership between Helios and USF began in 2005 with the creation of three scholarships under the umbrella of USF’s Latino Scholarship Program. The partnership since expanded with Helios donating millions of dollars to USF with the goal of creating opportunities for students to succeed in postsecondary education.
-Friday, Dec. 12, 6 p.m. ceremony will recognize undergraduates from the Colleges of Arts & Sciences. More than 550 graduates are anticipated.
-Saturday, Dec. 13, 9 a.m. ceremony will recognize undergraduates from College of Arts and Sciences and College of Business. More than 700 graduates are anticipated.
-Saturday, Dec. 13, 1:30 p.m. ceremony will recognize undergraduates from Colleges of Behavioral and Community Sciences, Education, Engineering, Nursing, Public Health, The Arts and Undergraduate Studies. More than 650 graduates are anticipated.
-Saturday, Dec. 13, 6 p.m. ceremony will recognize graduate students from all colleges. More than 650 graduates are anticipated.
USF Sarasota-Manatee: Sunday, Dec. 14, 2 p.m., Bradenton Area Convention Center, 1 Haben Blvd., Palmetto, FL 34221.
USF St. Petersburg: Sunday, Dec. 14 6 p.m., Mahaffey Theatre, 400 1st St S, St Petersburg, FL 33701.
For more information visit usf.edu/commencement or contact the Commencement Office at (813) 974-1816.
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-Susan Snyder will earn a master’s degree in marine science. Snyder enrolled at USF in 2012 with the goal of studying the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Her research focuses on fish health and disease following the oil spill.
-Noor Shakfeh will earn bachelor’s degrees in microbiology and economics. While at USF, Shakfeh designed a water filter made of entirely reusable materials. During a service trip to Syria, Shakfeh helped install the device in a refugee camp inside an active conflict zone. The experience inspired her to continue helping Syrian civilians by raising hundreds of thousands of dollars and sending four tons of medical supplies to the country. Shakfeh’s story has been featured in several media outlets, including the internationally circulated Cultures Magazine.
-John Tuy is the USF Alumni Association’s Outstanding Graduate for USF Tampa. Born in Cambodia, Tuy came to the U.S. with his mother when he was five years old and learned English from his first teacher, who also instilled in him a passion for learning. He’s been recognized by the USF College of Business as one of its “25 Under 25.” The accounting major will graduate with a 3.91 overall GPA. Tuy will be recognized during the 9 a.m. commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec.13.
-Angela Wilson is the USF Alumni Association’s Outstanding Graduate for USF St. Petersburg. While at USFSP, Wilson has held various positions with Student Government and founded a student organization, Everyone’s Education Club. Wilson earned a 3.92 GPA while working outside of school and taking care of her 16-year-old daughter. She plans to start her master’s program at USFSP and teach in Pinellas County.
-Stephanie Boynton is the USF Alumni Association’s Outstanding Graduate for USF Sarasota-Manatee. Boynton earned her degree in elementary education while working full-time and raising three sons. She’s also been active with the student organization, S.M.I.L.E. (Sarasota Manatee Inspiring Lifelong Educators) and various organizations at North Port High School. She plans to teach in the Sarasota area.
The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. USF is a Top 50 research university among both public and private institutions nationwide in total research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation. Serving nearly 48,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.5 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.