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President Judy Genshaft Leads Her Final USF Commencement Ceremonies

University of South Florida System President Judy Genshaft will lead her final commencement exercises during ceremonies held May 2-6 in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee. Over the course of Genshaft’s 19-year tenure, she has conferred more than 210,000 degrees and the total number of USF alumni has doubled. Since Genshaft arrived in 2000, USF’s four-year graduation rate has tripled to 60 percent, a trajectory that may be unmatched across the United States.

With approximately 7,500 degrees expected to be conferred, the spring 2019 class represents the largest in USF System history. The class features graduates from 50 states, 109 nations and 57 students with a cumulative 4.0 GPA.

The youngest graduate is Drew Falkowitz, 16, who will earn a bachelor’s in cell and molecular biology from USF Tampa. According to university records, Falkowitz is youngest person to graduate from USF since the institution was founded in 1956. The oldest graduate in the class is Janet Wells, 66, who will earn a bachelor’s in professional and technical communication from USF Sarasota-Manatee.

The ceremonies will also feature a group of distinguished honorees who have made significant contributions to USF, the Tampa Bay region or their academic fields (see full list below). You can watch a live stream of the commencement ceremonies here.

Learn more about some of USF's amazing graduates in our piece, "Believe in Bulls." 

Full schedule (all ceremonies at the Yuengling Center at USF Tampa unless otherwise noted)

Thursday, May 2


  • 1:30 p.m. ceremony includes bachelor’s degree recipients from the College of Arts and Sciences. Lynn Pasquerella will receive an honorary doctorate in humanities. Will Weatherford will receive the President’s Fellow Medallion. Chennupati Jagadish will receive the President’s Global Leadership Award.
  • 6 p.m. ceremony includes bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree recipients from the USF Health’s Morsani College of Medicine, College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy and College of Public Health. Audrey Heimler will receive an honorary doctorate in public health. David Eddy will receive the President’s Fellow Medallion.

Friday, May 3

  • 9 a.m. ceremony includes bachelor’s degree recipients from the College of Arts and Sciences. Jerry and Ruth Bell will receive the President’s Distinguished Citizen Award.
  • 1:30 p.m. ceremony includes bachelor’s degree recipients from the College of Arts and Sciences. Joe Lopano will receive the President’s Global Leadership Award.
  • 6 p.m. ceremony includes master’s and doctoral degree recipients from the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences and Muma College of Business. Pamela Muma will receive an honorary doctorate in business administration. Richard Gonzmart will receive the President’s Distinguished Citizen Award.

Saturday, May 4

  • 9 a.m. ceremony includes bachelor’s degree recipients from the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences and Muma College of Business. Jeff Vinik will receive the President’s Fellow Medallion. Jose Valiente will receive the President’s Distinguished Citizen Award.
  • 1:30 p.m. ceremony includes bachelor’s degree recipients from the College of Education, College of Engineering, College of The Arts and Undergraduate Studies. Doretha Edgecomb will receive the President’s Distinguished Citizen Award.
  • 6 p.m. ceremony includes master’s and doctoral degree recipients from the College of Education, College of Engineering, Graduate Studies, Patel College of Global Sustainability, College of Marine Science and College of The Arts. Lyle Schwartz will receive the President’s Fellow Medallion. David Mearns will receive the President’s Global Leadership Award.

Sunday, May 5 (ceremonies at the Mahaffey Theater)

  • 1 p.m. ceremony includes graduates from the USF St. Petersburg Kate Tiedemann College of Business and College of Education.
  • 5 p.m. ceremony includes graduates from the USF St. Petersburg College of Arts and Sciences.

Monday, May 6 (ceremony at the Bradenton Convention Center)

  • 6:30 p.m. ceremony includes all graduates from USF Sarasota-Manatee.

Please note: the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine will also hold an MD commencement ceremony on Friday, May 10 at 2:30 p.m. in the Mahaffey Theater. Harlan Krumholtz will receive an honorary doctorate in medicine.

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