Quick Links

Share Article:

Stetson to graduate 682 on Saturday

Grad celebrate 400 Stetson University will confer bachelor’s and master’s degrees to 682 graduates on Saturday, May 11, during two commencement ceremonies at the Edmunds Center, 143 E. Pennsylvania Ave., DeLand. Stetson will also present several awards during the commencements to outstanding students and exemplary faculty.

Wendy B. Libby, president of Stetson, will give the “charge” at both ceremonies – a tradition where the president places a duty and responsibility upon the graduates. Spring Commencement includes all graduates who completed degree requirements in July 2012, December 2012 and May 2013.

The College of Arts and Sciences will kick off commencement at 9 a.m. Elly Bludworth and Tara Formisano have been chosen to address 395 students, along with teachers, visitors, friends and family members. Bludworth is a political science major who has spent a significant amount of time at Stetson in service to others. While at Stetson, Bludworth devoted four years to Hatter Harvest, publicizing events and planning on-campus farmers markets. Bludworth also spent three years with Housing and Residential Life, serving in both Emily Hall and Gordis Hall. This experience inspired her to continue working with younger people as a mentor with City Year after graduation.

Formisano is a Ridgefield, Conn., native and integrative health science major with minors in French and gender studies. Following graduation Formisano will be working for Publicus Healthcare Communications Group in Manhattan as a medical drug researcher. At Stetson, Formisano was active in the National Organization for Women hoping to inspire passion in others about social justice, gender equity and women’s rights.  She also was able to present her senior research at the National Autumn Immunology Conference in Chicago, an experience which she says, “greatly helped hone my research skills and confirmed my goal to one day be a physician-scientist.”

The Schools of Business Administration and Music will hold their commencement ceremony at 2 p.m. on May 11. Alisha Hoffman and Kirsten Shippert will deliver the commencement addresses to 287 candidates for degrees, and their friends and families. Hoffman is a management major in the School of Business Administration and a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, an international organization that honors academic achievement in business, and Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society. She is also captain of the Sand Volleyball team, All-Academic Team 2011-13, All-Conference First Team 2013, and nominated for Atlantic-Sun Conference student athlete of the year in 2013. Hoffman plans to attend graduate school in the fall to earn her M.B.A.

Shippert, a native of Atlanta who transferred to Stetson in fall 2011, has been a member of the Stetson Concert Choir for the duration of her time at Stetson, and she also has participated in multiple opera productions. She is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda and Omicron Delta Kappa. This summer, Kirsten will begin her M.B.A. studies at Stetson, and next year plans to pursue a master’s degree in vocal performance.

Both commencement ceremonies will be live streamed on GoHatters.com for those who cannot attend. There is no site registration required to watch commencement via the website.

During commencement the William Hugh McEniry Award for Excellence in Teaching will be presented by Beth Paul, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs. The winner of the McEniry Award is chosen by faculty and students. Excellence in classroom teaching is the primary criterion, though other factors, such as intellectual growth, professional competency, academic activities outside the classroom, and service to students and the university as a whole may be considered. The McEniry Award is considered Stetson’s most prestigious award for faculty.

Prior to commencement, on Friday, May 10, will be the ROTC Commissioning Ceremony at 10 a.m. in Lee Chapel at Elizabeth Hall, 421 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand. The Army ROTC program provides students the opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge necessary for commissioning as a second lieutenant. This year two students will be commissioned: Caitlyn Amelia Edwards, B.A. in environmental science; and Ronald Ethan Wagnon, B.A. in American studies with a history minor.

Also on Friday, May 10, Stetson will hold its Academic Awards Convocation at 3 p.m. in Lee Chapel at Elizabeth Hall. This event recognizes graduating students who have been awarded honors in each of the colleges and schools for various projects, research and other academic achievements.

Following the Academic Awards Convocation will be a reception at 4:30 p.m. at Palm Court for graduating students, their families, friends and visitors. A Baccalaureate will be held at 7 p.m. in Lee Chapel, Elizabeth Hall. The baccalaureate is a traditional inter-denominational service to honor the graduating class. Graduating students, their families, friends and visitors are welcome to attend.

Several awards will be presented at the convocation, but among the most prestigious are:

Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award

The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award is presented annually to the man
and the woman in the graduating class who best represent the qualities described here. This prestigious award is considered among the highest recognition given to a graduating senior and is given at many universities jointly by the institution and the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation in New York. The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award was created nearly 100 years ago to honor Sullivan’s life of service to others. The awards are given annually by the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation to recognize individuals whose “nobility of character” and dedication to service sets them apart as examples for others.

The John Hague Award for Distinguished Teaching in the Liberal Arts and Sciences

Established in 2007 and named in honor of the late John Hague, professor emeritus of American studies, this award celebrates Stetson’s tradition of excellence in teaching the liberal arts
and sciences and its devotion to scholarship, morality, and friendship. These are the guiding principles of Phi Beta
Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious undergraduate honorary society. A widely admired teacher, scholar and academic leader, Hague led Stetson’s application to earn a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in 1982; Stetson’s chapter was the first established at a private university in Florida. The initial gift allowing Stetson to honor the career of John Hague was made by William and Margaret Dunifon.

Guests do not need a ticket for entry to the commencement ceremonies as seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests should arrive one hour prior to commencement. For more information on commencement or the convocation, please visit the website or contact University Events at events@stetson.edu or 386-822-8920.


Schedule for Stetson University Commencement Ceremonies

Friday, May 10

10 a.m. — ROTC Commissioning Ceremony

Lee Chapel in Elizabeth Hall, 421 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand

3 p.m. – Academic Awards Convocation

Lee Chapel in Elizabeth Hall, 421 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand

4:30 p.m. — Academic Awards Convocation Reception

Palm Court (in the Quad)

7 p.m. – Baccalaureate

Lee Chapel in Elizabeth Hall, 421 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand

Saturday, May 11

9 a.m. – College of Arts and Sciences Commencement

Edmunds Center, 143 E. Pennsylvania Ave., DeLand

2 p.m. – Schools of Business Administration and Music Commencement

Edmunds Center, 143 E. Pennsylvania Ave., DeLand