Wednesday, Aug. 23, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Convocation signifies the formal opening of the 2023-2024 academic year and will be held in the Edmunds Center. All students, faculty and staff are asked to participate. Cultural Credit will be available.
First-Year and New Transfer Students: FOCUS groups will walk together to the Edmunds Center following the morning meeting. Designated floor seating will be available.
Returning Students: Designated raised seating will be available and grouped by graduating class year.
Staff: Designated raised seating will be available in the center section.
Faculty: Gather in the Hollis Center, Rinker Field House wearing academic regalia. Faculty Marshals will lead the formal processional to the Edmunds Center beginning at 10:50 a.m.
Following the ceremony, please join us for a community lunch in the Lynn Dining Commons.
Community members unable to attend in person are invited to participate virtually.
Alumni Key Note Speaker
Steven Alexander '85
Steven Alexander graduated from Stetson University in 1985 with a degree in Finance and later obtained a degree in Accounting from Florida Southern College. He furthered his education by completing a mini-MBA from Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business.
Steven is a native Floridian who was born in Cocoa Beach and later moved to Central Florida. He has had a distinguished career in finance and investment management while also keeping a strong commitment to his community.
Early in his career, Steven worked for nine years in the Orange County Comptroller's Office where he held various positions, including Treasurer, and gained increasing responsibility during his time with the County. While there, he authored the Investment Policy Statute for the State of Florida, spotlighting his knowledge of investment management.
In 1996, Steven joined PFM Asset Management LLC (PFMAM), a firm specializing in investment advisory services for local governments, pension funds, higher education, healthcare, and nonprofits across the nation. He dedicated more than 26 years to PFMAM, where he held the position of Managing Director/Partner of PFMAM's Orlando Office. In this role, he oversaw the Asset Management practice in the Southeast of the United States. Throughout his career, Steven worked on financial and investment distressed cases involving public entities in various states, including Florida, California, Texas, and Washington DC. He also contributed his expertise to the State of Florida Emergency Financial Oversight Board in the recovery of the City of Miami. In December 2022, Steven retired after the successful sale of PFMAM to U.S. Bancorp Asset Management, Inc.
Steven's dedication to public finance and investment management has been demonstrated through his involvement in professional organizations. He served on the Investment Policy Certification Committee for the Association of Public Treasurers of the United States and acted as a Government Finance Officers Association Standing Advisor to the Treasury and Investment Management Committee. Additionally, he is a member of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and has been a member of multiple local government associations over the last three decades.
Steven has earned several professional designations, including Certified Treasury Professional, Certified Government Finance Officer, and Certified Public Pension Trustee. He has also acquired executive certificates in leadership, nonprofit management, and endowment investing from esteemed institutions. Furthermore, Steven is a Certified Executive Coach, highlighting his commitment to personal and professional development.
Outside of his professional endeavors, Steven has been actively involved in serving his community. He has held appointed board positions by both the Florida Governor and Orange County Commissioner, contributing his expertise to the governance and decision-making processes. In addition to the Stetson Board of Trustees, he currently serves on the AdventHealth Foundation Heart, Lung, and Vascular Institute Board. Over many years, he has also served on the boards of various organizations including the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Orlando Economic Partnership, the American Heart Association, Goodwill Industries of Central Florida, and the Central Florida Coalition for the Homeless.
With a strong commitment and love for the university, Steven and his wife, Lee, are enthusiastic supporters of Stetson. They played a significant role in the university's $150 million campaign, made contributions to Stetson athletics, established the Steven and Lee Alexander Scholarship for first-year Finance students, and provided initial funding for the establishment of the Stetson Center for Public Opinion Research (CPOR).
When not at a Stetson function or sporting event, Steven loves traveling with Lee, great music, great food, the beach, and college football - among many sports. He also has a stepson, Jake, who lives in Wilmington, Delaware and works as a Corporate Bankruptcy attorney.
Steven currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees and has been a member of the Board since 2012. He previously held the position of Vice Chair and has chaired the Development & Alumni Engagement and Athletics Committees. He also served on the School of Business Administration Advisory Board in 2011.
2023 McEniry Recipient Address
Cindy Bennington, PhD, Professor of Biology
Cindy Bennington has conducted ecological research in Alaska, West Virginia, New Jersey and Florida. At Stetson, she teaches ecological and botanical courses and actively engages students in research on the ecology of arctic and temperate plant species. Cindy also involves Stetson students in environmental service-learning projects both on and off campus.
Currently, she and Dr. Karen Cole, the director of the Gillespie Museum, are leading an effort to plant trees and shrubs in an area adjacent to the museum, with the goal of establishing a "Teaching Landscape" that recreates a small portion of the longleaf pine ecosystem that historically dominated the sandhills of central Florida.