SCF Spring 2013 Commencement to be Held May 4

(Bradenton, Fla., May 1, 2013) – State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) Spring 2013 commencement will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 4, in Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail.

Out of 759 students who are eligible for graduation, 329 graduates are expected to participate in the ceremony. In addition to associate degree graduates, this number includes 25 baccalaureate graduates.

The graduation speaker will be David Houle, author, futurist-in-residence and faculty member of Ringling College of Art and Design. Houle, who has spent more than 20 years in media and entertainment, worked at NBC, CBS and was part of the senior executive team that created and launched MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1 and CNN Headline News.

He consistently is ranked as one of the top futurists in the world today on topics including the future of education and technology. Houle has won two Emmys, the prestigious George Foster Peabody award, and the Heartland award for "Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream."

Often called "the CEOs' Futurist," Houle has spoken to or advised more than 2,000 CEOs and business owners. He is a featured column contributor to, and his fourth book, "Entering the Shift Age," reached No. 1 best-seller status in the category of Business Planning and Forecasting.

The Outstanding Graduate Award will be presented to an associate-level student and a baccalaureate-level student who have shown superior leadership, academic achievement and community service while attending SCF.

Finalists for the Outstanding Associate Graduate Award are Christine Gambino, Bradenton; Nara Fernandez, Sarasota; Jeannean O'Connell, Sarasota; Lidia O'Shields, Boca Grande; Emre Özgener, Parrish; and Jared Padgett, Sarasota.

Finalists for the Outstanding Baccalaureate Graduate Award are Arnold Bailey Jr., Sarasota; Ketan Senjalia, Lakewood Ranch; and Nancy White, Sarasota.

Funding for SCF's Outstanding Graduate Awards is provided by The State College of Florida Foundation Inc.

Program participants include SCF President Dr. Carol F. Probstfeld; Dr. Donald Bowman, vice president of educational and student services; Gary Russell, vice president of academic affairs; Dr. Mike Mears, vice president of baccalaureate programs and provost of SCF Bradenton; Darlene Wedler-Johnson, provost of SCF Venice; Dr. Joni Pirnot, professor, mathematics; Stephanie Cook, professor and program director, computer science; and Dr. James Williamson, chaplain, campus ministries.

The national anthem will be sung by the SCF Chamber Choir directed by Melodie Dickerson, SCF Music Program director, and the recessional will be performed by the SCF Symphony Orchestra conducted by Robyn Wilkes, SCF director of instrumental studies.

Pam Stewart, professor, art, design, humanities, who has taught at SCF for 55 years, will serve as the macebearer in the ceremony.

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

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