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UT Celebrates 132nd Commencement Sunday, May 6

Published: May 01, 2012

On Sunday, May 6, The University of Tampa will honor more than 1,200 graduates at its 132nd commencement. The ceremony will take place in the Tampa Bay Times Forum at 10 a.m. There will be 1,217 degree candidates, including August graduates; 1,044 are bachelor’s degree candidates and 173 are master’s degree candidates. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

The speaker for commencement is Dennis W. Zank MBA ’82, chief operating officer of Raymond James Financial and CEO of Raymond James & Associates (RJA). Zank has been a part of Raymond James since he joined the company’s accounting department in 1978. Over the years, he has served as controller, treasurer, senior vice president, executive vice president and president of RJA.

Carlos Salinas Zárate, of Miami, will introduce the speaker. An international business and economics major, Salinas Zárate has interned with the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., as well as the department’s embassies in San Jose, Costa Rica and Madrid. He was recently awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to continue his studies in a dual master’s degree program at Instituto de Empresa in Spain and Columbia University in New York City.

Kelsey Thomas of Barnstable, MA, will give the student challenge. Thomas has worked in the UT Office of Admissions since her freshman year, participated in several leadership retreats and conferences through the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement and was the first student awarded the Bob Ruday Award for Ethical Leadership. A member of Sigma Delta Tau sorority, Thomas was voted the 2011 Homecoming Queen.

The UT National Alumni Association Young Alumnus Award will be given to Jessica Burns ’04, M.S. ’08, MBA ’11, a development associate in the UT Office of Development and University Relations. During her time at UT, Burns has helped increase the number of alumni functions, both locally and regionally, as well as strengthen alumni involvement.

For more information on commencement, contact the Office of the Associate Provost and Dean of Academic Services at (813) 257-3641 or visit To view a webcast of Sunday’s commencement ceremony, go to Tweet at #UTCommencement.

Commencement by the Numbers:
Total graduates — 1,217
Countries represented — 56
Percent of graduates from Florida — 46.9

Total bachelor’s degree candidates — 1,044
Magna cum laude (GPA 3.75 or higher, but less than 4.0) — 55
Cum laude (GPA 3.5 or higher, but less than 3.75) — 159
Top 3 most popular undergraduate majors in this class — management, communication, marketing

Total master’s candidates — 173
With honors (GPA 3.9 or higher, but less than 4.0) — 7
With highest honors (GPA 4.0) — 7
MBAs awarded — 83