State College of Florida Winter 2012 Commencement Held Dec. 14

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State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) held its Winter 2012 commencement exercises on Friday, Dec.14, in the Neel Performing Arts Center at SCF Bradenton.

Two ceremonies were held to accommodate the 201 graduates out of 890 students eligible for graduation. In addition to associate degree graduates, this number included 25 Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduates and the first class of seven Bachelor of Applied Science in Health Services Administration graduates.

The guest speaker was Dr. Sarah H. Pappas, president and CEO of the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation and president emeritus of State College of Florida. Pappas was president of SCF, then MCC, from 1997 until her retirement in 2008 from a 40-year career in higher education.

The Outstanding Graduate Award was presented to Kortny Hayden, a Port Charlotte resident, who served as the president of the Alpha Mu Upsilon chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She organized local beach cleanups and charity drives for a Charlotte County homeless shelter and the Animal Welfare League. She is the 2013 coordinator for the annual Give Kids a Smile Program and has volunteered for Relay for Life and at a therapeutic horse ranch for disabledchildren. Hayden was also the recipient of the Mazie E. Ulmer Endowed Scholarship through The SCF Foundation Inc. in Fall 2012. She has been accepted into the University of South Florida Tampa Honors College where she will pursue a bachelor's degree in microbiology. 

Other finalists were Kelsey Carper, Venice; Caleb Jordan, Sarasota; Andrew Sink, Sarasota; and Fernando Valbuena, Bradenton. Funding for the Outstanding Graduate Award is provided by The SCF Foundation Inc.

Program participants included Dr. Carol Probstfeld, interim president and vice president of business and administrative services; Dr. Donald Bowman, vice president of educational and student services and interim provost of SCF Lakewood Ranch; 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; and Deacon Kathy C. Gilpin, chaplain, campus ministries.

Maria Spelleri, assistant professor, language and literature, was the macebearer in the ceremony.

The national anthem was sung by the SCF Chamber Choir conducted by Melodie Dickerson and the alma mater was performed by SCF music students including guitarist Ethan Howland and vocalists Christianna D'Amico, Nikkei Golden and Olivia D'Amico.

Congratulations from all of us at ABC 7!