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LAKELAND, Fla., May 3, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Florida Southern College will host its Spring 2024 Commencement exercise starting at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, 2023, at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland. Doors will open at 11:30 a.m.. This is the 140th Commencement exercise for the College and welcomes the largest graduating class in the history of the College.

The keynote speaker for this year’s ceremony will be Dr. Ed Crenshaw, Chairman Emeritus, Publix Super Markets, Inc. and Trustee of Florida Southern College. Dr. Crenshaw holds an Honorary Doctorate of Business from Florida Southern College and serves as the chairman of the Florida Southern College Barnett Business School Advisory Board. Ed joined Publix Super Markets in 1974 as a stock clerk in Lake Wales, Florida and worked in various retail roles, including being a store manager. His corporate experience included working in the purchasing function.  He served as President from 1996-2008, CEO from 2008-2016, and Chairman of the Board from 2016-2023. 

The largest graduating class in Florida Southern history, 551 students will be awarded their degrees (470 undergraduate and 81 graduate students) including 279 from the School of Arts and Sciences, 105 from the Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise, 72 from the Ann Blanton Edwards School of Nursing and Health Sciences, and 14 from the School of Education. 274 students are graduating with honors: 88 cum laude, 86 magna cum laude; and 100 summa cum laude.

Students in this class will join recent graduates accepted to law, medical, dental, and veterinary schools, and distinguished graduate programs. These graduates also have attained prestigious positions as managers in Fortune 500 companies, as caregivers in hospitals, as teachers in our schools, as members of our nation’s armed services, as actors and musicians on stages, and as clergy in ministries around the world.

The senior speaker will be Mr. Colton Dawson, Business Administration major with a minor in Integrated Marketing Communications. During the ceremony, Florida Southern will present the President’s Scholar Medal for superb academic achievement, which is not revealed before Commencement. The Miller Award, Omicron Delta Kappa Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Ruthven Outstanding Leadership Award will also be presented during the ceremony.

This will mark Dr. Anne B. Kerr’s final Commencement as President of Florida Southern College after announcing her retirement earlier this year. Dr. Robert L. Fryer, Jr. ’70, Chairman of the Florida Southern College Board of Trustees, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Anne B. Kerr as President Emerita, upon the announcement of her retirement. The 17th President of Florida Southern, Kerr has served for 20 years transforming the College academically and physically, achieving a trajectory that has brought national recognition for excellence in academic programs, engaged learning, NCAA Division II athletics, and preservation and stewardship of the world’s largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture.

About Florida Southern College
Founded in 1883, Florida Southern College is the oldest private college in the state. The College maintains its commitment to academic excellence through 70+ undergraduate programs and distinctive graduate programs in business administration, education, nursing, and physical therapy. Florida Southern has a 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio, is an award-winning national leader in engaged learning, and boasts 30 NCAA Division II National Championships. Florida Southern is ranked at #8 among the “Best Regional Universities in the South” by U.S. News & World Report in its 2022 “Best Colleges” guide and is included in The Princeton Review’s 2023 Best 388 Colleges guide and the “Fiske Guide to Colleges 2023.” The 2022-2023 Colleges of Distinction guidebook praises Florida Southern’s AACSB accredited Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise alongside the College’s School of Education and its Ann Blanton Edwards School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Poets&Quants, U.S. News & World Report, Fortune, and The Princeton Review further laud the Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise and the Ann Blanton Edwards School of Nursing and Health Sciences as foremost programs in the nation for business and nursing education. Home to the world’s largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, FSC has appeared on The Princeton Review’s top 20 “Most Beautiful Campus” national listing for 13 consecutive years. Connect with Florida Southern College.


SOURCE Florida Southern College

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/florida-southern-college-to-host-commencement-for-largest-graduating-class-in-the-history-of-the-institution-302135822.html
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