“I am humbled to have been asked to be a part of this exceptional gathering of people paying tribute and honoring the living legacy, the professional continuing journey of Dr. Tonjua Williams. By this Investiture, the community pauses and notates the record of local history with exclamation,” said Florida State Sen. Darryl Rouson. Senator Rouson joined an esteemed group of honored guests, SPC students, faculty and staff to celebrate the Presidential Investiture of Dr. Tonjua Williams on April 6 at the Palladium Theater.
An investiture is a traditional ceremony that marks the transference of authority in a high office and is typically held within the first year of service in office. Speakers included The Florida College System Chancellor Madeline Pumariega; Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Michael A. Grego; Florida State Sen. Darryl Rouson; St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman; Florida A&M University President Larry Robinson; USF Board Chair Brian Lamb; and Palm Beach State College President Ava L. Parker. President Williams’ sister Lyn Parker shared a moving introduction as she reflected fondly on their shared experiences as children growing up in St. Petersburg.
President Williams took the stage to thank her predecessors, the SPC Board of Trustees, her family as well as the Pinellas County community for investing in the success of SPC students. “To our St. Pete College family, my people, thank you, thank you, thank you! Because of the work that you do, the passion you have, the commitment you have made our students are succeeding,” said President Williams. In her comments, Dr. Williams described the profound influence that education has on individuals and an entire community. “I strongly believe in the power of education and the work we do here at SPC because it transforms lives, it fulfills dreams and it improves families”, said President Williams.
The ceremony concluded with the singing of the St. Petersburg College Alma Mater, a benediction from Dr. Glen Money of the
First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg and a recessional of faculty, staff and honored guests.