Almost 3,000 students will wrap up the summer - and a major step in their education - by receiving degrees this weekend from the University of South Florida.
The three schools of USF System will confer degrees to approximately 2,924 graduates, with around 1,500 marching in a pair of ceremonies at the USF Sun Dome Saturday.
The group comes from 45 states and 79 nations.
The oldest graduate is 69-year-old Ahna Barefoot, who is receiving a Psychology bachelor's degree from USF Tampa and is graduating with a 3.97 GPA. The youngest graduate, Samantha Volmuth, 19, is receiving a bachelor's degree in Management from USF Tampa.
There are also six graduates who have been commissioned into the armed forces and 85 student veterans graduating.
Patrick Mullen, who is receiving his bachelor's in biomedical sciences from USF Tampa, was named Outstanding Graduate by the USF Alumni Association. Mullen, who is going to attend medical school at USF, set up a tutoring program for fellow students, as well as "Seva for Kids," a club that sponsors education efforts for underserved areas of India.
USF Trustee and former Board Chair Harold Mullis is receiving the President's Fellow Medallion at the 9 a.m. ceremony. Mullis has served as president of Tampa's Trenam Kemkar law firm for 45 years. During his 2014-2016 tenure as USF Board of Trustees chair, the university received more than $60 million in major gifts and research funding climbed to more thatn $440 million.
Nursing practitioner pioneer Loretta Ford is receiving an honorary doctorate in nursing during the 1:30 p.m. ceremony. More than 205,000 nurse practitioners in the U.S. and around 350 universities have implemented academic programs based on her research.
Full Commencement Schedule
*Saturday 9 a.m. ceremony will recognize bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral recipients from USF’s Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, The Arts and Undergraduate Studies. Bachelor’s and master’s recipients from all of USF St. Petersburg’s colleges will be recognized.
*Saturday 1:30 p.m. ceremony will recognize bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral recipients from USF’s Colleges of Behavioral and Community Sciences, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Global Sustainability, Marine Science, Medicine, Nursing and Public Health. Bachelor’s and master’s recipients from all of USF Sarasota-Manatee’s colleges will be recognized.