April 2018
Presidential Investiture
"I am humbled to have been asked to be a part of this exceptional gathering of people paying tribute and honoring the living legacy, the professional continuing journey of Dr. Tonjua Williams. By this Investiture, the community pauses and notates the record of local history with exclamation," said Florida State Sen. Darryl Rouson. Senator Rouson joined an esteemed group of honored guests, SPC students, faculty and staff to celebrate the Presidential Investiture of Dr. Tonjua Williams on April 6 at the Palladium Theater.

An investiture is a traditional ceremony that marks the transference of authority in a high office and is typically held within the first year of service in office. Speakers included The Florida College System Chancellor Madeline Pumariega; Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Michael A. Grego; Florida State Sen. Darryl Rouson; St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman; Florida A&M University President Larry Robinson; USF Board Chair Brian Lamb; and Palm Beach State College President Ava L. Parker. President Williams' sister Lyn Parker shared a moving introduction as she reflected fondly on their shared experiences as children growing up in St. Petersburg.

President Williams took the stage to thank her predecessors, the SPC Board of Trustees, her family as well as the Pinellas County community for investing in the success of SPC students. "To our St. Pete College family, my people, thank you, thank you, thank you! Because of the work that you do, the passion you have, the commitment you have made our students are succeeding," said President Williams. In her comments, Dr. Williams described the profound influence that education has on individuals and an entire community. "I strongly believe in the power of education and the work we do here at SPC because it transforms lives, it fulfills dreams and it improves families", said President Williams.

The ceremony concluded with the singing of the St. Petersburg College Alma Mater, a benediction from Dr. Glen Money of the  First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg and a recessional of faculty, staff and honored guests.

Patrick Brett Foundation: Funding Fresh Starts
Patrick Brett Foundation Board Members with check for fresh start scholarships at SPC
Over 1,800 people came to celebrate Patrick Brett's life after losing him in a car accident in 2005. That morning the Brett family challenged every attendee to live like Patrick had by making a difference in another person's life. Thirteen years later his friends and family are ardently answering that call through their work with the Patrick Brett Foundation. Modeling the organization's mission and values after the character qualities held by Patrick, they decided to fund scholarships for people looking for a fresh start. In partnership with the St. Petersburg College Foundation, the Patrick Brett Foundation created a new scholarship for SPC students who need a second chance to finish their degree and achieve their dreams.

Since the scholarship fund's inception in 2016, the Patrick Brett Foundation has donated over $128,000 including a $78,000 gift this month. "This scholarship has given me a new life, it gives me hope to achieve my goals and to be able to provide for my children. I don't want them to go through what I went through...I want to have a future for them," said SPC student and 2017 Patrick Brett Foundation Scholarship recipient Rosalynn Maroni.
Women on the Way Leadership Conference
WOW Leadership Conference attendees 
during a breakout
"I have brilliance inside of me that you haven't seen yet," were the words inspirational speaker Jill Haseltine had the audience repeat out loud during the opening session of the Women on the Way Leadership Conference on March 23. The conference, themed "Marketing Your Brand," drew more than 60 women.

Sponsored by Transamerica, Melba Rilott, Brown & Brown Insurance and Achieva Credit Union, the conference included sessions on networking, first impressions and leadership. A professional photographer was taking LinkedIn headshots and attendees could peruse the Women on the Way boutique to find gently used professional clothing. Leaving the ladies on a high note, Dr. Carleah East, known as the "The Sapphire Woman," closed the conference with her presentation, "Slay in Your Lane!"
SPC Trailblazer Dr. Vilma Zalupski Passes Away
When Dr. Vilma Fernandez-Zalupski joined the staff at St. Petersburg Junior College as a counselor on the Clearwater campus in 1966, she made her position more than a job - she turned it into an impressive body of accomplishments. When she retired 29 years later, she left many lasting legacies that still stand strong today. The entire SPC family is mourning the passing of Dr. Zalupski on March 27.

