Two Saint Leo University Education Centers Hold Commencements on May 10

May 08, 2014

Nearly 250 students from two Saint Leo University education centers will receive their degrees in separate commencement ceremonies this Saturday. The Ocala Education Center will graduate 125 students during a noon ceremony at Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Ocala while nearly 120 students from the Gainesville Education Center will receive their degrees during commencement exercises at 5 p.m. at the Phillips Center for Performing Arts on the University of Florida campus.

Most will receive bachelor’s degrees, and 50 students will receive master’s degrees in education, criminal justice, and business administration.

The guest speaker for the Ocala commencement is Marion County Superintendent of Schools George Tomyn (pictured), while World War II Tuskegee Airman Stephen Lawrence (pictured at podium), will address the Gainesville class. The Tuskegee Airmen were a unit of African American fliers who served with distinction in combat in the U.S. Army Air Forces in spite of prevailing practices of segregation that then limited most African Americans to support positions in the military. The leadership of the Tuskegee Airmen directly contributed to the eventual integration of the U.S. armed services.

Christopher Rivas of Miami, who earned his Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice, was selected to deliver the farewell address in Ocala while R. Casey Stern of Saint Augustine, who earned his Bachelor of Social Work, merited the same honor in Gainesville.

The Ocala Education Center, located on the campus of College of Central Florida, is celebrating its 20th anniversary of educating area residents. Saint Leo University opened a new education office at Central Florida’s Citrus County Campus in Lecanto and at Lake Sumter State College in Leesburg.

The Gainesville Education Center is also celebrating two decades of educating area residents. The center is located on the campus of Santa Fe College. The Magnolia Parke Gainesville Education Center is an extension of the Santa Fe office. The center has nearly 350 students enrolled in 12 undergraduate and two graduate programs.

Saint Leo University operates more than 40 teaching locations, including 14 on military bases in six states (California, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia).