SCF Winter Commencement Held Dec. 17

North Port Resident Named SCF Outstanding Graduate

(Bradenton, Fla., December 17, 2010) – State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) Winter 2010 commencement exercises were held on Friday, Dec. 17, in Neel Performing Arts Center at SCF Bradenton, 5840 26th St. West. Out of 750 students eligible for graduation, 199 graduates participated in the ceremony.

The guest speaker was 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. A retired orthopedic surgeon, Sullivan joined the SCF faculty as an adjunct professor in the baccalaureate nursing program.

John McKay, former state senator and Bradenton businessman, was honored as this year’s recipient of the President’s Award of Distinction. Throughout his career as a Florida senator from 1990-2002, McKay championed education at all levels and demonstrated 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.

William Graydon, a North Port resident, was the recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Award presented to a student who has shown superior leadership, academic achievement and community service while attending SCF. Graydon cofounded the Veterans Exchange, an SCF Venice club that celebrates veterans’ military service and assists them with educational benefits and issues. He also has served in community service projects including Manasota Operation Troop Support and Pathways to Success, a Florida BrAIve Project for troops serving overseas. He is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, Swamp Scribes and the Pop Culture Club. Graydon plans to pursue a degree in psychology from the University of South Florida and open a community service center in North Port.

Other student finalists were Willie Braswell, Michaela Cerce, Bryan Erb, Alyzandra Hesser. Funding for the Outstanding Graduate Award is provided by the State College of Florida Foundation, Inc.

Program participants included 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, served as the mace bearer in the ceremony.

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


OGA winner William Graydon
William Graydon was named SCF’s Outstanding
Graduate Award recipient at Winter 2010 commencement.

OGA finalists
SCF Outstanding Graduate Award finalists were Alyxandra Hesser,
Bryan Erb, William Graydon, Michaela Cerce and Willie Braswell.

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