SCF Winter Commencement to be Held Dec. 17

(Bradenton, Fla., December 14, 2010) – State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) Winter 2010 commencement exercises will be held at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 17, in Neel Performing Arts Center at SCF Bradenton, 5840 26th St. West.

Two ceremonies will be held to accommodate the 203 graduates expected to participate out of 750 students eligible for graduation.

The guest speaker will be Dr. Donald Sullivan, a former state legislator who served in the Senate from 1992 until 2002, representing the Pinellas County District. Known as the “father of the State College System,” Sullivan sponsored legislation that created the authority for Florida community colleges to become state colleges offering baccalaureate degrees in high-need areas. His vision to advance the skills and knowledge of Florida’s workforce by expanding access to baccalaureate degrees was shared by John McKay, former state senator and president of The Riverside Real Estate Company, Bradenton.

At graduation, McKay will be honored as this year’s recipient of the President’s Award of Distinction. Throughout his career as a Florida senator from 1990-2002, McKay has championed education at all levels and demonstrates an understanding of the importance of preparing and educating the workforce to ensure economic prosperity. During his tenure as Senate president, SCF established a third campus at Lakewood Ranch, and the legislation was passed authorizing Florida community colleges to become state colleges offering workforce baccalaureate degrees. He also is an advocate for assuring equal access to education for all Floridians as evidenced by the McKay Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program, which have provided an opportunity for more than 20,000 Florida students with special needs to attend a school that serves their individual circumstances.

The Outstanding Graduate Award also will be presented to a student who has shown superior leadership, academic achievement and community service while attending SCF. The finalists are Willie Braswell, Michaela Cerce, Bryan Erb, William Graydon, Alyzandra Hesser. Funding for the Outstanding Graduate Award is provided by the State College of Florida Foundation, Inc.

Other program participants include SCF President Dr. Lars A. Hafner; Ron Allen, chair, SCF district board of trustees; Dr. Jack Crocker, vice president of academic quality and success; Stephanie Cook, assistant professor, business and technology; Dr. Joni Pirnot, associate professor, mathematics; SCF Venice Student Government Association (SGA) President Zaph Manigat; and Rev. Dr. James Williamson, chaplain, Campus Ministries. The national anthem will be sung by the SCF Chamber Choir conducted by Melodie Dickerson.

Dr. Cynthia Reynolds, SCF faculty and director, curriculum instructor, SCF Collegiate School, will serve as the mace bearer in the ceremony.

The alma mater will be performed by SCF music students Kevin Willis, tenor, and Ethan Howland, bass.

Tickets are required and are available through graduating students. Maps and directions are online at

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