Published: December 22, 2021
Classes of 2020 and 2021 Know How to Adapt and Persist
In celebration of the classes of 2020 and 2021 at UT’s commencement on Dec. 17, Lonnie Bryant, chair and professor of finance, told the 1,063 graduates there was little advice he could give to two classes who have both adapted and persisted better than most.
“These graduates who came to campus two, three, four years ago to learn how to learn — they were exposed to new concepts, theories and techniques on our beautiful, sunny campus. Then … they had to go away,” said Bryant, speaker for the ceremony and recipient of the 2020-2021 Louise Loy Hunter Award, which is given annually to a UT faculty member for excellence in teaching and cumulative contributions in service and scholarship.
“And while away, they had to persist in their education. They persisted by learning to use new tools and by mastering emerging technologies, then returning to campus to complete their degree requirements — academic requirements and standards that did not change the entire time,” Bryant said.
As this was the first in-person commencement since December 2019, UT alumni who graduated in Spring 2020, Winter 2020 and Spring 2021 were invited to walk the stage. There were 44 master’s degree alumni and 155 bachelor’s degree alumni participating in the ceremony.
Natalie Jumaoas, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in biology with a pre-health concentration and a minor in leadership studies, introduced the speaker and delivered the challenge to the graduating class.
In addition, UT awarded its first-ever doctoral degree — a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) — to Krystene Menzies.
“Class of 2020, Class of 2021, you are Spartan Ready. You have all the tools, shields, protections, support, knowledge and skills you need to succeed to pursue happiness, however you define happiness,” Bryant said. “Remain persistent, continue to reflect over your accomplishments and the seasons you have to go through and know that you are Spartan Ready.”
Here are some statistics about UT’s 2021 graduating class.
UT Graduates by the Numbers:
Total graduates: 1,063
Countries represented: 9
Percent of graduates from Florida: 66
Total bachelor’s degree candidates: 718
Summa cum laude (GPA 4.0): 7
Magna cum laude (GPA 3.75 or higher, but less than 4.0): 90
Cum laude (GPA 3.5 or higher, but less than 3.75): 90
Top three most popular undergraduate majors in this class: finance, marketing, and criminology and criminal justice
Total master’s candidates: 345
With honors (GPA 3.9 or higher, but less than 4.0): 38
With highest honors (GPA 4.0): 43
MBAs awarded: 46