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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.