TAMPA — For the first time in school history, the University of South Florida will hold additional commencement ceremonies for the Tampa campus on a Friday in order to pass out a record number of diplomas.
Eight commencement ceremonies between Friday and Sunday will recognize more than 4,900 students — the most degrees USF has ever given out in a single graduation season, school officials said Monday.
"Enrollment is up and so are graduates," said Debbie Lum, USF's commencement coordinator.
USF has a long-standing tradition to have each graduate cross the stage and have his name read, Lum said. In order to keep the program under two hours, the school caps the number of graduates at each ceremony at 1,000.
"With more graduates, it would be longer and then people get impatient," Lum said. "They have places to go and celebrations to attend."
The events will take place as follows:
• 10 a.m. Friday at Ruth Eckerd Hall: College of Medicine.
• 6 p.m. Friday at the USF Sun Dome: undergraduates from the College of Arts and Sciences, excluding psychology, biomedical sciences and the School of Mass Communications.
• 9 a.m. Saturday at the Sun Dome: the rest of the undergraduates from the College of Arts and Sciences (psychology, biomedical sciences and mass communications only) and the College of Business.
•1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Sun Dome: Colleges of Education, Engineering, Medicine and Nursing along with undergraduate studies and the School of Visual and Performing Arts.
• 6 p.m. Saturday at the Sun Dome: graduate students from all the colleges (the School of Architecture and Community Design, the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Engineering, Marine Science, Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, graduate studies, and the School of Visual and Performing Arts). Degrees presented include master's, master of fine arts, education specialists and doctoral degrees.
• 2 p.m. Sunday at the Manatee Convention Center: USF Sarasota-Manatee graduates.
• 6 p.m. Sunday at the Mahaffey Theater: USF St. Petersburg students.
• 7 p.m. Monday at the Lakeland Center's Youkey Theatre: USF Lakeland students.
Dong-Phuong Nguyen can be reached at (813) 269-5312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.