Seminole State College of Florida awarded more than 2,000 degrees and certificates, including more than 100 bachelor’s degrees, in the Spring 2017 Collegewide Commencement Tuesday night at the University of Central Florida’s CFE Arena.
In her address, Seminole State President Dr. E. Ann McGee noted significant developments at Seminole State, such as the exciting growth of the College that includes offering a master’s degree in international business through a partnership with Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland, and the addition of two more international master’s programs in the works for fall.
She also highlighted Seminole State’s Cyber Security Specialization, which ranked first among the 30 best online cybersecurity programs, and the College’s nursing program, which is ranked No. 1 in the nation. But most of all, she celebrated the students’ achievements and the faculty and staff who help them succeed.
“Our strength has always been the personal touch that we offer students…the personal interest that our faculty and staff take in our students that helps them reach their full potential,” she said.
Dr. McGee went on to share that two of the graduating students, Gustavo Diaz Galeas and Cathryn “Cate” Kandle, are winners of the 2017 Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, one of the most lucrative scholarships for transfer students in the nation.
She also recognized achievements outside the classroom. The Seminole State Raider softball team clinched its first-ever regular season conference title and set a school record for wins, finishing at 53-11. The Raider women’s golf team won its fourth straight National Junior College Athletic Association Region 8 golf championship, earning a trip to the National Championship in late May.
A few of the graduates enjoyed a moment in the spotlight, as Dr. McGee shared their unique stories:
Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma, a former adjunct professor in Seminole State’s Criminal Justice Academy, provided the keynote speech for the ceremony, motivating students to understand the importance of balancing higher education with learning life’s lessons.
“In the highly technical and complex society we live in today, we must have a sound academic foundation,” said Lemma. “Education is more than books and concepts. It also means being socially and emotionally capable to interact in a positive and meaningful way. Commit yourself to self-improvement and learn something new every day. Embrace the concept of perpetual learning.”
During the ceremony, Seminole State also announced its Endowed Teaching Chairs. Professors Dr. Patrick Blythe, John Delgado, Dr. Laila Nimri and Leslie Sammarco each received a $5,000 award for earning the prestigious distinction.
About Seminole State College of Florida: Seminole State College of Florida, established in 1965, serves nearly 30,000 students across six sites in Central Florida. A comprehensive college, Seminole State has awarded more than 100,000 credentials, from bachelor's degrees to high school diplomas, and offers more than 200 degrees, certificates and programs designed for success. For more about the college, visit seminolestate.edu, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/seminolestate and follow us on Twitter: @seminolestate.
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