The largest Commencement ceremony in University of Tampa history takes center stage at the St. Pete Times Forum on Saturday, May 6, at 10 a.m.
For the first time, more than 800 new graduates are expected to walk for their diplomas. The figures include more than 700 recipients of undergraduate degrees and more than 100 graduate degree recipients. The numbers count May and anticipated August graduates, with the former totaling nearly 700.
Gianni Antonio LoVario, of St. Petersburg, graduates at the head of the class with a perfect 4.0 GPA. The computer information systems major also is one of 60 Honors Program graduates. While LoVario, a graduate of St.Petersburg High School, is the only summa cum laude candidate this spring, 43 will graduate magna cum laude (GPA 3.75 or higher, but less than 4.0), and 72 will exit with cum laude recognition (GPA 3.5 or higher, but less than 3.75).
The largest UT graduation ceremony to date also will be its earliest. The 10 a.m. start is designed for families to enjoy more time with their graduates after the ceremony. In previous years, 1 p.m. was the standard.
The speaker is Craig C. Sturken, a 1966 graduate of UT and recipient of the 2006 Alumni Achievement Award. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from UT, and is chairman, president and CEO of Spartan Stores, the largest grocery wholesaler in Michigan and 10th-largest grocery wholesaler in the nation.