Pasco-Hernando State College’s spring commencement held on Wednesday, May 3, conferred 450 degrees and certificates witnessed by record setting audiences in attendance at two separate ceremonies at the college’s West Campus in New Port Richey. An estimated 913 spring graduates were eligible to participate.
Ceremony speakers included Richard Sanvenero Sr., chairman of the board, Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce and Amanda Murphy, vice president of investments at 360 Wealth Management Group of Raymond James. Other presenters included District Board of Trustees (DBOT) Chair Edward Blommel; DBOT Vice Chair, John Dougherty; Reflections Speaker Mary Kelly, professor, office administration; Faculty Senate President Connie LaMarca Frankel, professor, humanities; and student speakers Aaron Hayes of Brooksville and Kailey McCain of Spring Hill.
Rao Musunuru, M.D., PHSC trustee and renowned cardiologist, presented a $10,000 scholarship in honor of Donald Vierling, M.D., a prominent member of the community, beloved family physician, and member of the PHSC Foundation executive committee—having served on numerous committees and chairman of the board twice during his more than 30 year tenure. In addition to caring for the health of community members, Vierling has served in various capacities at numerous community organizations, and served as the first charter president (1981) of The Rotary Club of Port Richey.
The naming of the scholarship in Vierling’s honor was a surprise to ceremony attendees. The scholarship funds will support PHSC nursing students.
“Last year I started this special $10,000 donation to the PHSC Foundation to be awarded at commencement ceremonies, to honor a dedicated individual that offers superior service to serve PHSC in some unique capacity,” said Dr. Musunuru.
“Honoring Dr. Vierling with this scholarship donation is a strong testament of Dr. Musunuru’s continuing support to PHSC students,” said Bill Shustowski, Ph.D., executive director of the PHSC Foundation.
At the winter commencement in December 2016, Dr. Musunuru established the Inaugural Special Recognition Scholarship, which he presented to PHSC to honor PHSC Vice President of Administration and Finance Ken Burdzinski. That $10,000 scholarship was a contribution toward the endowed Burdzinski/Epperson Family Scholarship to benefit PHSC students in need of financial assistance.
Dr. Musunuru plans to continue his new tradition of establishing $10,000 scholarships in the names of employees, friends and benefactors of PHSC.
Photo Caption: Donald Vierling (center), M.D., pictured with District Board of Trustees Chair Edward Blommel (l) and PHSC President Timothy Beard (r), Ph.D. after Dr. Vierling was honored with a $10,000 donation in his name to the PHSC Foundation from Dr. Rao Musunuru.
Pasco-Hernando State College (PHSC) serves the educational needs and interests of its community by awarding certificates, diplomas, associate and baccalaureate degrees. As a comprehensive, multicampus learning-centered institution, PHSC utilizes various instructional modalities and support services. PHSC provides an accessible, diverse teaching and learning environment rich with opportunities for students to achieve academic success and cultural growth in a global society.