On May 12, President Tonjua Williams welcomed guests to St. Petersburg College’s 136th Commencement Ceremony at Tropicana Field. With this graduating class, St. Petersburg College has awarded 169,426 degrees since the college – Florida’s first community college – was founded in 1927.
Alumni Association president Ken Burke presented awards to honor two graduates who demonstrate exemplary leadership, academic achievement and community service. Associate Degree graduate Joey Bower, received the 2018 Apollo Award, and Baccalaureate Degree graduate Amanda Hunt, received the Alumni Achievement Award. In her commencement address, Ms. Hunt left the audience with some words of advice, “No matter what career or job you are employed in, you can change the world through small but meaningful acts of kindness. Sometimes one minute is all it takes to brighten someone’s day, give them a hand, or even save their life. My message to you today is to always remember to slow down a little and take that one minute.”
After hundreds of graduating students had walked across the stage, President Williams asked families and friends to be recognized for their support of the graduates. With the ceremony held the day before Mother’s Day, she gave a special thank you to mothers. “I know there have been times when you felt that none of your hard work and support of these graduates was appreciated or even noticed. But here you are – and here they are – and these graduates did appreciate you and they did notice you.” Williams told them. “The college appreciates you.”