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University Beat

USF Graduation: Soldiers, Superheroes, Exceptional Students

Over 2,900 students across the USF System received their diplomas this past weekend, and like most graduating classes, there were a few individual stories worth noting:

  • One of the most heart-warming moments at the trio of USF Tampa graduation ceremonies held in the Sun Dome came when U.S. Army Specialist Taylor Livingston surprised his sister, communications major Cassie Ladika. Livingston was on leave in between tours of duty in Afghanistan. "It's amazing," she told Fox 13. "I had been bugging him to come for quite some time and here he is. It's great."

  • Thirty five-year-old accounting major Daniel Boyd was named USF St. Petersburg's "Outstanding Graduate." Boyd was honored for putting in a full course load, while also running two businesses, starting a family, and volunteering in the community.

  • Marina Cosgrove, who didn't speak a word of English when she came to America from Yugoslavia 12 years ago, was named "Outstanding Graduate" by USF Sarasota-Manatee's alumni association. Cosgrove has two sons, including one who attended USF-SM with her.

  • Alexander Klotz, who posted a 4.0 GPA as an undergraduate and a 3.93 as a masters student at USF Sarasota-Manatee, won the Paul Searls Webecke Award as most outstanding student in the school's master of business administration program.

  • And in this day of social media, many of the graduates shared their photos and thoughts on their big day. USF News collected some of them.

Editor's note: The third member of the "Scientific League of Superheroes" was misidentified in an earlier version of this post.