Sixty-eight animals will receive certificates during May 11 ceremony
ST. PETERSBURG, FL (May 2, 2022) – Senior students and their pets will begin the countdown to Commencement as furry, scaled or feathered companions receive recognition at the 10th Annual Eckerd College Pet Graduation on Wednesday, May 11, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in Fox Hall, 4200 54th Avenue South, St. Petersburg.
This year’s ceremony will confer certificates on 37 dogs, 15 cats, four rats, four snakes, two ferrets, a bearded dragon, a golden-capped conure, a hedgehog, a hermit crab,a rabbit and a tortoise. As the first college in the nation to accept on-campus pets, Eckerd is committed to honoring the animals that support our students, and that commitment extends to an annual ceremony where each pet gets to wear a cap, hear its name called and be walked across the stage to the cheers of fellow pet graduates and owners. Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students James Annarelli will read the pet names while Eckerd College President Damián Fernández presents the certificates and takes a photo with the pet and owner at the ceremony.
During the 2021–22 school year, Eckerd students registered 380 pets with the student-run Pet Life Council. Of the more than 1,590 students who live on Eckerd’s campus (81% of the total student population), over 20% brought their pets.
More than 270 companions have “graduated” from Eckerd since the school began holding a separate ceremony in 2013. Eckerd College students can live in on-campus housing with one animal (dogs under 40 pounds, cats, rabbits, ferrets, ducks and chinchillas) or two small pets (fish, hamsters, gerbils, amphibians, nonvenomous reptiles under four feet long and small birds).
For more information about the ceremony, contact Robbyn Hopewell at 727.864.7978.