FSU Graduates More than 2,000 in Summer Commencement
By Christopher Bony
A “joyful occasion” was how Florida State President John Thrasher described the summer commencement ceremony graduating more than 2,000 students.
An abundance of families and friends gathered at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center on Aug. 8 to celebrate the young men and women graduating this summer. The graduates were welcomed by a speech from their Student Body President Jean Tabares who reminisced with his fellow students about the countless memories they shared at FSU.
“The memories do not end here,” said Tabares. He then encouraged the graduates to venture to their futures with a sense of preparedness.
The ceremony featured a commencement address from Dr. Gail Skofronick Jackson, FSU alumna and well regarded scientist who leads NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement mission. Jackson’s research concentrates on the use of satellite data to estimate earth’s falling snow rates.
However, Jackson’s speech did not focus on precipitation. She referred to the pursuit of an education as a binding force relative to that of earth’s gravity and defying that force similar to a rocket launching from the surface.
“Defy gravity, it can only hold you down if you let it,” said Jackson. “Use what you’ve learned at FSU to propel you to the next period of your life.”
Jackson added, “In some ways your graduation today represents years of classes, designing projects and seemingly endless tests. It is your time to launch. Let gravity work for you.”
Max Gunzburger was named this year’s Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of the Year.
“Your colleagues around the world have been in awe of how you have filled these roles while also being a leading scientist and productive mentor,” said Interim Provost Sally McRorie as she presented Gunzburger with the award. “You embody the highest ideals of scholarship, teaching and service, and your achievements reflect the highest standards of the Florida State community.