During her career, "Dr. Z," as she was affectionately known, earned the love, respect and admiration of Clearwater faculty, staff and students. After four years of advising students, she became the Dean of Women and later became the Associate Dean of Students. She spent a year as Acting Assistant to the President before being the first woman in the state of Florida to become a college provost.

"Dr. Zalupski's appointment as the first female provost in the entire state is a testament to her dedication to the students and the community," said St. Petersburg College President Dr. Tonjua Williams. "She proved herself over and over as a trailblazer who opened doors for students and staff. She believed that all students could learn, and she made it her life's work to put systems in place to help everyone succeed."

Understanding one of the greatest needs of SPC students, Dr. Zalupski worked with the Foundation to create the Dr. Vilma Zalupski Women on the Way Scholarship and the Fernandez-Zalupski Scholarship. Collectively, these funds have awarded more than 50 scholarships to-date.

Among her greatest contributions was the establishment of Women on the Way (WOW), a resource and support center for women, that she founded along with Maria Edmonds and Bobbie Hinson in 1981. WOW, which started with 15 women on the Clearwater Campus, now has more than 500 women participating college- wide. The Clearwater WOW center was named in Dr. Zalupski's honor in 2016. Dr. Zalupski will be missed by the entire SPC community and her legacy will live on through the countless students whose lives she helped improve.
Second Annual SPC Night at the Trop
SPC alumni, students, staff and friends enjoyed a fun night at the ball game as the Tampa Bay Rays took on the Philadelphia Phillies on April 13. Brown & Brown Insurance generously sponsored 100 free tickets so that students could attend the game and cheer from our SPC section.

SPC Night at the Trop is a celebration of the strong partnership between the SPC Foundation and the Rays Baseball Foundation that supports first generation scholarships at SPC. The evening kicked off with a check presentation from the Rays.
Eighth Annual Business Plan & Elevator Pitch Competition
Business Plan & Elevator Pitch 
Competition winners and sponsors
Competition was fierce this year as six students presented their business plans and elevator pitches in hopes of winning cash prizes to help them launch their business ideas. A panel of judges comprised of local business leaders selected the first place winners in each category. Public Policy and Administration student Eve Barrett won first place for her business plan for Expedite an on-demand legal services app. Business Administration student Clifford Hobbs won first place for his elevator pitch for Grub on Dubs a mobile food group focused on specialty diets and healthy meal delivery.

Thank you to our local business community who support rising entrepreneurs at SPC and a special thanks to event sponsors Great Bay Distributors, Wells Fargo, City of Seminole, Superior Uniform, Sandy Hartmann & Associates, Scarr Insurance Group, Seminole Chamber of Commerce, Linda Goldfarb, Marianne Fisher and the Zillig Family.
In Memory of Colonel George Lewis Brown Jr.
"The Colonel" passed away on April 10, 2018. He was born October 16, 1929, in Fort Benning, GA. After an impressive career with the U.S. Army, Mr. Brown received his B.S. Degree from Tuskegee Institute and an M.S. in 1958 from University of Michigan. He also completed Education requirements for his PhD from University of Michigan in 1970. Mr. Brown taught at Dillard University and Gibbs Junior College before beginning his career at St. Petersburg Junior College as Head Track Coach and Guidance Counselor from 1970-1992.

Mr. Brown received numerous civic awards such as the Outstanding and Dedicated Leadership award at Gibbs Junior College, Ring of Honor St. Petersburg Junior College and the SPJC Harambee Award for 18 years of Service 1970-1988. Mr. Brown is remembered for his accomplished career and profound impact on St. Petersburg College students. "Colonel Brown was a great contributor to the legacy of the Gibbs Junior College history. He was mentor to many including me. He was truly a soldier's soldier and will be missed by all," said Bill McCloud, SPC Foundation Board member and Gibbs Junior College graduate.
St. Petersburg College is committed to equal access/equal opportunity in its programs, activities, and employment. For additional information visit www.spcollege.edu/eaeo.