FSU to hold six commencement ceremonies May 3-4

| Thu, 04/25/24
2024 commencement graphic

Four distinguished graduates of Florida State University and a U.S. congressman will be the featured speakers during FSU’s spring commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 3, and Saturday, May 4, at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center.

President Richard McCullough will preside over five commencement ceremonies in addition to a doctoral hooding ceremony for Ph.D. graduates from all disciplines. About 6,560 students are expected to participate in the six events during the two-day celebration.

This spring, Florida State will award degrees to 7,813 graduates, including 5,739 bachelor’s degrees, 1,379 master’s/specialist degrees and 273 doctoral degrees. The College of Law will confer 312 degrees on May 5 and the College of Medicine will confer 110 on May 18.

Friday’s 2 p.m. ceremony to celebrate College of Business graduates will feature James Seneff, who graduated with a bachelor’s in business administration from FSU. Seneff is the founder of CNL Financial Group, a private investment management firm based in Orlando. His transformative gift to FSU’s College of Business established the James M. Seneff Scholars Program, an elite honors program for high-achieving students that provides unique educational opportunities, meetings with business leaders and personalized mentorship programs.

U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn from Florida’s 2nd Congressional District, which consists of 16 counties in North Florida, will speak to the graduates from the College of Arts and Sciences at the 7 p.m. ceremony Friday. He was a surgeon in Panama City for more than 25 years and for 15 years in the U.S. Army before that. He was the founding president of a large surgical practice and founding chairman of a bank. He serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has responsibility for energy policy, interstate and foreign commerce, telecommunications, consumer protection, food and drug safety, health care policy and research, and environmental quality. He also serves on the House Parliamentary Assembly of NATO, the Select Committee on China and the Artificial Intelligence Task Force.

Christopher Iansiti, who earned both his bachelor of science in finance and master of science in instructional systems from FSU, will deliver the commencement address to the graduates of the colleges of Applied Studies, Medicine, Motion Picture Arts, Social Sciences and Public Policy, as well as the Dedman College of Hospitality and Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship during Saturday’s 9 a.m. ceremony. Iansiti founded and recently sold IANSITI Performance Group Inc., an organizational performance consulting firm, which boasts a client roster of well-known national and global corporations. He is an FSU College of Business Hall of Fame inductee and previously served as chairman of the FSU College of Business Board of Governors. In 2011, the College of Education honored him as a Distinguished Alumnus for his achievements. Iansiti currently chairs the FSU Foundation Board of Trustees.

FSU Coach Odell Haggins will deliver the commencement address to graduates of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering and the colleges of Nursing, Health and Human Sciences, and Education during Saturday’s 2 p.m. ceremony. Haggins, the longest-tenured assistant football coach in the country, has been a member of the Florida State Seminoles coaching staff since 1994. Haggins has also served as associate head coach and has twice been named interim head coach, leading the Seminoles to bowl berths both times. Haggins played for Florida State from 1985 to 1989 under Coach Bobby Bowden and was an All-American defensive lineman. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers and went on to play for the Buffalo Bills during their 1991 Super Bowl season. After his NFL career, he returned to Florida State, completed his degree and joined Bowden’s staff. Haggins has been inducted into the Florida State Athletics Hall of Fame, the Polk County Sports Hall of Fame and FSU Circle of Gold.

Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan will speak to the graduates of the colleges of Fine Arts, Communication and Information, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Social Work and Music during Saturday’s 7 p.m. ceremony. Deegan graduated from FSU with a bachelor’s degree in communications and began a career in broadcast journalism that spanned 25 years. She became Jacksonville’s first female mayor in 2023. After three personal battles with breast cancer, she channeled her experiences into action by founding the DONNA Foundation to support cancer patients, survivors and health care providers.

Florida State University Panama City will hold its spring commencement ceremony at 6:30 p.m. CT Sunday, May 5, at Tommy Oliver Stadium in Panama City. Jorge Gonzales, president and CEO of The St. Joe Co., will deliver the keynote address. Gonzales, a two-time FSU alumnus, is also a member of the FSU Board of Trustees. FSU Panama City will confer 99 bachelor’s and 55 master’s degrees and will award 29 students with the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice degree for the first time ever.

For more information on FSU’s spring commencement and live-streaming links, visit commencement.fsu.edu.