A record number of 1,445 graduates celebrated with thousands of family members and friends at Valencia’s 46th Annual Commencement Ceremony, held on Saturday, May 9, 2015, at University of Central Florida’s CFE Arena. After an uplifting performance by the Valencia Brass Ensemble, this remarkable event kicked off with a Pomp and Circumstance processional of students who proudly donned their caps and gowns.
After a brief welcome from Valencia President Sandy Shugart, and a standing ovation by the students for their family and friends, Chair of the Valencia College Board of Trustees Maria Grulich took the stage. “Knowing that you have achieved what you set out to do … that you have accomplished your goal … a Valencia degree; that is indeed something to celebrate, and we are certainly proud of you,” she stated to the crowd.
Following, Kathleen Plinske, president, Osceola and Lake Nona Campuses, recognized you, our faculty and staff for your many efforts.
Falecia Williams, president, West Campus, commended the graduates from Valencia’s baccalaureate programs and Cheryl Robinson, director, honors program, then congratulated the 86 Valencia students who were graduating from the Seneff Honors College.
Susan Ledlow, vice president, academic affairs and planning, announced the talented students receiving scholarships this year: Samanta Estabrooks, who received a Florida Institute of Technology scholarship, and Bobi Stephenson and Faith Culhane, who received Jack Kent Cook Undergraduate Transfer Scholarships.
In addition, President of the Valencia Alumni Association Zia-ur-Rehman Ansari, introduced the Mary Smedley Collier Distinguished Graduate, Rebecca Nash, who gave an inspiring commencement address.
Following the address was the part of the program graduates were anxiously awaiting, the conferring of degrees. “You may now move your tassels from right to left,” said President Shugart. “Congratulations!”
Each student joined President Shugart and Professor of Speech and new President of the Collegewide Faculty Association Suzette Dohany on stage to be individually recognized for their accomplishments. After the ceremony, graduates received a poster that bears the name of all 2014-2015 graduates.
Check out an electronic bulletin board of social media from the event including tweets from many of our grads.