University To Confer 300,000th Degree During Commencement Saturday
GAINESVILLE — As the fall semester draws to a close and University of Florida students prepare for commencement ceremonies on Saturday, the university prepares for a historic moment as well. UF will confer its 300,000th degree during this semester’s commencement ceremonies.
“This is a symbolic event in the history of the University of Florida, reflecting our growth and maturity as an institution and our commitment to the citizens of the state of Florida who have been generous in their support,” said UF Provost David Colburn.
The university conferred its 250,000th degree in fall 1995. The counting of conferred degrees began in 1905, when the University of Florida moved to Gainesville.
There are 3,379 candidates for degrees this semester, with about 2,298 students expected to attend one of two commencement ceremonies inside the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Saturday.
The first commencement ceremony begins at 9 a.m. for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences; the College of Fine Arts; the School of Forest Resources and Conservation; the College of Journalism and Communications; the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; the College of Nursing; and the College of Pharmacy. Graduates will assemble at 7:45 a.m., with the processional beginning at 8:30 a.m.
The second commencement ceremony, scheduled for 2 p.m., is for the Fisher School of Accounting; the College of Design, Construction and Planning; the Warrington College of Business; the Rinker School of Building Construction; the College of Education; the College of Engineering; the College of Health and Human Performance; the College of Health Professions; the College of Natural Resources; the College of Dentistry; the College of Medicine; and the College of Veterinary Medicine. Graduates will assemble at 12:45 p.m., and the processional will begin at 1:30 p.m.
Each semester, the university recognizes special alumni during commencement ceremonies with the Distinguished Alumnus Award. This semester, J. Hyatt Brown and Maj. Gen. Maury Edmonds will be recognized for their outstanding achievement and leadership.
Brown, of Daytona Beach, has served since 1961 as president and CEO of Brown & Brown, Inc., the ninth-largest insurance intermediary in the nation. Among his awards, Brown earned Time magazine’s 1979 listing as one of the nation’s top 50 young leaders, was twice awarded the Allen Morris Award as the most effective member of the Florida House of Representatives and has earned the St. Petersburg Times’ “Most Valuable Member of the House” award in 1977 and 1978.
Edmonds, of Ponte Vedra Beach, served in the U.S. Army for 35 years, earning the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Soldier’s Medal for Valor, the Bronze Star with V device, the Air Medal and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
Also each semester, the UF Alumni Association recognizes graduating students for outstanding performance. This semester, 11 students will receive awards for their academic and campuswide efforts. Four-year scholars include Angelitza “Angie” Campos of Miami, Jennifer Lewin of Boca Raton, Manish Patel of Dunedin and Weifang Chen of North Miami Beach. Constance Hendrix, of Fort Walton Beach, is UF’s two-year scholar for the fall semester. Outstanding student leaders include Dean Gockel of Margate, Jill Goldstein of Tamarac, Stacey Barell Gross of Wellington, Marquand Manuel of Miami, Suketu Pathak of Sarasota and Sarah Yohe of Maitland.