Published: May 14, 2008
» SLIDE SHOW
The spring Commencement continued its run of record-setting numbers,
nearing the 1,000 mark. This year, 981 students were eligible to walk
in the ceremony, which was held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 10, at the St.
Pete Times Forum. A total of 799 are expected graduate with bachelor’s
degrees, and 195 will receive graduate degrees.
speaker was Rob Blagojevich, graduate of the class of 1977. Blagojevich
is a private investor in his company, Blagojevich Properties, based in
Nashville, TN. He owns and operates seven properties in four states,
including an office park in Florida. He has had more than $40 million
in transaction activity in six years.
Student speakers were
Joshua Murphy, of Callahan, FL, and Adam L. Kemp, of Mexico Beach, FL.
Murphy served as Student Government vice president, was vice president
for Student Productions, and served as chaplain for his fraternity,
Sigma Phi Epsilon. Kemp was on the dean’s list and was a member of Beta
Gamma Sigma, the business honor society. He served twice as a delegate
for the Model United Nations at Harvard University and was the
recipient of the Davis Productivity Award from the Florida Department
At the ceremony, UT presented the Honorable David
A. Straz Jr. and his wife, Catherine Lowry Straz with the 2008 Champion
of Higher Independent Education in Florida (C.H.I.E.F.) Award. David is
a past chairman of UT’s Board of Trustees and has been a member since
1996. He and his wife have been generous supporters of the University
and one of its newest residence halls bears his name.
C.H.I.E.F. award is the highest honor presented by the Independent
Colleges and Universities of Florida Council of Presidents, the
leadership of Florida independent higher education. The C.H.I.E.F.
Award is bestowed only upon distinguished individuals who represent the
greatest support of independent higher education in Florida.
The 2007 Esse Quam Videri Award was awarded to Ron Govin, class of
1962. Govin is the chief executive officer of MarkMaster Inc. of Temple
Terrace, FL, which was established as a marking products manufacturer
in 1933 by his parents, Armand and Virginia Govin. Today it offers its
products to more than 3,000 customers throughout the United States. The
business was awarded the 2001 Small Business of the Year award from the
Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce and was also awarded the Florida
Family Business of the Year Award in 2004.
class of 2005 received the Young Alumni Award. She holds the title of
vice president of communications for Tampa Alpha, UT’s local alumni
chapter, and has chaired the annual Brian Claar Golf Classic for the
last two years. She will take on the role of chapter president in June,
and has been a member of the UT National Alumni Association Board of
Directors since 2005, where she serves on the events committee.
For more information on UT’s commencement, contact Dr. Robert Ruday, dean of students, at (813) 253-6204.