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Year in Review: Top news stories of 2012

To accommodate the large number of graduates, Seminole State moved its December graduation to the UCF Arena.

2012 was another year of changes and achievement for Seminole State College of Florida. Here's a look at the top 12 news stories of 2012. 

12. National Convention host 

Among more than $5 million raised by the Foundation during the 2011-12 fiscal year was $2 million from the Wayne M. Densch Foundation, which included naming rights to the Partnership Center.

Seminole State's programs were highlighted on a  national level in April as the College hosted the 92nd annual convention of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). More than 2,000 people attended the convention.

11. Theater icon directs "The Piano Lesson" 

Black theater icon Woodie King Jr., founder and producing director of New Federal Theatre in New York City, gave Seminole State theater student an incredible opportunity in January, directing the Fine Arts Theatre's production of August Wilson's "The Piano Lesson."

10. Green Initiatives 

Seminole State earned its first LEED certificate in September for the renovation of L building, the oldest classroom building on campus. The certificate, one of only four in Seminole County, was earned for the College's promotion of energy-saving green technology. Other examples of the College's green initiatives in 2012, included a new campuswide recycling program and the installation of an electric car charging station near the CFADA Professional Automotive Training Center.

9. Remembering Art Grindle 

The Seminole State community said goodbye to Art Grindle in June. Grindle, a former legislator and businessman, was the College's first $1 million individual donor. An on-campus memorial service was held on July 20 to honor Grindle and his wife, Phyllis.

9. $900,000 National Science Foundation grant

Seminole State received a grant from the National Science Foundation for nearly $900,000 in 2012. The grant, the largest NSF in the College's history, will fund a pilot program aimed at  high school students interested in the wide range of careers related to the built environment. Also, making news, a $153,000 grant from the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust that is funding major upgrades for the Planetarium.

8. Raider women take state, regional titles 

For the first time, Seminole State's softball team advanced to the NJCAA Division I Softball National Championships after clinching the state and regional softball championship. Women's golf also won its first regional championship and finished runner-up in the NJCAA National Championships, its best finish.

7. Nursing grads achieve perfect score

Seminole State nursing grads achieved a perfect 100 percent pass rate in 2012 on their licensure exams, a first for the College.

6. Student successes

Seminole State students and alumni achieved success nationally. Here are a few examples:

5. Faculty/staff success

Seminole State's employees continued to receive accolades statewide and across the nation. Here are some highlights:

This is what a architect envisions the Altamonte Springs
Campus will look like in the future.

4. Record number of graduates

Seminole State set a record in December, issuing more than 3,000 bachelor's degrees, associate degrees and program certificates. In a move driven by growth, graduation was moved off-site for the first time in 40 years, moving to the spacious UCF Arena for the College's first collegewide commencement. Other examples of growth include the College ranking no. 20 on Community College Week's list of top associate degree grantors and ranking no. 10 in degrees for Hispanic students.

3. Record year for Foundation

The Foundation for Seminole State College celebrated the largest donation revenue in the history of the College and the donors who made it possible during its Celebration of Giving on Aug. 23. A total of $5 million in cash gifts and pledges was raised in 2011-12 with assets totaling $16 million -- both all-time highs. 

2. Four new bachelor's degrees 

Seminole State launched four new bachelor's degrees in January. By August, more than 700 students were enrolled in the College's five four-year programs. The students also fueled enrollment growth at the College. In November, Seminole State made statewide news as it joined seven state colleges in offered one of its degrees for $10,000, accepting a challenge from Gov. Rick Scott.

1. Master plan for the Altamonte Springs Campus

On Dec. 3, the District Board of Trustees approved a new master plan for the Altamonte Springs Campus that calls for eight new high-rise buildings and parking structures at the campus, and the creation of 1.4 million square feet of space, more than the College’s four campuses combined.

For a look at some of the top photos of 2012, please visit Seminole State's official Facebook page.

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