Commencement History

The University of South Floridaís first Commencement was in 1963, where 325 degrees were conferred. The first Honorary Doctoral degree was actually presented years earlier, on September 26, 1960 during the opening convocation of the university.

The following is a timeline of USF Commencement:

September 26, 1960

First Honorary Degree presented to George R. Cooley during opening convocation of the university. The next Honorary Degree would not be presented until 1969.

1963

1st graduation: 325 degrees conferred.

June 14, 1970

Edith Green, former member of the Florida House of Representatives, is the first woman to receive an Honorary Degree from USF, receiving an Honorary Doctor of Law.

June 13, 1971

John Allen (USFís first President) receives Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. His wife, Grace Allen would later receive a Doctor of Humane Letters on October 18, 1996.

1974

Presidentís Distinguished Citizen award created. Awarded that year to Tommy Howard and Terrell Sessums.

1988

Presidentís Fellow Medallion award created. Presented in Fall to Jane Cook.

April 21, 1999

New academic mace is unveiled during a retiring faculty celebration event. Mace was designed by Harrison Covington.

February 23, 2000

USF Presidential regalia debuts with the inauguration of President Judy Genshaft. Her robe is the first institutional regalia for a USF President.

2001

Regalia developed and introduced for Board of Trustee members.

December 13, 2003

100th Honorary Degree from USF presented to Delia Sanchez, Doctor of Humanities.

May 1, 2004

Third ceremony added to Tampa campus.

May 7, 2005

First Graduate ceremony held, just for Doctoral, Educational Specialists, and Masters students. 485 graduates attend. Special program printed just for graduate ceremony.

August 13, 2005

Two Commencement ceremonies now held at the Tampa campus in Summer.

May 6, 2006

During 50th anniversary celebration, university debuts institutional doctoral regalia. Also debuts new Presidentís Chain of Office, worn by President Judy Genshaft and engraved with the names of USFís former presidents.

December 16, 2006

Inaugural Presidentís Global Leadership award presented to Nava Ben-Zvi, President of Hadassa College, Israel.

May 3, 2007

Institutional regalia for Campus Executive Officers/Vice Presidents over autonomous programs debuts with Stephen Klasko, College of Medicine Commencement. At this time, only the College of Medicine VP and Regional Chancellor of USF St. Petersburg have the regalia.

December 15, 2007

Went to three ceremonies for Fall, debuting a graduate ceremony at 6 p.m. Ceremonies are now at 9 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. for Fall. Introduced institutional regalia for the Alumni representative, first worn by Michele Norris, Alumni Association President-Elect.

May 2, 2008

Added a fourth ceremony to Tampa campus. Ceremonies are now Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

December 13, 2009

USF Sarasota-Manatee Regional Chancellor Authur Guilford debuts institutional regalia at their ceremony, after being named their first Regional Chancellor.

August 6, 2011

First USF System Commencement where graduates from each USF institution were recognized separately.

May 4, 2012

Added a fifth ceremony to the Tampa campus. Ceremonies are now Friday at 1:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and Saturday at 9 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

COMMENCEMENT STATISTICS

The University of South Florida, Tampa campus, participation report:

Fiscal year 2012-2013 Applied to graduate Attended ceremony Faculty participants
May 2013
5140
4007
-
December 2012
3522
2470 170
August 2012 2515
1414
130
FY totals:
11,177
7891
-

 

Fiscal year 2011-2012 Applied to graduate Attended ceremony Faculty participants
May 2012
5136
3883
252
December 2011
3622
2256
205
August 2011 2540
1406
138
FY totals:
11,298
7605
595

 

Fiscal year 2010-2011 Applied to graduate Attended ceremony Faculty participants
May 2011
4903
3450
255
December 2010
3422
2245
180
August 2010 2729
1260
102
FY totals:
11,054
6,955
537

 

Fiscal year 2009 - 2010 Applied to graduate Attended ceremony Faculty participants
May 2010 4,908 3,440 233
December 2009 3,834 2,016 154
August 2009 2,463 1,183 106
FY totals: 11,205 6,639 493

 

Fiscal year 2008 - 2009 Applied to graduate Attended ceremony Faculty participants
May 2009 5,244 3,029 196
December 2008 3,712 1,938 149
August 2008 2,646 1,256 101
FY totals: 11,602 6,223 446