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Educators to be Honored at 100th UT Commencement

Published: December 08, 2006

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 master’s diplomas.


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 Administrator.


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.