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Winter Commencement Honors 361 Graduates

Published: December 19, 2007

Citing the successes and failures of her own generation’s activism, Susan Taylor Lennon, director of The University of Tampa’s dance program and associate professor of dance, urged graduates at UT’s 123rd commencement ceremony Dec. 15 to “find a way to make the world better” and to “dig deeply for life’s meaning.”

“You are today’s champions,” she said. “You can make a difference in today’s world. I am counting on you.”

Lennon, who spoke at the ceremony as this year’s recipient of the University’s Louise Loy Hunter Award, also peppered her speech with advice for balance.

“Make your life a work of art…Live a life you can be proud of. Be serious, but be playful too.”

Lennon spoke to 361 winter bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates.

UT Graduates by the Numbers
  • Total graduates: 361
  • Total bachelor’s degree candidates: 286
  • summa cum laude: 2
  • magna cum laude (GPA 3.75 or higher, but less than 4.0): 14
  • cum laude (GPA 3.5 or higher, but less than 3.75): 35
  • Total master’s candidates: 75
  • Honors (GPA 3.9 or higher, but less than 4.0): 8
  • Highest Honors (4.0): 2
  • Countries: 13
  • Graduates are from Florida: 64%
  • Top three most popular undergraduate majors in this class: communications, marketing and management.
  • MBAs Awarded: 42
Two bachelor’s candidates, Karrie Barfield and Francesca P. Yabraian, also spoke. Barfield, one of two students to graduate summa cum laude (with a GPA of 4.0), is a history major from Gainesville, FL. Yabraian, of Dallas, TX, graduated with majors in government and world affairs and communication.

Leo Berman, a graduate of the class of 1969 and member of the UT Board of Trustees, was presented with the 2007 Esse Quam Videri Award for outstanding service to the University and civic involvement. Berman is president of HLB Management, a parent company for family-owned businesses in southern New Jersey and Palm Beach County with interests in motels, shopping centers, marinas and aluminum manufacturing.

The alumni achievement award was presented to Jack Jenkins and his late wife Sally, both members of the UT class of 1961. They both majored in music at UT and went on to a career as one of America’s most dynamic singing duos. Highlights of their long career include appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show, a year-long engagement with Guy Lombardo and national tours of Broadway musicals. Earlier this year, Jack, along with his daughter Letitia, hosted a concert at UT to establish a vocal scholarship in Sally’s honor.