More Than 2,000 Gator Graduates Expected To Participate In Ceremonies

Published: December 15 2004

Category:Announcements, InsideUF

GAINESVILLE — Nearly 3,400 Gators will receive diplomas from the University of Florida during commencement ceremonies Saturday at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.

The ceremonies will be held at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Nine seniors will be recognized as outstanding students, including outstanding female leaders Jade Vanessa Marcus, Sara Louise McLarty and Jennifer Lynn McNally.

Marcus, a family, youth and community sciences graduate from Rockville Center, N.Y., was selected after receiving numerous honors, including the Family and Community Educators Award from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the Outstanding Woman Award from the 2004 Women’s Leadership Conference.

McLarty, of Deland, is a Gator swimmer and a finalist in the 2004 Olympic trials. She also has won honors as an outstanding student in telecommunications. A four-time academic All-SEC honoree, McLarty was listed on the UF Presidential Honor Roll every semester.

McNally, of Bradenton, the third outstanding female leader, majored in anthropology and minored in mathematics. A McLaughlin Scholar from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and recipient of the Humanitarian Award from the Carpe Diem Foundation, McNally was recognized by the Mortar Board and Golden Key honor societies for her academic achievement.

Outstanding male leaders for fall 2004 are Jess Joaquin Johnson, Scott Jonathan Kennelly and Nathan Paul Schray.

Johnson, of Lake City, was president of the Student Senate and a member of Florida Blue Key, Golden Key, College Leadership Florida and Savant UF. He also received the J. Wayne Reitz scholarship and was a member of the Matthews Society. He is graduating with dual degrees in journalism and finance.

Kennelly, of Sarasota, is an active participant in Student Government and The Florida Blue Key Speaker’s Bureau. He is an Anderson Scholar of highest distinction and a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Gamma Sigma Alpha and Phi Eta Sigma honor societies. He is a dual major in public relations and political science and will graduate with a 3.98 GPA.

Schray, a finance major from Safety Harbor, is being recognized for his altruistic approach to leadership. A peer leader in the First-Year Florida and Warrington Welcome programs, Schray also has worked as a career ambassador for the UF Career Resource Center.

Accounting major Aminta Bumrungsup of Deland and business major Steven J. Quattry of Titusville will be honored as outstanding four-year scholars. The outstanding two-year scholar is Justin J. Horan of Gainesville, a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences graduate from Gainesville.

Several distinguished alumni also will be honored at the commencement ceremonies:

  • Engineer and philanthropist Robert O. Powell and Sachio Semmoto, an engineer and entrepreneur, will be recognized by the College of Engineering.
  • The College of Design, Construction and Planning will recognize J. Stephen Powell Jr. for his support of the college and the Rinker School of Building Construction.
  • Novelist Michael Connelly and former Gator golfer Debra Ann Richard will be recognized by the College of Journalism and Communications.
  • Agricultural researcher Hernan Fonseca Zamora will be recognized by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

The College of Education will recognize distinguished educators Sherri Albritton from Hardee County, Shawn Campbell from Suwannee County, David Lee Finkle from Volusia County, Ruth Taylor Harvey from Taylor County and Toni Koy from Palm Beach County.

Other commencement scheduled Friday and Saturday are:

  • College of Engineering – 2 p.m. Friday at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
  • Levin College of Law – 3 p.m. Friday at the Phillips Center for Performing Arts.
  • College of Health and Human Performance — 6 p.m. Friday at University Auditorium.


Meredith Jean Morton,, 352-392-0186
Lynne Collis,, 352-846-3501

Category:Announcements, InsideUF