Published: December 21, 2009
View photo gallery
cheers from families who came to the ceremony with bouquets of flowers
and congratulatory balloons, 388 bachelor’s and master’s degree
candidates crossed the stage in the Bob Martinez Sports Center on Dec.
19 for the University of Tampa’s 127th commencement ceremony.
“We hope to have ignited in you a constant hunger for education,” said UT President Ronald L. Vaughn. “So live to learn.”
Gary Luter, professor of speech and theatre, gave the commencement
address as the recipient of the Louise Loy Hunter Award, which is given
for excellence in teaching and cumulative contributions in service and
“You should be pleased with yourself, but not too
pleased,” Luter said to the degree candidates Saturday. “Now the great
Luter challenged the graduates to question
tradition and work for change when tradition no longer has meaning. He
said that an inquisitive nature is progressive and places humankind on
an enlightened path.
“Doubt the old, discover the new, adjust your beliefs constantly and keep spinning forward,” he said.
director of the Honors Program at UT since 2008, started teaching at
the University more than 30 years ago. He helped grow the theatre
program to include two degree programs in theatre, a selection of majors
and minors, a fully equipped stage, scene and costume shops and seven
full-time faculty members.
Luter supports the Equality Project
of the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network, an organization that
promotes a safe environment for gays and lesbians in secondary schools,
and he has chaired the education committee for the Human Rights Task
Force of Florida. He is on the board of the Florida Collegiate Honors
Council and is an honorary board member of Stageworks Theatre Company.
McNichols, chairman of the Board of Trustees, congratulated the
graduates on the choices that led them to pursue a college degree, that
led them to the University of Tampa and that led them to that moment on
Saturday, having successfully completed their degree requirements.
now have a few critical choices ahead of you,” McNichols said,
including choosing membership in UT’s alumni association and giving
thanks to family and friends for helping them through this interval of
their lives. “Make choices based on integrity, love for others and
kindness towards all.”
The University hosts two commencement
ceremonies a year in the spring and in the winter. May Commencement will
be held May 8, 2010, at the St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside
Drive, in Tampa.