TAMPA, Fla. (Dec. 8, 2021) – The University of South Florida will award more than 4,500 degrees during fall commencement scheduled for Dec. 10-11. The ceremonies include recipients of approximately 3,433 undergraduate, 1,099 master’s and 181 doctoral degrees.
The group features 41 undergraduate students earning a perfect 4.0 GPA, 196 student veterans and includes graduates from 41 states and 81 nations. At 18 years old, the youngest graduate is earning a bachelor’s degree in religious studies. The oldest graduate, who is 67 years old, is receiving a bachelor’s degree in general studies with a public health concentration.
USF President Rhea Law will preside over all ceremonies, which will be held at the Yuengling Center on the Tampa campus.
Student feature stories to consider
- Mass communications major Leda Alvim has worked for the USF Tampa campus student newspaper, The Oracle, since her freshman year and has had a front row seat for countless university moments. And while Alvim has flourished as a student and storyteller, it hasn’t always been easy. Born with achondroplasia, a type of dwarfism characterized by short stature, Alvim moved to the U.S. from Brazil at 16 in pursuit of higher education. Two years later, she enrolled at USF and soon began working at The Oracle. While her height brought various challenges, she says she found strength in the stories she told and the impact she could make through them. After graduation, Alvim will take on her next challenge: an internship with ABC News in New York City.
- Gabrielle “Gabby” DeVita has excelled in academics since childhood, but the aspiring physician says it was a childhood tragedy that made her think about a career in medicine. DeVita was 8 years old when mother passed away from cancer. Though a youngster, DeVita stepped in to help her father, an endodontist, and other siblings care for one another, including a younger sister and an older brother with down syndrome. Those early experiences brought out her caring side while also prompting questions about the origin and treatment of illnesses. Combined with a determination to push herself academically, DeVita went on to excel in school – a practice that continued at USF where she studied biology at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus. DeVita will graduate with a 4.0 GPA. She said hopes to pursue a medical degree through USF Health.
- At the age of 18 years old, Bradley Palmer is the fall semester’s youngest graduate. Palmer was homeschooled by his parents throughout most of elementary school, then did a combination of home and private school until he began dual enrollment at St. Petersburg College. He earned his associate degree and high school diploma at the same time at age 17. Palmer chose USF mainly because of the scholarships and grants he received, allowing him to graduate debt free. Palmer describes his time at USF as special, in part because of professors who supported and guided him. However, he credits his success mostly to his faith in God. Palmer will receive his bachelor’s in religious studies and plans to pursue a doctorate in philosophy and religion at USF.
Friday, Dec. 10
- 6 p.m. – Bachelor’s degree recipients from the colleges of Behavioral and Community Sciences, Muma College of Business, Education, The Arts, and the Office of Undergraduate Studies (approximately 825 graduates expected). Lynn Pippenger will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration.
Saturday, Dec. 11
- 9 a.m. – Bachelor’s degree recipients from the College of Engineering and the following departments of the College of Arts and Sciences: Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology; Chemistry; School of Geosciences; Integrative Biology; Mathematics and Statistics; Physics and Psychology (approximately 810 graduates expected).
- 1:30 p.m. – Bachelor’s degree recipients from the colleges of Nursing and Public Health and the following departments of the College of Arts and Sciences: Anthropology, Communication, Economics, English, History, Humanities and Cultural Studies, School of Information, School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies, Journalism and Digital Communication, Philosophy, School of Public Affairs, Religious Studies, Sociology, Women’s and Gender Studies, World Languages, and Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications (approximately 720 graduates expected).
- 6 p.m. – Master’s, educational specialist, and doctoral degree recipients from all colleges (approximately 740 graduates expected).
About the University of South Florida
The University of South Florida, a high-impact global research university dedicated to student success, generates an annual economic impact of more than $6 billion. Over the past 10 years, no other public university in the country has risen faster in U.S. News and World Report’s national university rankings than USF. Serving more than 50,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee, USF is designated as a Preeminent State Research University by the Florida Board of Governors, placing it in the most elite category among the state’s 12 public universities. USF has earned widespread national recognition for its success graduating under-represented minority and limited-income students at rates equal to or higher than white and higher income students. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference. Learn more at www.usf.edu.