SCF Spring 2016 Commencement Held May 6

(Bradenton, Fla., May 6, 2016) — State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) held its largest graduation ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday, May 6, as more than 400 students walked across the stage of the Bradenton Area Convention Center, 1 Haben Blvd., Palmetto.

Of the 926 students who were eligible to graduate, more than 400 were expected to participate in the ceremony. This includes 602 Associate in Arts degree graduates, 205 Associate in Science graduates, 79 baccalaureate graduates and 40 certificate graduates (several graduates earned multiple degrees).

The graduation speaker was John C. Horne, owner of Anna Maria Oyster Bar and a philanthropist. Every year he sponsors the Horne and Moon Social Event, which raises money for scholarships at SCF as well as Manatee Technical College and University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee. He is committed to education and supporting students who want to achieve. His restaurants employ more than 300 people, making a huge economic impact on Manatee and Sarasota counties.

The Outstanding Graduate Award was presented to Ella Starr for showing superior leadership, academic achievement and community service while attending SCF. Starr, who came to Florida from Kazakhstan to pursue an education, has been involved in Zeta Xi Mathematics Club, Math Olympics, American Chemical Society and Student Government Association. She also served as vice president of the American Red Cross Club and as a volunteer note taker for the Disability Resource Center. She is executive vice president for the Bradenton chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Starr has maintained a 4.0 grade point average and received the Outstanding Physics Student award 2015-2016 at the SCF Honors Convocation. Starr plans to go to engineering school in the fall and has been accepted into several universities, including the University of South Florida’s engineering school. She hopes to go into chemical engineering.

The other Outstanding Graduate Finalists were: Ava Doraisamy, Nathaly Marin, Elizabeth Anne Miller, Sofia Liana Sirocchi.

Commencement participants included SCF President Dr. Carol F. Probstfeld; Dr. Donald Bowman, vice president of student affairs; Gary Russell, vice president of academic affairs; Matthew C. Connell, program director, physical therapy assistant program; Janet H. Samuels, assistant professor, mathematics; SCF student Katherine A. Brown, 2016 All-Florida Academic Team; and the Rev. Jennifer Potter Buff, campus ministry.

The national anthem was sung by the SCF Chamber Choir directed by Melodie Dickerson, SCF music program director. The processional and recessional were performed by the SCF Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dr. Robyn Bell, SCF director of instrumental studies.

Darlene C. Wedler-Johnson, Venice campus executive officer, served as the macebearer in the ceremony. Wedler-Johnson will retire in July after 34 years of service to SCF.

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