Browser warning

Jaeb Will Address Largest Graduating Class

Published: April 25, 2003

More than 700 students will walk in UT’s spring commencement at the St. Pete Times Forum on Saturday, May 10, at 1 p.m. It will mark the largest graduating class in the University’s history. With 721 applying to participate, the total tops last spring’s number by more than 100. Almost 600 are May graduates, nearly equaling last year’s total of May and August graduates combined. Of the anticipated grand total, 602 have applied for bachelor’s degrees, 138 expect to receive master’s degrees, and one associate degree also will be awarded.


As part of the ceremony, UT will award Maestro Anton Coppola an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree. Coppola is an internationally known composer, librettist and conductor who brings many years of experience to the podium, and was largely instrumental in the establishment of opera in Tampa. He is the uncle of film director Francis Ford Coppola, and includes musical contributions to two of his nephew’s films, Godfather III and Dracula, among his many major credits.


Commencement speaker is John Jaeb, son of Robert and Lorena, and president of both Quest Capital Corp., which administers his private investments, and Quest Automotive Inc., the largest Midas franchisee in greater Atlanta.


A 1983 graduate of UT with a degree in finance, Jaeb spent most of his career as CEO and majority shareholder of Pick-Kwik Corporation. During his 12-year involvement, Pick-Kwik grew from its “old format” convenience store base to a modern, high-volume gasoline and merchandise marketer with revenues growing from $35 million to $150 million per year.


Jaeb also will accept the C.H.I.E.F. (Champion of Higher Independent Education in Florida) Award for his parents, Robert and Lorena Jaeb, former owners of the Tampa-based Pick-Kwik convenience store chain. The award is presented by the President’s Council of Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida. The Jaebs were elected unanimously after being nominated by UT, and join a prestigious group that includes a veritable who’s who of Florida community and business leaders.


Spring 2003 marks UT’s 93rd commencement.

For more information, contact the Office of Public Information at