BRADENTON -- State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota winter 2014 commencement will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, at the Bradenton Area Convention Center, 1 Haben Blvd., Palmetto.
Out of 598 students eligible for graduation, 222 are expected to participate in the ceremony, which includes 164 associate-degree graduates, 57 baccalaureate graduates and one certificate graduate.
Graduation speaker will be SCF alumnus John LaCivita, a lifelong Sarasota County resident and successful businessman who has invested in his community through philanthropy. LaCivita serves on various boards, including the Argus Foundation, Education Foundation of Sarasota County, Easter Seals Southwest Florida, Easter Seals Southwest Florida Foundation, Sarasota Ski-A-Rees and the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce.
He also is a graduate of Leadership Sarasota County 2004-05 and Leadership Florida Class XXVII, 2008-09. LaCivita received Leadership Sarasota's Outstanding Leadership Award and was named a member of Gulf Coast Business Review's "40 Under 40."
He graduated from Manatee Community College in 1988, and earned his bachelor's degree in building con
struction from the University of Florida in 1991. He became a state-certified general contractor in 1993.
The Outstanding Graduate Award will be presented to an associate-level student and a baccalaureate-level student who have shown superior leadership, academic achievement and community service while attending SCF.
Finalists for the Outstanding Associate Graduate Award: Summer DuBose, Bradenton; Mary Jane Fuller, Bradenton; Joni Liberty, Bradenton; Alex Masella, Venice; and Tracie Myers, Parrish.
Finalists for the Outstanding Baccalaureate Graduate Award are Ashley Ewing, Englewood; and Chris Laney, Sarasota.
Program participants will include SCF President Carol Probstfeld; Donald Bowman, vice president of student affairs; Gary Russell, vice president of academic affairs; Janet Samuels, assistant professor, mathematics; Kristen Zaborski, instructor, business and technology; and the Revs. Jennifer Potter and Bryan O'Carroll, campus ministry.
Karyn Washington, an SCF alumna and manager of business operations, will serve as the macebearer in the ceremony. Washington will retire in February after 37 years of service to SCF. Tickets are required and are available through graduating students.