Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Caps and gowns galore as USF St. Petersburg graduates


She painted her lips red, slipped into a lacy black dress and pulled on 5-inch, patent leather Christian Louboutin pumps.

"These," she said, shouting amid the Mahaffey Theater crowd, "are my special graduation heels."

And Krystle Hoshowski, 25, strutted, literally, into the next phase of her life: Hard-working, fashion-loving University of South Florida graduate with a bachelor's degree in business management and a minor in health care.

The auditorium was wall-to-wall packed Sunday evening with cheering grads and their whooping, sometimes crying, supporters for the University of South Florida St. Petersburg's 2013 commencement ceremony. At the campus, 454 students received bachelor's or master's degrees.

Hoshowski's mom, step-dad, three brothers and best friend (who also happened to be her photographer) arrived before 6 p.m. to group-hug her. Alongside peers in the obligatory caps and gowns, she expressed no fear about tomorrow, the job search, the interviews.

"I've had three professors go over my resume," she said, grinning. "It's perfect. I'm so ready."

On stage, USF president Judy Genshaft congratulated this year's roughly 6,000 graduates from throughout the USF system who, she said, represented 50 states and 92 nations. The youngest is 19. The oldest is 79. Twenty-four graduates are commissioned officers in the armed forces, she said, and 140 are U.S. veterans.

"This is indeed a day," Genshaft said, "to celebrate your hard work, careful planning and unwavering determination."

Watching from his seat, Cecil Fountain, 27, wore a gray ribbon on his gown that read: "USFSP Sustainability." The Mississippi native just earned his MBA and plans to someday, somewhere run his own business.

"I'll do it in a sustainable, responsible manner," he said, "and I want to be rich."

He laughed.

"But really, I'm ready to have this over with."

In the theater's last ground row, holding a commencement brochure, a quiet father scanned the auditorium for his daughter.

"Is that her?" he whispered aloud.

Christian Lorenz, 24, graduated with a master's degree in child psychology, he said.

"I'm proud, so proud," said Tom Gardener, 46, who runs a lawn care business in St. Cloud, south of Orlando "She has done everything I've never done. She went far and beyond every expectation."

Danielle Paquette can be reached at or (727) 445-4224.

Caps and gowns galore as USF St. Petersburg graduates 05/05/13 [Last modified: Sunday, May 5, 2013 10:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Florida ranks high for workplace equality between men and women

    Working Life

    When it comes to the workplace, Florida ranks fifth in terms of gender equality, a WalletHub study released Tuesday found.

    Florida ranks high in terms of equality between men and women in the workplace. Pictured is Sandra Murman, county commissioner in 2015, talking about the differences in pay between men and women. | [Times file photo]
  2. Is Ed Sheeran sexy? An investigation

    Music & Concerts

    Start with the guitar. Guitars are sexy, right? Historically, anytime anyone straps on a guitar, it's only a matter of time before they come running.

    Ed Sheeran, who sold out three shows at Madison Square Garden last year, opened for Taylor Swift’s “Red” tour and now has a new album called “x” (as in multiply), at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, June 14, 2014.  ?  I don?  t look like your typical pop star,?   says the pint-size 23-year-old British folk singer with a mop of red hair and an unassuming mien. ?  I don?  t sing songs like your typical pop star.” (Jesse Dittmar/The New York Times) -- PHOTO MOVED IN ADVANCE AND NOT FOR USE - ONLINE OR IN PRINT - BEFORE JUNE 22, 2014.
  3. Dates and itinerary for Tampa City Council trip to Cuba finalized


    TAMPA — The dates are set and the itinerary is largely finalized for the Tampa City Council's first official trip to Cuba since the Cuban Revolution.

    Tampa City Council Chairwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin will be a part of the city council delegation to Cuba this October. [Credit: City of Tampa]
  4. Survey: Few consumers shop for lower prices on health care


    Despite having more financial "skin in the game" than ever, many consumers don't make any attempt to compare prices for health care services, a newly released study found.

    Photo illustration. []
  5. And the most-searched NFL player in Florida is ...


    The Bucs just faced the Jacksonville Jaguars in preseason, and open their 2017 season at the Miami Dolphins. So with the state's NFL competition ahead of and just behind the Bucs, who do you think is the NFL player most searched on Google by Floridians?

    Fans react with excitement moments after the Bucs announce their first-round pick at the team's 2016 NFL draft party. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]