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Judge and former Hispanic Woman of the Year speaks at Stetson’s graduation Dec. 16


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Gulfport, Fla. – The Honorable Virginia M. Hernandez Covington, judge for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, speaks at Stetson’s commencement Saturday, Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. in the college’s courtyard in Gulfport.

Judge Covington was named Tampa’s Hispanic Woman of the Year in 2003. She has served on the federal bench since 2004 as a U.S. district judge. Judge Covington has taught throughout Latin America on trial advocacy practices and procedures and has lectured on asset forfeiture, money laundering and complex prosecutions to prosecutors and law enforcement personnel nationwide.

“Judge Covington is an outstanding role model and we are very privileged to have her join us as this year’s graduation speaker,” said Dean Darby Dickerson.

During the graduation ceremony, 111 students are expected to walk, including one student with a Master of Laws degree in international law. Eighteen students will graduate from the part-time law program. Nine students will receive a dual J.D. and MBA degree.

Among the graduating class:

  • Marina Braginskaya, a student intern for U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in Washington, D.C.
  • Jane Geddes, a former Ladies Professional Golf Association golfer and 1987 LPGA champion.
  • Brian Redar, the only student member of the American Bar Association Board of Governors.
  • Jason Whittemore, son, and Erin Whittemore, niece of Judge James Whittemore, who presided over the controversial Terri Schiavo case.