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Ambassador Addresses Winter Commencement

Published: December 11, 2000

 The University of Tampa will award more than 350 degrees, including nearly 120 master’s degrees, at its 88th Commencement on Saturday, December 16 at 1 p.m. on Plant Hall’s East Veranda and in Plant Park. Although spring commencements are held at large downtown venues such as the Ice Palace or the Convention Center, the smaller winter ceremonies continue to be held on campus.


The Commencement speaker will be the Honorable Bismarck Myrick, a 1972 graduate of UT, Ambassador to the Republic of Liberia and decorated U.S. military veteran.


The career senior foreign service officer has represented the United States in Liberia since 1999.  From 1990 to 1995, he served in South Africa, first as Principal Officer in Durban, then as Principal Officer in Cape Town. Other posts in his 18-year career have included Somalia and Ethiopia.


Myrick has interwoven his foreign service career with scholarship. He graduated from UT in 1972 with a BA in history, with a minor in political science, and earned an MA at Syracuse University. He taught political science and history at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina, and was director of African Studies in the School of International Studies at nearby Fort Bragg.  


Myrick also taught political science at Spelman College in Atlanta, where he served an appointment as Diplomat-in-Residence. He is a member of Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars, and is co-author of Three Aspects of Crisis in Colonial Kenya, published by Syracuse University Press.


Complementing a life of academics and foreign service with military service, Myrick began an Army career as a private and advanced through the ranks to field-grade officer in a tenure that took him through service in Vietnam, South Korea, Japan and Germany. His decorations include four Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart, a Silver Star for heroism in combat, and induction into the U.S. Army Hall of Fame in 1996.


Following Ambassador Myrick’s address, UT President Ronald L. Vaughn will confer the degrees upon the graduates. Among them, 21 will receive Cum Laude honors (GPA at least 3.5, but less than 3.75) and seven will receive Magna Cum Laude recognition (GPA at least 3.75, but less than 4.0). Among graduate students, eight will receive High Honors (GPA at least 3.9 but less than 4.0) and one student, Tony L. Moffitt of Lakeland, will receive Highest Honors with a perfect 4.0 GPA.


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