At Eckerd College, snakes, dogs, cats and a ferret 'graduate' (w/video)

Eckerd College president Donald Eastman backs off as he presents Nico the corn snake and his owner, senior Ryann Dragani, 22, right, with a certificate Tuesday at Eckerd College's third annual Pet Graduation ceremony. Pet Council adviser Tonya Womack officiated. Dragani, a human development major, researched schools that accepted pets before deciding on Eckerd, where she has kept Nico for four years. About 25 students and their pets participated, including dogs, cats, a frog, a ferret, a Russian tortoise named Dennis, a rabbit named Boris and a duck named Patrick. CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times
Eckerd College president Donald Eastman backs off as he presents Nico the corn snake and his owner, senior Ryann Dragani, 22, right, with a certificate Tuesday at Eckerd College's third annual Pet Graduation ceremony. Pet Council adviser Tonya Womack officiated. Dragani, a human development major, researched schools that accepted pets before deciding on Eckerd, where she has kept Nico for four years. About 25 students and their pets participated, including dogs, cats, a frog, a ferret, a Russian tortoise named Dennis, a rabbit named Boris and a duck named Patrick.CHERIE DIEZ | Times
Published May 13 2015
Updated May 13 2015

ST. PETERSBURG — Eckerd College held its third Pet Graduation ceremony Tuesday at the college's Fox Hall.

About 25 graduating seniors and their pets participated, including dogs, cats, snakes, a frog, a ferret, a Russian tortoise named Dennis, a rabbit named Boris and a duck named Patrick. Each pet received a certificate.

Eckerd College's commencement is Sunday.

Since 1973, Eckerd has allowed students to keep pets in their dorm rooms. Many pets stay with their owners during their time on campus. Eckerd, the first in the country to allow this practice, believes it eases the strain of being away from home and helps the students deal with the stress of college life.

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