As yet another record winter class of nearly 500 walks for diplomas, two
representatives of the field that got them there will be honored at The
University of Tampa’s 100th Commencement on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 10 a.m. in the
Martinez Sports Center. This winter’s graduates include 23 magna cum
laude (GPA of 3.75 or higher, but less than 4.0) and 30 cum laude
(3.5 or higher, but less than 3.75) candidates. In all, more than 385 are
expected to receive their bachelor’s degrees, and more than 100 will receive
Career Hillsborough County educator Sherrie Fritz Sikes will receive the UT
National Alumni Association’s Alumni Achievement Award. The 1973 UT graduate
(captain of the cheerleading squad, Homecoming Queen and Best Pledge of the
Alpha Chi Omega sorority) began her career that same year as a physical
education teacher. She quickly climbed the ranks through guidance counselor,
assistant principal and assistant principal for curriculum. She became principal
of Durant High School in 1997.
In 1999, Sikes was named general director of high school curriculum for the
School District of Hillsborough County, and in 2002 was promoted to director for
Area 5. In her role as area director, she is directly responsible for 38 sites
and about 34,000 students. She has earned recognition as Hillsborough County
Teacher of the Year, Alternative Teacher of the Year and Distinguished
Dr. Evan Chipouras, associate professor of biology, will be the speaker. He
is this year’s recipient of the Louise Loy Hunter Award, given annually by its
previous recipients to a UT professor for excellence in teaching and cumulative
contributions in service and scholarship. It is customary for the Hunter Award
recipient to serve as the winter Commencement speaker. Perhaps fittingly, UT
reintroduced its master’s degree in teaching this year.
The University held only spring Commencement through most of its 75-year
history, but has held Commencement twice a year, winter and spring, during
periods of high enrollment.
For more information on UT’s 100th Commencement, contact Dr. Robert Ruday,
dean of students, at (813) 253-6204.