Commencement Ceremonies Begin Today

Commencement Ceremonies Begin Today

More than 7,500 University of Central Florida students are scheduled to graduate during five commencement ceremonies Thursday through Sunday, May 3-5, at the UCF Arena.

The anticipated graduates include 6,278 who filed intents to receive bachelor’s degrees, 1,155 for master’s degrees, 26 for education specialist degrees and 109 for doctoral degrees.

With this week’s graduations, UCF will have awarded more than 231,278 degrees since classes began in 1968.

Thursday’s 9 a.m. ceremony will feature graduates of the College of Arts and Humanities and the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Sanford C. “Sandy” Shugart will be the guest speaker. Shugart is the president of Valencia College, which was recently named the top community college in the nation. Shugart earned his Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts in Teaching, and Ph.D. in Education degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The 2:30 p.m. ceremony will feature students of the College of Health and Public Affairs and the College of Medicine.

State Rep. William Proctor will be the guest speaker. Proctor served for 30 years as president of Flagler College in St. Augustine, and is now its chancellor. He was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2004, where he chairs the Education Committee. Proctor attended classes at the University of Florida and Stetson University before earning his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Florida State University while serving in the Army Reserve.

Friday’s 9 a.m. ceremony will include students from the College of Business Administration and College of Nursing.

The speaker will be Daniel Webster, who was elected in November 2010 to serve as the  U.S. representative for Florida’s 8th Congressional District.  Webster served in the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate for nearly 30 years before heading to Washington, D.C. Webster graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering.

Friday’s 2:30 p.m. ceremony will include graduates from the College of Education and Rosen College of Hospitality Management.

The speaker will be Jeff Atwater. Atwater is Florida’s chief financial officer, responsible for oversight of consumer services, workers’ compensation, insurance services, risk management, and other programs. The fifth-generation Floridian has been in public service for nearly 20 years, having served as vice mayor of North Palm Beach, and in the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate. He earned his Bachelor of Finance and his Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Florida.

Graduates in Saturday’s 9 a.m. ceremony will be from the College of Optics and Photonics, College of Undergraduate Studies, the College of Graduate Studies, and College of Sciences.

The speaker will be Belvin Perry Jr., chief judge of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida. The court serves Orange and Osceola counties. Perry has served as the court’s chief judge since 1995, with a brief hiatus from 1999 to 2001 when he served as the circuit judge for the Orange County Civil Court. Perry received his Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of History, and Master of Education degrees from Tuskegee University in Alabama.  He then earned his juris doctorate from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University.

The Arena doors will open to guests 1½ hours before the start of each ceremony. The procession of graduates will begin 20 minutes before the start of each ceremony.

Guests must have tickets to attend the ceremonies. Guests without tickets are welcome to view closed-circuit telecasts of the ceremonies from the FAIRWINDS Alumni Center across the street from the UCF Arena. Broadcasts also will be posted after the ceremonies at http://webcast.oir.ucf.edu

For more information, visit the commencement web page.