Published: May 11, 2006
The largest Commencement ceremony in University of Tampa history took
center stage at the St. Pete Times Forum last Saturday at 10 a.m. More
than 800 new graduates walked for their diplomas, waving to an
estimated 3,000 friends and family and celebrating the day.
The official figures included more than 700 recipients of undergraduate
degrees and more than 100 graduate degree recipients. The numbers count
May and anticipated August graduates, with the former totaling nearly
Gianni Antonio LoVario, of St. Petersburg, graduated at
the head of the class with a perfect 4.0 GPA. The computer information
systems major also was one of 60 Honors Program graduates. While
LoVario, a graduate of St. Petersburg High School, was the only summa
cum laude candidate, 43 graduated magna cum laude (GPA 3.75 or higher,
but less than 4.0), and 72 exited with cum laude recognition (GPA 3.5
or higher, but less than 3.75).
The largest UT graduation
ceremony to date also will be its earliest. The 10 a.m. start was
designed for families to enjoy more time with their graduates after the
ceremony. In previous years, 1 p.m. was the standard.
speaker was Craig C. Sturken, a 1966 graduate of UT and recipient of
the 2006 Alumni Achievement Award. He earned a Bachelor of Science in
Physical Education from UT, and is chairman, president and CEO of
Spartan Stores, the largest grocery wholesaler in Michigan and
10th-largest grocery wholesaler in the nation.