May 2018
Congratulations Graduates!
On May 12, President Tonjua Williams welcomed guests to St. Petersburg College's 136th Commencement Ceremony at Tropicana Field. With this graduating class, St. Petersburg College has awarded 169,426 degrees since the college - Florida's first community college - was founded in 1927.

Alumni Association president Ken Burke presented awards to honor two graduates who demonstrate exemplary leadership, academic achievement and community service. Associate Degree graduate Joey Bower, received the 2018 Apollo Award, and Baccalaureate Degree graduate Amanda Hunt, received the Alumni Achievement Award. In her commencement address, Ms. Hunt left the audience with some words of advice, "No matter what career or job you are employed in, you can change the world through small but meaningful acts of kindness. Sometimes one minute is all it takes to brighten someone's day, give them a hand, or even save their life. My message to you today is to always remember to slow down a little and take that one minute."

After hundreds of graduating students had walked across the stage, President Williams asked families and friends to be recognized for their support of the graduates. With the ceremony held the day before Mother's Day, she gave a special thank you to mothers. "I know there have been times when you felt that none of your hard work and support of these graduates was appreciated or even noticed. But here you are - and here they are - and these graduates did appreciate you and they did notice you." Williams told them. "The college appreciates you."
SPC Counsel and Champion Joe Lang Passes Away
Joseph "Joe" Lang began his time at St. Petersburg College as a student leader at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus in the late 1950's, and over the next 70 years, proved himself to be a loyal friend of the College. Mr. Lang, a distinguished local attorney who served as counsel to the College's Board of Trustees, passed away on April 21, 2018 at the age of 80.

Mr. Lang, who practiced law in St. Petersburg for 53 years, graduated from St. Petersburg Junior College and went on to Duke University, where he graduated in 1961. He then went on to the University of Florida College of Law. A firm believer and champion of the access to education provided by community colleges for all, he never cut his ties to SPC and remained a strong supporter and advisor. His counsel was highly trusted and sought after over the years by four college presidents, numerous trustees and college staff alike.

"Student success was such a huge focus for him," Former SPC President Carl Kuttler said. "He and his wife Elsie contributed to so many scholarships through the foundation to help students in need meet their educational goals."

Mr. Lang's commitment to the College was so appreciated that the former Student Union at SPC was named in his honor. He served on the St. Petersburg College Alumni Association and regularly participated in graduations. He was also a member of the College's Hall of Distinction and was named the College's Most Outstanding Alumnus in 1990.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent in his name to the St. Petersburg College Foundation.
Grand Opening of the Clearwater East Community Library
Hundreds attended the April 21 grand opening of the Clearwater East Community Library at St. Petersburg College. Years in the making, the joint-use facility at the SPC Clearwater Campus marks the college's third such partnership with municipalities. Other library partners include the cities of St. Petersburg and Seminole.

"This is a facility where we convene the dialogues and strengthen the bonds that make this a world-class community and SPC an outstanding institution of higher education," said SPC Clearwater Provost Stan Vittetoe.

The 40,000-square-foot library includes 10,000-square-feet of dedicated public space, 15,000-square-feet of dedicated college space and 15,000-square-feet of shared space. Highlights of the new building include more than 90,000 electronic and print books and audio-visual materials covering a variety of disciplines and subjects.
Welcoming a New Class of Nurses to the Profession
"I will zealously seek to nurse those who are ill wherever they may be and whenever they are in need. I will be active in assisting others in safeguarding and promoting the health and happiness of mankind." - Excerpt from the New Florence Nightingale Pledge

More than 135 SPC Associates Degree in Nursing students and their families gathered on May 3rd to celebrate their transition from student to professional. A Nursing Pinning Ceremony is a time-honored nursing school tradition, dating back before the turn of the 20th century. Traditionally, nursing students have conducted a pinning ceremony to mark the passage from the student nurse role to the practice role. The student nurses are "pinned" by their clinical nurse instructor as a way of symbolizing the welcoming of the student into the profession as colleagues.

After crossing the stage to be pinned and given a yellow rose, the new class of nurses recited the New Florence Nightingale Pledge. SPC Foundation donors Maureen and Elwood Stilwell attended the pinning ceremony to mark the occasion with some of the recipients of their scholarship, the Patricia Sattler, RN Nursing Scholarship. "It is always rewarding to attend the pinning ceremony and it serves as a gentle reminder of how well our donations are being spent," said Mrs. Stilwell.
SPC Ranked 6th in Nation for Study Abroad Program
St. Petersburg College is ranked second in Florida and sixth in the nation, among associate colleges, for sending students abroad, according to the Institute of International Education 2017 Open Doors Report. Over the last year, more than 140 SPC students have traveled to other countries. SPC has a broad range of study abroad programs throughout the world.

The upcoming 2018-19 programs include:
*Veterinary Technology students will be working to assist troubled sea turtles in Australia
*Students will discover what makes India a cultural and religious force
*Social psychology in a global context will be explored in Ireland
*Students will be working with varying ecosystems and scuba diving in Israel
*Students will be studying World Literature and Culture in Japan

Many of our students have never traveled outside of the United States and SPC's Study Abroad program provides a safe and educationally robust path to discovering a new culture. You have the opportunity to help an SPC student expand their knowledge and further ignite their passion for learning though a gift to the Study Abroad Scholarship Fund at St. Petersburg College Foundation. Click HERE to learn more about how you can give more students the ability to take advantage of SPC's world-class study abroad program!
Great Season for SPC Softball
In the span of a five day period the Lady Titan softball team won four post season games in a row, won the Suncoast conference tournament playoff, qualified for the FCSAA state tournament, had a college RBI record broken and placed seven players on the All-conference team.

This first time playoff allowed the Lady Titans to show their toughness and competitiveness in the single elimination set up. By winning the conference playoffs the Titans automatically advanced on to the eight team state tournament. Emily Baker received the 2018 Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports-Scholar Award for outstanding academic and athletic achievement. For women's softball, she ranked second overall for having the highest Fall 2016 GPA. Go Titans!
Palladium Named "Best Community Performing Arts Center"
The editors at Tampa Bay Magazine have again named The Palladium at SPC to their "Best of 2018" list. The "Best" list is included in the current May-June edition and it honors the Palladium as the "Best Community Performing Arts Center." Here's what they said:

"A part of St. Petersburg College, this stunning community theater showcases a plethora of talents in their two venues - the main 830-seat Hough Hall and the intimate Side Door downstairs."

Visit to find the Palladium's upcoming shows including jazz, blues, theatre, opera, comedy, dance, community events, and more.
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